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BRIEF REPORT

Legal and Practice Barriers


For Migrant Workers in the
Access to Social Protection
LABOR RIGHTS PROGRAM OF OXFAM IN VIETNAM
10 /2015

NXB HNG C

TABLE OF CONTENTS
ABBREVIATION................................................................................................................................3
PREFACE........................................................................................................................................4
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY......................................................................................................................6
Main findings of the research...................................................................................................6
Recommendations..................................................................................................................10
INTRODUCTION..............................................................................................................................12
Objectives of the Report.........................................................................................................12
Main concepts of the research...............................................................................................12
Research methodology...........................................................................................................14
RESEARCH FINDINGS.....................................................................................................................14
1. Migrant workers employment, income and poverty reduction............................................15
1.1. Employment and support for job placement......................................................................15
1.2. Ensuring of minimum income..............................................................................................19
1.3. Poverty reduction.................................................................................................................22
1.4. Best practices on support for migrant workers on job creation,
insuring a stable income and poverty reduction......................................................................24
2. Social insurance.................................................................................................................26
2.1. Compulsory social insurance..............................................................................................27
2.2. Voluntary social insurance..................................................................................................28
2.3. Unemployment Insurance....................................................................................................30
2.4. Best practices on the support to access to social insurance..........................................31
3. Social protection for migrant workers................................................................................33
3.1. Social protection..................................................................................................................33
3.2. Best Practices on Social Protection....................................................................................34
4. Access to basic services of migrant workers.....................................................................35
4.1. Education..............................................................................................................................36
4.2. Health care............................................................................................................................37
4.3. Housing.................................................................................................................................40
4.4. Clean water...........................................................................................................................40
4.5. Access to information..........................................................................................................42
4.6. Best practices for the support on the access to basic social services..........................44
CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS.........................................................................................49
REFERENCE..................................................................................................................................55

Chng trnh Quyn Lao ng ca Oxfam ti Vit Nam

ABBREVIATION

Bo co tm tt: Ro cn php lut v thc tin i vi ngi lao ng di c trong tip cn an sinh x hi

CDI

Center for Development and Integration

DNLAC

Center for Legal Aid - Dong Nai Labor Union

GFCD

Gender, Family research and Comunity Development Center

HCMC

Ho Chi Minh City

ILO

International Labor Organization

LIGHT

Institute for Development and Community Health

LU

Labor Union

PLD

Institute for Research on Policy, Law and Development Policy Studies Law and
Development

SDRC

Social Work and Community Development Research & Consultancy

SISS

Southern Institute of Social Sciences

SPF

Social Protection Floor

VJUSAP

Viet Nam Judicial Support for the Poor

Chng trnh Quyn Lao ng ca Oxfam ti Vit Nam

PREFACE1
The ILO Social Protection Floor Recommendation 202 (SPF), adopted in 2012, initiates a new
point of view about a social protection floor for all, which requires country members to develop a
comprehensive social protection system including social security guarantees for the whole life
cycle of citizens. This is the first time, ILO proposes to expand the social protection for workers
in the informal economy. At the same time, the Recommendation facilitates participation of civil
society organizations in national dialogues with the Government in designing the country social
protection floor and a roadmap to put it in place.
Vietnam has subscribed to the SPF202 and is one among the countries to participate right from
the pilot period of the recommendation. The social protection strategy 2012-2020 is Vietnam
Government effort in implementing the SPF202 and there have been some changes in the
legislation system. However, majority of migrant workers have not fairly and fully accessed to
social protection.
This report aims to provide the public, interested organizations and decision makers a synthesis
of our findings on legal and practical barriers against specific groups of migrant and informal
workers, and good practices in empowering and supporting them to access and benefit from the
social protection system. Our intention is to provide analysis and recommendations for policy
discussions, as well as for the work of Oxfam and its partners.
Oxfam in collaboration with the Southern institute of Social Sciences and a network of local partners
began this research from the end of 2014. The research was conducted in Hanoi, Bac Ninh, Ho Chi
Minh City and Dong Nai focusing on selected domestic migrant workers groups, both from formal
and informal economies, including street vendors and workers in construction, electronics and
garment sectors.
This is one among activities of Oxfam Workers Rights program. We partner with the civil society
in Vietnam including labour unions, local NGOs and research institutes to promote labour rights,
empower workers, especially migrant and informal workers to claim for their rights to improved
working and living conditions and better access to social protection.
We hope you find this report interesting and useful.

Oxfam in Vietnam
Country Director
Babeth Lefur

1 Many organizations and individuals contributed to this study. The opinions, standpoints and recommendations
expressed in this study do not necessarily represent the policy position of Oxfam or the organizations or
researchers whose work is cited below.

