Japan and South Korea are among markets hosting most Vietnamese workers, with the highest income of around $1,400 and $1,800 per month.
Currently, more than 600,000 Vietnamese are working on contract in 50 countries and territories, with more than 90 percent in Japan, South Korea and Taiwan.
Japan leads with 250,000, followed by Taiwan with 230,000, and South Korea with 40,000, it was announced at a Friday meeting of the Department of Overseas Labor, a unit of the Ministry of Labor, Invalids and Social Affairs.
Vietnam started sending laborers to work in Japan in 1992 and until now, about 350,000 Vietnamese have been employed there, said Nguyen Nhu Tuan, deputy head of the department’s propaganda agency.
In most cases, laborers usually work three to five years at an average income of $1,200-1,400 per month.
Migrant workers in South Korea earn $1,400-1,800 per month, with as many as 90 percent chosen from the Employment Permit System (EPS), South Korea’s flagship temporary labor migration launched in 2004.
They mainly work as crew members on fishing vessels or in the fields of agriculture and fisheries under cooperation mechanisms between localities in both countries.
In Taiwan, the ministry said in report early this month Vietnamese workers are paid $790 per month at the highest.
“Japan, South Korea and Taiwan now all face an aging population trend, raising their demand for guest workers. In the next few years, those destinations will be the key markets for Vietnamese labor export,” said Tuan.
The trend of population aging in Japan, South Korea and Taiwan increases the demand for foreign workers. In the next few years, these will still be key markets for Vietnamese labor exports,” he noted.
“The labor export market is very attractive and yet there are also many issues to be handled.”
According to the Overseas Labor Department, Vietnamese workers abroad are “vulnerable” and easily face barriers in culture, lifestyle and language.
Therefore, the department and related agencies will issue its “Migrant Workers Health Handbook” next month to provide information about the health system, health insurance and social insurance of host countries, how to deal with occupational accidents, deaths, violence or harassment at work, as well as hotlines and addresses they could access for assistance.
Attending the Friday meeting, Tran Thi Tuyet Luong, representative of the International Organization for Migration (IOM) in Vietnam, said Vietnamese migrant workers are usually young people aged 22-26, citing IMO research on laborers working in Japan, Korea and Taiwan.
Most have language problems while many unmarried women fall pregnant.
Workers also lack knowledge of the host country’s health system and find it difficult to properly access services even with health insurance, Luong said.
“In addition to helping migrant workers access health and social services, the handbook is also a channel for businesses, trade unions and NGOs to access timely support,” she said.
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