Steps taken to protect Vietnamese working abroad after instances of mistreatment found in Saudi Arabia.
The Department of Overseas Labor (DOLAB) under the Ministry of Labor, Invalids and Social Affairs (MoLISA) is taking steps to protect all overseas workers after female domestic helpers were mistreated in Saudi Arabia late last year.
According to Mr. Tong Hai Nam, Deputy Head of the Department, the women were not covered by any labor code and faced difficulties in accessing support services or trade unions.
Late last year the department and other related Vietnamese authorities helped female guest workers in Saudi Arabia return home earlier than scheduled. The workers sought help after being mistreated by their employers.
DOLAB reported that about 16,000 Vietnamese guest workers are in Saudi Arabia, including 5,000 domestic helpers.
Mr. Nam said the governments of Vietnam and Saudi Arabia have signed an agreement protecting workers’ rights. Saudi Arabia’s Labor Ministry is responsible for ensuring Vietnamese guest workers have accommodation and residential permits and are able to keep in contact with their families.
DOLAB reported that about 56,173 Vietnamese workers, including 16,942 women, worked overseas in the first six months of this year, a 1.7 per cent increase compared with the same period last year.
In June alone 11,777 workers went abroad, of which 3,619 were women.