Bo co tm tt: Ro cn php lut v thc tin i vi ngi lao ng di c trong tip cn an sinh x hi

Chng trnh Quyn Lao ng ca Oxfam ti Vit Nam

ACKNOWLEDGEMENT
The research team would like to thank Oxfam in Vietnam, the government and individuals in the
cities of Ha Noi, Bac Ninh, Ho Chi Minh City and Bien Hoa who have created favorable conditions for
us to proceed this study.
Sincere thanks would also be conveyed to Ms. Le Kim Thai, Ms. Van Thu Ha and other staff members
of Oxfam in Vietnam who have contributed many valuable opinions from the establishment of the
research proposal, research design and completion of this research report.
The team also benefited from the cooperation and active support of the non-governmental
organizations in the Vietnam Action Network for the Rights of Migrant Workers (M.net)2, in the
process of developing the research toolkit, organizing of fieldwork, writing of some thematic
papers on the overview of policies and suggesting inputs to the research report.
We especially thank those who participated in the surveys and interviews, migrant workers
and workers core groups in the above mentioned cities. We would not finish this study without
receiving their consent to participate and their enthusiasm of participation.
Last but not least, we would like to thank the scientists, policy makers and managers who have
read and provided their comments to the draft of this report at the consultation workshop.

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
The study on Legal and Practice Barriers for Migrant Workers in their Access to Social Protection is
implemented within the framework of the Oxfam Workers Rights Program in Vietnam, conducted by
Oxfam and the Southern Institute of Social Sciences in cooperation with some non-governmental
organizations in the Vietnam Action Network for the Rights of Migrant Workers (M.net) deployed
from the end of 2014 in 4 provinces including Ha Noi, Bac Ninh, Ho Chi Minh City and Dong Nai.
The study focused on four sections with most of employees who are migrant workers, including
also in the informal sector such as garment, electronics, construction, and vendors to address
these barriers, and to seek initiatives, best practices in the support for migrant workers, and
thereby propose solutions so that this large but vulnerable target group can better access and
benefit from social protection policies.

Main findings of the research


1. Progress in the protection toward rights and benefits of
migrant workers
The Vietnamese legal system in the recent years has made significant progress towards protecting
the rights and interests of workers and expanding the coverage of social proctection system as
oriented by ILOs Recommendation on Social Protection Floor for All.
2 Including: Center for Development and Integration (CDI), Institute for Development and Community Health
(LIGHT), Gender, Family research and Community Development Center (GFCD), Institute for Research on Policy, Law
and Development Policy Studies (PLD), Viet Nam Judicial Support for the Poor (VJUSAP), Center for Legal Aid of Dong
Nai Labor Union (DNLAC) and Social Work and Community Development Research & Consultancy Center (SDRC).

Bo co tm tt: Ro cn php lut v thc tin i vi ngi lao ng di c trong tip cn an sinh x hi

Results from the review of the legislation system and social protection policies of Vietnam concerning
migrant workers showed that in 2011-2015, the government has issued, adjusted, and added new
features in the codes, laws and bylaws to expand the beneficiaries of the social protection system,
including migrant workers in general and migrant workers in the informal sector specifically.

Chng trnh Quyn Lao ng ca Oxfam ti Vit Nam

The informal labor is put into the adjustment in a series of laws such as the Social Insurance Law,
Employment Law, Labor Law. This is a new step in ensuring social protection for all people. The
Labor Code in 2012 introduced specific provisions ensuring the social protection for the domestic
workers. The Employment Law expands its participants of the employment insurance to workers
having labor contract of 1 full month or more. The Social Insurance Law also expands its participants
of compulsory social insurance to workers having labor contract of 1 full month or more and easing
the conditions for the employees to easily participate in voluntary social insurance.
A number of laws and policies aim towards protecting the rights of migrants , typically the Health
Insurance Law 2014 and the Social Insurance Law 2014. The Health Insurance 2014 has outlined
a specific agenda to eliminate discrimination against migrants. The migrant workers rights to
access to health care services are expanded through their temporary residence registration book
and now they can engage in voluntary social insurance at their destination. All the areas with large
number of migrant workers have the policy on preferential price for clean water for the workers to
rent their boarding rooms. Although many provisions have not yet specified the migrant workers
as beneficiaries but in some aspects they are associated with migrants at their destination such
as the Residence Law, Social Insurance Law amended in 2014, the Health Insurance Law 2014 and
Labour Law amended in 2012.
A number of laws and policies aim towards protecting the rights of migrants, typically the Health
Insurance Law 2014 and the Social Insurance Law 2014. The Health Insurance 2014 has outlined a
specific agenda to eliminate discrimination against migrants. Migrant workers rights to access to
health care services are expanded through their temporary residence registration book and now
they can engage in voluntary social insurance at their destination. All the areas with large number
of migrant workers have policies on subsidized price for clean water for workers who are renting
boarding rooms.
The Social Protection Strategy 2012-2020 also identifies migrant workers as one of the
disadvantaged groups in need of social protection. With the government new criteria for
determining the poor, from single to multi -dimensional poverty, which will apply for the period of
2016-2020 , the migrant workers have the opportunity to benefit from social protection policies as
a vulnerable target group of multi-dimensional poverty.

