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Policies for female guest workers needed: seminar

Update: April, 04/2015 - 10:42
Vietnamese female labourers work in Japan. It's necessary to issue supporting policies for Vietnamese female workers abroad to help them avoid risks, participants said at a recent seminar. — Photo hanoimoi.com.vn

HA NOI (VNS) — Vietnamese female guest workers need policies to support them in dealing with risks and difficulties while working abroad and returning home, according to speakers heard during a seminar last week.

The seminar was jointly held by the Overseas Workers Management Department of the Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs, and the UN Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women).

Participants pointed out that current legal regulations and policies relating to the issue of working abroad are enforced for both male and female guest workers.

Speakers noted that risks facing female guest workers varied, from labour exploitation, physical abuse, to sexual harassment and non-payment of wages.

And when returning home, these workers met with difficulties in re-integration and access to public services and employment, participants noted.

Further, backward social perceptions against women working abroad are also faced by workers.

According to Shoko Ishikawa, UN Women Chief Representative in Viet Nam, over the past five years UN Women had co-ordinated with Vietnamese agencies to implement a project to empower women contracted to work abroad, which aims to increase public awareness of gender equality.

The projects also targeted enhancing the capacity for officials and managers at Vietnamese enterprises specialising in sending workers abroad, said Ishikawa.

Deputy head of the Overseas Workers Management Department Pham Viet Huong said the department had focused on measures to protect the rights and interests of overseas Vietnamese workers, through working closely with the governments of host countries.

As many as 500,000 Vietnamese labourers are working in over 40 countries and territories around the globe. Women accounted for 35 percent of the 90,000 Vietnamese going abroad each year, on average, during the past five years.

Vietnamese women mostly work as maids, nurses, hotel staff, and factory workers in Taiwan (China), the Republic of Korea, Malaysia, Japan, Saudi Arabia and Cyprus. — VNS

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