Vietnam and Malaysia have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on labour immigration in an effort to protect Vietnamese workers in Malaysia.

Signed by the Vietnam General Confederation of Labour and the Malaysian Trade Union Congress in Hanoi on March 16, the MoU covers the facilitation of dialogues to speed up the approval of conventions by the International Labour Organisation, policymaking, and addressing issues related to labour hygiene and safety, especially in labour-intensive and toxic-exposure areas.

Traditionally, Vietnamese workers have been met with difficulties including illegal recruitment, high living expenses, delays of or deductions from salaries and labour exploitation.

Over the past decade, Vietnam has sent over 220,000 labourers to Malaysia with an average of 12,000 low-skilled workers each year. Nearly 80,000 Vietnamese are currently employed in 12 out Malaysia’s 13 states, primarily in manufacturing, engineering, garments and construction.

Both countries signed a MoU on recruiting Vietnamese workers in Malaysia in December 2003.-VNA