Social Insurance:
99% of migrant workers in the informal sector have no social insurance. Many migrant workers
have no compulsory social insurance due to their lack of labor contract, or they only have shortterm labor contract or verbal agreement. Many employers do not sign any labor contract upon the
government regulation and they avoid the liability for paying their employees social insurance,
while the sanctions are not deterrent enough, and the government lacks of human resources for
the control and supervision of law enforcement. 100% of the migrant construction workers and
50% of the migrant workers in the garment section in this study only have verbal agreements.
The migrant workers in the informal sector are not interested in voluntary social insurance. There
are many reasons, in which the most important one is the ineffective communication on social
policy, the voluntary social insurance premiums are beyond the migrant workers income, and the
regulations on voluntary social insurance is still inadequate compared to the compulsory social
insurance. The voluntary social insurance has only two service packages which are retirement
pension and survivorship, while the compulsory social insurance has other service packages
which are very practical for short-term contract workers such as the entitlements in case of
sickness, maternity, labor accidents and occupational diseases.
Unemployment Insurance:
It is difficult for the migrant workers to fully meet the four prescribed conditions of unemployment
insurance. On the other hand , the method for calculating Unemployment Insurance support upon
the proportion of their income causes inequality between the group of low income employees and
high-income ones , this has not yet secured an equal income redistribution.
Social Protection:

2. Roadblocks for migrant workers in policies and practices

13.2 % of migrant workers children under 6 years of age do not access to health insurance. The
migrant workers are not yet considered as beneficiaries of social protection policies at their
destination, although they often face difficult living conditions and are in need of support for their
livelihood.

Access to basic social services:

Migrant workers are an urban vulnerable group, however, they have very little access to
social protection policies

Employment:
The unemployment rate of migrants was almost five times higher than the unemployment rate of
workers aged 15 and above, and it is concentrated mainly in young migrants aged 15-24.
A significant part of the existing migrant workers have unstable, precarious employment, especially
in the informal sector (59%). Most migrant workers basic income level does not meet the minimum
living needs and womens basic income is lower than mens.
Most migrant workers have to pay double price because they have no permanent residence
registration at the destination; particularly to pay for basic social services such as health,
education, housing, electricity, clean water, they have to pay much higher price than the local
residents. Meanwhile, migrant workers have to pay other regular expenses that many local
people do not.
However, so far there is no policy to support job creation specifically for migrant workers. They
are excluded from poverty reduction programs, they cannot access to loan programs for job

generation. The urban management policy focuses only on cleanning the urban areas without
adeaquately taking into account migrant workers needs on livelihood, such as street vendors
are always chased away and they have precarious working environment.

Bo co tm tt: Ro cn php lut v thc tin i vi ngi lao ng di c trong tip cn an sinh x hi

A cross-cutting barrier restricting the migrant workers and their families in the access to public
services (health, education, housing, water and sanitation) is the budget allocation. The current
budget allocation is fundamentally based on the permanent resident population. This increases
the burden for the local authorities in the areas having a large number of migrants, increases
the pressure on the technical infrastructure and social infrastructure. This creates the basis for
the local authorities to prioritize the budget for people with permanent residence, due to the
excess demand of the social infrastructure, particularly education and health. Up to 21.2% of the
surveyed migrant children aged 6 -14 years old do not attend school. These are alarming figures
about the status of children without access to education system. Only 7.7% of migrant children
going to public nursery, and 12% migrant children attend public kindergartens. Most children go
to private day care nursery and kindergartens or home-based child care groups. Up to 76.5% of
migrant workers in the informal sector do not have health insurance. 71% of migrant workers lack
of access to public health services and only 29% of the migrant workers holding health insurance
cards benefit from health insurance.
These barriers to migrant workers and their families in accessing health insurance are partly due
to their awareness (no need and no interest: 43.5%), partly due to their lack of financial capacity
(48.7%), partly due to the lack of information on the place to purchase health insurance (15.3%),

Chng trnh Quyn Lao ng ca Oxfam ti Vit Nam

and partly because some of the migrant workers prefer to buy health insurance at the city of
destination, while they are not eligible due to their lack of permanent residence. The using of
health insurance cards are not convenient for the migrant workers in terms of working time,
waiting time, transportation, complex administrative procedures, and in addition, the opportunity
cost related to their working time to earn a living. All of these are the main reasons leading a low
percentage of migrant workers using health insurance cards.
More than 2/3 of the surveyed migrant workers have to pay three times higher for the price of
electricity and twice higher for the price of water compared to the locals.

Some social protection policies have not yet been aligned with realities, current situations
and characteristics of migrant workers

Many items of social protection policies related to migrant workers are not sufficiently relevant and
concrete, lack of clear guidance and essential resources for the implementation and practices.
Otherwise, some policies are formulated but not aligned with realities and current situations,
specific characteristics and status of migrant workers so that of they are not functioning as
factors for changes in realities.
Administrative procedures are still complicated, wordy, unappropriated and unrealistic, hindering
the access of people in need.

Limitations in communication on social protection policies are major barriers to the migrant
workers access to social protection.

