A crowd of domestic and foreign journalists, experts and managers have gathered at a seminar in the central province of Quang Binh to draw measures to protect the rights and legitimate interests of migrant labourers.

The event was jointly held b y the International Labour Organisation (ILO) and the Vietnam Journalists’ Association (VJA).

ILO representative Nguyen Mai Thuy said Vietnam , along with Cambodia , China , Laos , Malaysia and Thailand, are implementing a safe labour export triangle project, which aims to protect migrant workers in and from Greater Mekong Sub-region (GMS) member nations from labour exploitation through increasing legal assistance and protection for them.

ASEAN member nations are working together on managing migrant workers and protecting their rights and legitimate interests through the signing of the ASEAN Mutual Recognition Arrangement (MRA) for eight professions of accountant, engineer, surveyor, architect, nurse, medical staff, dentist and tour guide. The agreement allows employees to freely work in regional countries.

According to ILO , a good integration policy will help Vietnam improve labour productivity through the migration of skilled labourers, but the country should also take into consideration the fact that a large number of qualified workers will leave for other countries to find jobs with higher salary.

Migration should be considered as a choice of labourers, which can help them escape from poverty, experts said, stressing the need to take measures to both promote migration and protect migrant labourers.

Guest workers need to be provided with full and accurate information about policies, fees and interests as well as ways to protect them, they added.

Data of the General Statistic Office (GSO) in 2013 showed that almost all Vietnamese migrant labourers come from rural areas and are between 15-29 years old. The number of female workers is on the rise.

According to the End Exploitation and Trafficking (MTV EXIT) organisation, about 1 million forced migrant labourers were reported in Asia.-VNA