Western Union supports Vietnamese migrant workers with handbook

Monday, Jan 04, 2016 09:00

Migrant workers feel more confident if they are equipped with useful information to protect themselves in an emergency in the host country. — VNS Photo

According to the Department of Overseas Labour (DOLAB), the number of Vietnamese going abroad to work in the first 11 months of 2015 reached 109,252, including 35, 472 women. While benefiting from well-paying jobs, the workers also face many difficulties overseas due to a lack of knowledge and limitations of language. To help them cope with these challenges, 20,000 printed copies of a "Communication Handbook for Vietnamese Overseas Workers" were distributed for free before their departure to various countries last July.

A representative of Vilexim Import Export and Cooperation Joint Stock Company (VILEXIM) said Vietnamese workers are recognised for their diligence, hard work and ability to learn quickly.

But they still face difficulty in adapting to a new workplace. In the first few months upon arrival, workers are not used to the living conditions, food, customs, and traditions in the host country. The biggest difficulty is the language barrier that prevents them from communicating with locals.

Besides, most Vietnamese working abroad are not fully aware of employment laws, labour rights and responsibilities related to basic wages, and labour insurance and medical insurance for overseas workers. As a result, they have to accept low wages, poor working conditions and discrimination at work.

To enable Vietnamese workers to adapt to the new environment in the countries where they work, Western Union has worked closely with DOLAB to launch a programme aimed at their betterment.

Western Union and DOLAB developed 20,000 pre-departure orientation kits that were distributed to workers before they left for a number of countries, including Saudi Arabia, UAE, Malaysia, Taiwan, Macau, and Japan in July 2015.

The customized kits included important information on topics ranging from labour laws and migrant workers' rights to local customs and useful phrases in the local language.

The handbook also contained basic information about the rights and obligations of employees, code of conduct, economy, currency, etc. For example, the section "A few notes on working and living" section addressed commonplace situations that may arise and provided behaviour guidance and problem resolution.

A representative of Van Xuan Investment and Human Resources Development Company said: "The collaboration between Western Union and DOLAB for the handbook is a practical work.

"According to feedback from migrant workers who got the handbooks, helpful information in the handbooks equipped them with information about the host country, people, wages, insurance benefits, rights and basic communication guidelines, and thus helped them feel more confident about living and working overseas."

"The handbook is considered a 'tour guide' for workers to overcome barriers in the host countries. We see this year's handbook also has updates on changes in the legal system and labour laws that help workers to … protect themselves in emergency situations."

Ms Patricia Z. Riingen, Western Union's senior vice president for Southeast Asia & Oceania, said: "Providing workers with this resource enables them to integrate and settle into their new lives quickly and more effectively, while also becoming more productive at their new jobs. Ultimately, this will improve the quality of their and their families' lives."

Taking advantage of Western Union's extensive network, the handbook also provides a three-step money transfer guide.

Through the information in the handbook, workers can locate the nearest Western Union money transfer service point, fill out the application, present their passport, send money and pay fees to transfer money to Vietnam in a fast and safe manner.

Thanks to the handbook, Vietnamese workers can send and receive money in the simplest, safest and most convenient manner.

The collaboration between Western Union and DOLAB to distribute the free handbooks to Vietnamese workers is another proof of Western Union's commitment to supporting Vietnamese migrant workers around the world and connecting them with their families.

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