Many migrant workers in the formal sector and most of migrant workers in the informal sector do
not fully understand their rights and benefits at the work place and residence. The most important
reason leading to this situation is that the social protection policies did not or less reach out
migrant workers through communication or media activities. The social protection policy for
information services only aims to ensure the means to provide information such as newspapers,
radio and television systems, but does not paid attention to the media channels, the quality of
information and responsibilities of the entities providing information. There are no official media
programs reserved for a large community of migrants .
Most migrant workers (36.4% in the formal sector and 87.3% in the informal sector) do not know
where to access to information and advice on labor laws and social insurance. Their unofficially
exclusion from the activities at their destination have simultaneously excluded the migrant
workers from useful information channels on social protection. The unofficial exclusion from
activities at their local residential areas has simultaneously excluded the migrant workers from
the channels of useful information about social protection.

There are many good initiatives and good practices at the local level with the collaboration
of government agencies, mass organizations, social organizations and activists. This can
suggest for building and scaling migrant workers support models.

There are a number of organizations and individuals who actively support the workers to access
to information and employment opportunities; improvement of professional skills; access to
basic social services such as health care, public school attendance for children, preferential
price for clean water and electricity, stabilized room rental price, access to practical and easy
to understand information on legal policies law; and assistance in cases of irregular expenditure
such as weddings or funerals, holidays, sickness, etc.
Apart from providing direct and specific support, these initiatives also help the migrant workers
to participate in formal and informal social networks in order to increase their opportunities to
access to information about their related social protection policies. The special characteristics
of these initiatives are the diversity , focusing on empowerment for the migrant workers through
their access to information, increasing their self-confidence, initiative, teamwork and integration

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into their community of destination. These initiatives also attract the active participation of
different stakeholders such as governmental agencies, mass-associations, employers, boarding
room, houses owners and service delivery organizations.

Recommendations
Migrant workers have been playing increasingly important roles in the cities major labor force. Still,
this part of the population has not yet become a directly targeted group of the development policies
in general and social protection policies in particular. To ensure the migrant workers rights and
interests to be appropriate to the national social protection objectives, to contribute to sustainable
development, so that migrant workers can access and benefit from an equitable social protection,
it is recommended that the overall solutions in the social protection strategy shall be combined
and integrated simultaneously with the measures on removing the current barriers. Babed on such
orientation, the research team would like to suggest eight recommendations as follows:
1. Develop an overall program for migrant workers regarding the socio-economic development
plans, social protection policies and other development policies, in which migrant workers are
identified as an important part of the workforce
2. Review and remove regulations which so far still tie social protection policies with the
household residential registration status because this is one of the biggest barriers for
migrant workers to access social protection
3. The Government should implement the co-payment of voluntary social insurance for workers
in the informal sector and expansion of voluntary social insurance benefits
4. Having an effective mechanisms to ensure the employers to be responsible for co-paying of
the voluntary social insurance
5. Review of some policies to ensure the migrant workers better access to social protection:

The minimum wage should actually guarantee a minimum living standard


Eligibility for unemployment insurance:
The method for calculating the unemployment insurance support

6. Add more details to some policies to ensure the implementation:

The Employment services center should provide detailed regulation to the support of
employees when they move from a locality to a new one
Prepare additional decrees and circulars guiding the implementation of preferential credit
programs to create jobs for the migrant workers at their destination
Prepare additional detailed guidance documents on the implementation of some provisions in
Paragraph 1 , Article 38 , Social Insurance Law 2014. Prepare detailed regulation on the amount
of social support , eligibility to the support and the time to implement the policy on supporting
the premiums of social insurance for employees participating into voluntary social insurance.

7. Promoting communication activities, diversify the communication forms and channels to increase
the migrant workers accessibility to information, especially workers in the informal sector
8. Formalizing, modeling the initiatives in order to replicate and promote the impact of the good
practices on supporting the migrant workers which were implemented by the social and mass
organizations in the country, with reference and lessons learned from other countries in the
world and continue to use effective technical and financial assistance from the international
social organizations
Chng trnh Quyn Lao ng ca Oxfam ti Vit Nam

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INTRODUCTION
Objectives of the Report
Rural urban labor migration is an increasing trend in the context of industrialization and
urbanization process in Vietnam. The decline in demand for agricultural labor, and the increase
in employment opportunities and incomes in urban areas and industrial zones as well as the
improvement of road infrastructure has accelerated the rural-urban labor migration. These
changes pose objective requirements for the construction and completion of legal policies
concerning migrant workers.
The research report on legal and practices barriers to migrant workers in their access to social
protection provides evidence on the current legal and practices barriers for migrant workers
working in the formal and informal sector to access social protection in urban areas and industrial
parks. The study also searchs and introduces good pratices on the support for migrant workers
to access to and benefit from the social protection system and social policies. The findings on
barriers and good practices are an important basis for proposing policy changes as well as the
effective implementation of social protection policies for migrant workers.

