The Vietnam Association of Manpower Supply (VAMAS) on April 17 announced the results of the annual evaluation of migrant worker recruitment agencies, with 43% of agencies ranked receiving a five Star Rating.
The annual ranking, the fourth of its kind, evaluates recruitment agencies’ performance against VAMAS’s code of conduct for recruitment agencies introduced in 2010. The evaluation of recruitment agencies is carried out with the support of the International Labour Organisation (ILO).
The code is a voluntary instrument that aims to improve compliance with Vietnamese legislation and international standards, to promote better business management and to protect migrant workers from exploitation, including forced labour and human trafficking.
VAMAS President Nguyen Luong Trao said that “more and more recruitment agencies applying the code of conduct have shown progress” in various areas including selection of partners and donors, training and support for migrant workers and job security for returning workers.
However, violations of the code committed in 2016 include a lack of regular reporting, insufficient training, costs above standard rates, and sending migrant workers abroad without permission, he said.
Out of 86 agencies ranked in 2016, 37 were given five stars, 41 four stars and the rest three stars. The ranked agencies sent more than 60 percent of all workers going abroad through Vietnamese agencies last year.
The number of agencies joining the initiative will increase to 106 next year.
ILO Vietnam Director Chang-Hee Lee recognised the role of the private sector in “protecting migrant workers from abusive and fraudulent practices during recruitment, reducing migration costs, and enhancing development outcomes of migration”.
“Experience has shown that good recruitment practices lead to positive migration experiences, and these can enable inclusive and sustainable development – for migrants, their families and communities, and Vietnam,” he said.
Cross-border labour migration from Vietnam has significantly increased over the last two decades. The country had 278 licensed recruitment agencies in 2016, sending 126,000 migrant workers abroad.
Most of the world’s approximately 232 million migrants left their countries in search of decent jobs to improve their – and their families’ – livelihood. According to the ILO’s Fair Migration Agenda, while discrimination and labour abuses are common among migrant workers, and the costs of migration high, migration can enable human development alongside economic growth.VNA