Migrants need more support, protection amid COVID-19: official hinh anh 1Park Mi-hyung, Chief of Mission at IOM Vietnam (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) – An official from the Ministry of Health’s General Office for Population - Family Planning has emphasised the need to join hands in further supporting and protecting migrants, especially in the context of the COVID-19 outbreak.

Speaking at a meeting in response to the International Migrants Day jointly held by the International Organization for Migration (IOM) in Vietnam and the Ministry of Health’s General Office for Population - Family Planning (GOPFP) in Hanoi on December 17, Director of the General Office's planning and finance department Dang Van Nghi said the Vietnam Population Strategy till 2030 has directed to pay more attention and investment to vulnerable groups, including migrants.

A number of programmes and projects have been implemented to support migrants, he noted. 

While emphasising the important role of migrants, especially in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, Park Mi-hyung, Chief of Mission at IOM Vietnam, said migrants are an essential labour force in each country.

A report by the IOM shows that the number of global migrants has ballooned from 150 million to 272 million over the last 20 years. 

According to the 2019 Population and Housing Census, internal migration in Vietnam in the past 5 years accounted for more than 7 percent of the population. Meanwhile, a report by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 2016 showed that over 10 million Vietnamese people migrated to other countries. In 2019, Vietnam sent 152,530 labourers to work abroad.

As the COVID-19 pandemic still remains complicated, overseas migrants are more vulnerable to effects of the pandemic than non-migrants. They not only face the risk of losing their jobs and income but also being stigmatized. More importantly, they also encounter the risk of COVID-19 infection. Culture - language barriers and socio-economic situation may limit them from accessing health care services quickly, accurately and safely.

The International Migrants Day takes place on December 18 every year to recognise efforts and contributions of migrants around the world, and promote respect and protection of their basic rights. 

In 2020, the International Migrants Day has the theme "Reimagining Migration"./.