Main concepts of the research


Social protection. In Vietnam, the Social protection strategy for the period of 2011 - 2020, the
concept of social protection includes a system of social protection policies and programs run by
the State, the social partners and private sector in order to provide support and capacity building
for individual workers, families and communities to be able to manage risks caused by job loss,
old age, sickness, natural disaster risks, structural change and economic crisis which result in
the loss of income and decrease of accessibility to the basic social services system (ILSSA, 2013
p.54). The Vietnamese social protection policies during the period of 2012-2020 are based on the
four basic pillars as follows:

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The group of employment policies which guarantee a minimum income and poverty reduction:
to help people proactively prevent risk through their participation in the labor market to get
good jobs, minimum income and sustainable poverty reduction.
The group of social insurance policies: to help people reduce the risks of an illness, occupational
accident, old age... through their participation in the social insurance system in order to
proactively recompense for their decline or loss of income due to the above mentioned risks.
The group of social protection policies: includes the regular and unexpected policies to help
people overcome their unforeseen or beyond control risks (crop failure, hunger, chronic
poverty).
The group of basic social services policies: to increase peoples access to basic services
system at a minimum level, including a minimum education, minimum health care, minimum
housing, clean water, information and communication.

Chng trnh Quyn Lao ng ca Oxfam ti Vit Nam

13

H thng ASXH Vit Nam

Vic lm, m bo
thu nhp ti thiu
v gim ngho

Bo him
x hi

Tr gip x hi
cho cc nhm
c th

Dch v
x hi c bn

To vic lm

BHXH bt buc

Tr gip XH
thng xuyn

Gio dc

Tn dng
u i

m au

H tr
hc ngh
H tr tm vic
lm (trong v
ngoi nc)
Chng trnh
vic lm cng
Gim ngho

Thai sn
Tai nn LBnh NN
Hu tr
T tut
BHXH t nguyn

Chm sc ti
c s bo tr
x hi v
cng ng
H tr
tin mt
Tr gip x hi
t xut

Y t (gm BHYT)

Nh

Nc sch

Thng tin

Hu tr
T tut
BH tht nghip
BH hu tr b sung

The migrant workers selected for this study came from other places outside the province/city
where they currently live and are working in four sectors (garment, electronics, construction and
hawkers) but do not have permanent residential status yet. All those who have or do not have
temporary residential registration but they have been actually residing in the local area for at least
6 months or more are included in the study population.

Research methodology
The study used a participatory approach with the cooperation and participation of the three main
groups: (i) SISSs research team; (ii) the non-governmental organizations which are partners of
Oxfam in Vietnam within the framework of the Labour Rights Program, including CDI, LIGHT, GFCD,
PLD, VJUSAP, DNLAC and SDRC; (iii) representatives of migrant workers; quantitative surveys and
qualitative research in 4 representing geographical areas, including Ha Noi, Bac Ninh, Ho Chi Minh
City (HCMC) and Dong Nai; focuses on four migrant worker intensive branches such as garment,
electronics, construction, and hawkers with the structure by formal and informal sector as
follows: An equal sampling size for 4 locations and 4 surveyed sub-sectors, in which 100% of
migrant workers working in electronics under the formal sector; 50% of migrant workers working in
garment under the formal sector and 50% ones under the informal sector; 100% of migrant workers
in construction under informal sector and 100% of migrant workers who are street vendors under
the informal sector. The study conducted 808 quantitative interviews (319 in the formal sector and
489 in the informal sector), 36 group discussions, 48 i n-depth interviews with the migrant workers
and a number of interviews on the strategy with other stakeholders such as local officials, unions,
mass organizations, lawyers, house and room renting owners and social organizations.

Migrant workers in the formal sector include the ones who work with a written labor contract from
1 month or more in the garment and electronics.
Migrant workers in the informal sector include the ones who work with a verbal or without
labor contract, those who create jobs for themselves in the garment industry, construction
and street vendors.

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Chng trnh Quyn Lao ng ca Oxfam ti Vit Nam

15

RESEARCH FINDINGS
The research findings were respectively presented under the pillars of social protection,
starting from the reality to policy barriers, practical barriers and finally the best practices in
the support for migrant workers. The pillars of social protection cover many areas for various
beneficiaries while migrant workers are only a specific target group; therefore, some social
protection policies concerning migrant workers apply more than some other policies. The
structure of the report is to show the direct relationship between the barriers for the migrant
workers to access social protection.

