Irregularities force Vietnamese laborers to bear brunt of working abroad

By Ba Do   March 5, 2021 | 05:26 am PT
Irregularities force Vietnamese laborers to bear brunt of working abroad
Vietnamese people wait in line for the procedure of getting the Japanese visa in Hanoi, November 2020. Photo by VnExpress/Giang Huy.
Laborers from Vietnam seeking to work abroad have been forced to pay ridiculously high fees to ensure employment due to mismanagement, government inspectors say.

According to the Government Inspectorate, the Ministry of Labor, Invalids and Social Affairs has yet to pay due attention to the legitimate rights and interests of people employed abroad and come up with suitable measures to help reduce worker costs.

"For a long period of time, the ministry has not been able to manage or control official and brokerage fees of businesses running the service, which had caused workers (who in fact are all poor) to pay a large amount of money even when the policy of receiving markets (Japan and Taiwan) does not require them to pay."

The conclusion of the inspectorate was announced at a Thursday meeting by its deputy head Tran Ngoc Liem.

Government inspectors had looked into what had been achieved and what had been done wrong in sending workers abroad under contracts from six provinces in northern and central regions, including Vinh Phuc, Phu Tho, Hai Duong, Hung Yen, Nghe An and Ha Tinh, in the 2013-2018 period.

They pointed out fee regulations applied to Vietnamese workers in Japan are not in line with Japanese policies or the agreement signed between the two countries, which had affected laborers.

Due to the loose management of the ministry’s Overseas Labor Management Department, workers had been made to pay a "very high fee of $7,000-8,000 per month," the inspectorate stated.

In many cases, the high fee had forced many Vietnamese to remain abroad after their contracts and visas had expired to recover their costs, it noted.

As for the six provinces, the inspectors said authorities there had also failed to fulfill their duties, while companies providing "study abroad" consultancies in fact feeded the foreign labor market.

Inspectors also discovered laborers that had voluntarily, or through a broker, gone abroad to "travel, visit relatives or get married", then stayed behind to work illegally.

In most cases, destinations include Japan, South Korea, Australia, Canada, Angola and Eastern European countries.

In 2019, as many as 134,482 of the 147,387 Vietnamese workers who went abroad in 2019 were hired in Japan and Taiwan, official statistics show.

Last year, the number of Vietnamese workers going abroad dropped to 78,000 due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

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