1. MIGRANT WORKERS EMPLOYMENT, INCOME AND POVERTY REDUCTION


1.1. Employment and support for job placement
The research findings show that, the migrant workers unemployment rate was almost five
times higher than the unemployment rate of workers aged 15 and older; the unemployment rate
concentrated mainly among young people aged 15-24, who are the group newly entering the
labor market (GSO, 2012). There is a significant part of migrant workers who are having unstable,
precarious employment, especially in the informal sector. Rural-urban migrant workers have many
heavy, hazardous occupations, with the level of unskilled workers (employed in the construction
sites, manufacturing/recycling of plastics, garment, footwear, security gards, ...), street vendors,
domestic workers ... The majority of them work in the economic units of the informal sector as
the individual economic establishments, home-based or self-employed, therefore there is a low
percentage of migrant workers having labor contract, or in case they do have labor contracts,
their employers are less interested in implementing social insurance and other social benefits
for employees in the economic units of the informal sector (Nguyen, T., 2009). Even the migrant
workers having labor contracts face precarious employment status (UN Vietnam, 2010b).
The research findings also showed that migrant workers have year-round employment but lack
of stability, particularly for migrant workers in the informal sector. There is a high percentage
(85%) of migrant workers in the formal sector who have stable jobs all year round; but still there
is a significant proportion (15%) who suffer from job instability. There are 52% of migrant workers
in the informal sector who have employment throughout the year, but unstable. Their lack of
information, not fully understanding the necessity of having a labor contract and the workers
rights in the signing of labor contract led many migrant workers in the informal sector not to have
a labor contract. Therefore this causes their employment to be precarious, vulnerable and at high
risk of employment loss and wage loss due to dismissal. Including seasonal employment, the
percentage of migrant workers in the informal sector have unstable jobs of up to 59% (Chart
1). If compared the between sectors that the migrant workers are working, the difference in
degree of stability is very large. There is a high percentage of street vendors having year-round
employment, but their employment has the highest degree of instability which accounting for
58.3%, followed by construction workers (51.5%) and garment workers in the informal sector
(39, 3%) and the lowest was the garment workers (10.7%) and electronic workers (16.9%) in the
official sector (Chart 2). If including their seasonal employment, the construction workers have
the highest rate of employment instability (65%) followed by street vendors (62%). These results
are also consistent with the nature of their work. The garment and electronics manufacturing
industries of medium and large sizes are less adversely impacted by natural conditions and
external working environment.
Meanwhile, the construction sector depends a lot on weather factors and the market. The work
demand is very high in the dry season and the last months of the year, but the work demand sharply
fall down in the rainy season. Similarly, the street vendors tend to focus on core activities which

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Chng trnh Quyn Lao ng ca Oxfam ti Vit Nam

17

are selling of food, drinks, vegetables, flowers and ornamental plants, toiletries, books, scrap and
discarded materials, etc. These activities often do not have stable selling areas or lack of safe and
favorable conditions, and depend greatly on weather, urban space and social environment. Due to
the significantly higher proportion of female workers in the formal sector compared to the male ones,
therefore female migrant workers have more stable employment than male ones (64% versus 50%).

Chart 1. Level of employment stability of migrant workers by sector


85%
KV chnh thc

52%

KV phi chnh thc

policy system to create jobs has many new advancements and detailed regulations for some
specific work groups, such as workers in the informal sector, home helpers. The policy system
has created conditions for employees to have more opportunities to access to employment
as well as stable jobs, with the mandatory provisions of the working environment to protect
the workers rights and interests, including a significant proportion of migrant workers.
However, so far there is no employment support policy related to job creation particularly
for migrant workers. The employment policy focuses only on vocational training and providing
general information on employment in general without concern on training of social skills and
soft skills at work which will be assisting migrant workers, who are mostly rural farmers to be
able to adapt to the urban and industrial working environment. Moreover, although the policy
support system for job creation has many new improvements and pays attention to a number
of factors which directly influence migrant workers, there are still some shortcomings from
the legal framework and policy enforcement:


41%
15%
7%
0%
C vic lm n nh
quanh nm

C vic lm quanh nm
nhng khng n nh

Ch lm theo ma v

Chart 2: Percentage of migrant workers having employment throughout the year but
precarious, disaggregated by sub-sector
70.00%
58.30%

60.00%

51.50%

50.00%
37.40%

40.00%

39.30%

30.00%
20.00%
10.00%
0.00%

The offenses are the consequence of the ineffectiveness of the mechanism and measures
to promote the efficient operation of the Labor inspectorate and the Union in their
monitoring of the implementation of labor laws and protection of the rights of workers.

Besides, the working environment and working conditions are too stringent in the enterprises
inhibiting the employees such as the regulations on working time, rest time, personal hygiene,
water drinking, sick leave, and sanctions in case of violation, ... After a time working with such
a high pressure, the employees are no longer physically fit and agile to continue their work,
and this is the time for the employees to face the risk of being laid off.
Usually we work 8 hours per day, and the same for Sunday. For a regular working day, we go home
at 5:00 pm. For an overtime working day, we finish at 8:00 pm, then we have to catch the bus and
get home at 9:00pm. We have dinner, take a shower, then go to bed at 11:00 pm. On the next day,
we catch the bus at 5:45 am to go to work. When there is a lot of work, we are forced to work
overtime, even on Sunday. (Focus group discussion of electronic workers 3, Dong Nai Province)

Migrant workers evaluate their working environment:


10.70%

16.90%

- too strict regulation on working time: 40,4%


- too tight management and control during working time: 39,1%;

CN chnh thc CN ngnh


may mc
in t

Tng

CN phi
chnh thc
may mc

CN xy
dng

L bn
hng rong

Legal and practice barriers to migrant workers in the formal sector


Articles 34 and 35 of the Constitution amended in 2013 stipulate that all citizens are guaranteed
the right to social protection, have the right to work, to choose their career, employment
and workplace; wage earners are ensured fair working conditions and safety. The support

18

The lack of binding regulations to enforce the law on ensuring stable employment, leading
to the risk of employees loosing their jobs and violating their labor contract for migrant
workers in the formal sector. The unilateral termination of definite term labor contract
without prior notice of the employer has a too low level of sanction and the violators are
only sanctioned when the employee starts a lawsuit, while the ability to start a lawsuit is
very limited.

Bo co tm tt: Ro cn php lut v thc tin i vi ngi lao ng di c trong tip cn an sinh x hi

The migrant workers are not yet highly aware of the law and the labor law, their bargaining power
is limited and they have a stereotype of being vulnerable. Therefore, when facing the unilateral
breach of the employer to terminate employment, the migrant workers accept easily.
Because we have only a little education, our legal knowledge is somewhat limited. Now we are
poor, so we are happy for getting an employment (FGD of Khmer construction workers, HCMC ).
The roles and responsibilities of the labor inspectorate and Labor Unions in the monitoring of

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19

labor law enforcement and protecting the rights of workers are not high, not protective for
the migrant workers rights. The research findings showed that when the migrant workers face
the employers unilateral termination of their labor contracts, there is no support from the labor
inspectors and Labor Union.
The Labor Union members are also the companys workers, therefore they cannot protect
the workers. We do not trust the companys Labor Union, therefore we always keep silent and
accept as we do not know who to seek advice (FGD, garment workers, Dong Nai Province).
Legal and practice barriers for migrant workers in the informal sector

Migrant workers cannot access the loan program to create jobs. For migrant workers in the
informal sector, due to the precarious nature of their jobs, there is a high percentage of seasonal
employment (59% of the sample of migrant workers in the informal sector). Their employment
depends on objective factors such as the weather, market, social environment, etc., while it is
difficult for them to access support policy of the local government. With their characteristics as
migrant workers, it is difficult for them to be considered to get a loan as they do not meet the
conditions of loan guarantees and the loan approval procedures are based upon their residential
status from the household registration book.

under the market mechanism with State management. The purpose is to gradually ensure that the
employees can live on their wages and the minimum wages should meet the basic needs of the
employee and familys living standards.
In fact, the income level of migrant workers in the formal and informal sectors are lower than
the minimum requirements of the basic living standard. The qualitative and quantitative research
findings show that the basic income level of most migrant workers does not meet their minimum
living needs. Basic monthly wage of construction workers was highest (VND 4.7 million), then
the hawkers one (4.2 million), electronic workers and informal sector garment (4 million) and the
formal sector garment workers have the lowest wage (3.8 million) (Refer to Chart 3). The migrant
workers average basic salary is VND 4.2 million per month. However, female migrant workers
basic income is lower than male ones (85% in the case of formal workers and 76% in the case of
street vendors). Still the way to attain an average income which is equal between men and women
migrant workers is long.

Chart 3. Average income from the basic salary, allowances, and total income per capita
/ month by industry

The Labor Code 2012 has many new features to ensure the harmonization of the rights and
interests of employees and employers. Another new form of progress in this Code is that it
targets the group of informal workers such as: the group of home helpers, with the regulation
indicating that the employer has to sign a labor contract to ensure the conditions for
food and accommodation as well as to pay social insurance and health insurance for the
employees self-purchase. The Employment Law expands the target groups participating in
the employment insurance, including people working under labor contracts or contracts of
indefinite or definite term limits which are at least one month or more; employees participate
in the employment insurance... ie are entitled to participate in unemployment insurance in
case of they lose their jobs. Thus the provisions in the Employment Law are the cradle for
the current freelance and unskilled workers.
However, the law has not yet come into practice, due to the lack of detailed guidelines, lack
of inspection regulations, close monitoring of the involved state agencies; some eligibility
requirements are still irrational as above mentioned in the credit program for employment
generation as a typical example. Or as the Decree 196/2013 / ND - CP dated Novermber 21, 2013
prescribed that the job placement center provides assistance for employees when they move
from this locality to another one to work . However, the Decree does not specify the support
mechanisms and the amount of the support allowance.
The urban management policy focuses only on cleaning the urban areas without adequately
taking into account the migrant workers needs on livelihood. The street vendors are always
chased away and they have precarious working environment. This goes against the spirit of the
Employment Law aiming to ensure the right to work, the workers freedom in the choice of the
workplace.

1.2. Ensuring of minimum income


According to Article 90 in the Labour Code of 2012, the minimum wage is the lowest pay for
employees who do the simplest work, in normal working conditions and has to ensure minimum
living needs of employees and their families. Resolution of the Eleventh Party Congress has set
out the reform of wage policy, under which wages must be regarded as the price of labor, formed

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Bo co tm tt: Ro cn php lut v thc tin i vi ngi lao ng di c trong tip cn an sinh x hi

Legal and practice barriers

The minimum wage does not meet the minimum need.


Although the minimum wage policy aiming to meet the employees and their families minimum
living needs and but in fact, the current minimum wage can only guarantee 60% of the employees
standard of living (Pham, T.H.C, 2014). The provision on the minimum wage is still low while the
employees negotiating ability is limited and detrimental to them, resulting in many businesses

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clinging to the minimum wage to low down the employees wages.


The migrant workers have to pay double expenses because they lack of permanent residence
registration at the destination, particularly the expenses for basic social services such as health,
education, housing, electricity, and clean water are much higher than the locals ones (section 4
below will mention this with more details). The cost of living increases while the migrants income
does not commensurately increase. This difficulty is the most repeatedly mentioned by the migrant
workers group (ActionAid, UKaid & Oxfam, 2012).
While migrant workers have to pay several regular expenses, local people did not have to. For
example, the house/ room rental, child support remittances, travel expenses to the countryside
for visiting their family (accounting for 40.3% of the migrant workers total expenditure at the
destination). Spending on daily food accounts for 33.4%; expenditure for other minimum living
needs such as health care, education, clothing, electricity, water... take up a very low percentage
(the total of these costs accounted for only 10.7% of total expenditure) (Refer to Chart 4).
Therefore, migrant workers in the formal sector have no choice but to work overtime as well
as to try their best to complying with the internal regulation of their enterprise, to minimize all
kinds of disregard (avoid to get other kinds of allowance deducted for punishment) in order to
get additional sources of income. The migrant workers of the informal sector do not obtain any
subsidy nor additional income beyond wage. The income from hawkers is often low and unstable,
so their life is even more difficult than the migrant workers of the formal sector. And both migrant
workers groups try to minimize the expenses for their personal and for their childrens ones.

Chart 4. Percentage of migrant workers regular expenses at the destination

Box 1: Comparison between the minimum income with the expenses for basic
needs
Case 1: Migrant workers of the formal sector
A family consists of a couple and two young children living in Dong Nai Province. The
wife is electronic worker and the husband is bricklayer; they live with their two young
children, one child attends in grade 1 and the younger one attends kindergarten.
The basic salary of the couple is about VND 7.000.000 per month; while the households
spending for their basic needs is VND 7.900.000 per month (not including medical costs
every month yet, as their two young children often get a mild illness such as cough,
runny nose and their common treatment is the medication bought from a pharmacy
which cost about VND 30,000 per treatment). The computerisation show that the basic
salary can only meet 88.6% of their basic needs, excluding the cost of health care.
Case 2: Migrant workers of the informal sector
A family with a couple and 4 children. The eldest child attends Polytechnic University
at Bien Hoa City, the second child is in Grade 11, the third child is in Grade 10 and the
youngest one is only 3 years old.
The husband works as security guard and earns VND 5 million. The wife selling discarded
materials and earns VND 5 million.
Their monthly expenditure for basic needs: Food: 6 million, Housing: 1.2 million, the
tuition is free for the poor household with good students, but they have to pay to
extra tutoring for the children: VND 2.5 million. The total expenses are VND 9.5 million,
excluding the cost of other basic needs.
To earn money for their childrens education, the couple have to put their residential
registration book in a pawn shop at the countryside, they also borrow VND 60 million
from the bank, but up to present it ten years later, but they cannot yet repay the capital
of their debt. So, now they hope that their children will repay later on when they are
grown up. At present, they pay VND 750,000 for the bank monthly interest.

1.3. Poverty reduction


The migrant workers are excluded from poverty reduction programs. If one based on national
poverty threshold which is VND 6 million/person/year or less for a poor household and from 6
million to 7.8 million/person/year for near poor household in urban areas (Prime Minister, 2011),
therefore there are no migrant workers belonging to poor nor near poor households in the research
sample, in order to be eligible to the support policy. This poverty line is too low compared to the
reality and many local areas such as HCMC no longer follow the national poverty line, these cities
set up their own poverty line which is much higher than the national standard.
The poverty line of HMCMC defined for the years 2014-2015 is from VND 16 million/person/ year
or less for a poor household and from over 16 million to 21 million/person/year for near poor
households. Even with this poverty threshold, if one calculates the average total income per
migrant workers household, including their dependents living in HCMC, there is only 1% of the
households is the poor one and 1% is near-poor. However, this does not mean that they are not
poor because they still have many dependents in their households living in rural areas (31.9%
with married migrant workers number who have children under the age of 15 living in rural areas,
besides, there are also their parents who are the elderly that are not yet computerised), and a
part of their income is transferred to the countryside to spend there. If one adds these people,

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Chng trnh Quyn Lao ng ca Oxfam ti Vit Nam

23

the average income of the migrant workers household will be significantly lower. However, this
feature has not been considered because the current programs assessing the poor households
do not include migrants. Thus, migrant workers are implicitly excluded from the poverty reduction
program.
Although HCM is an area which has many poverty reduction policies, with much more dynamic
and open to long-term temporary residents, the cases of migrant workers receiving loans from
poverty reduction programs are very limited, including those holding temporary residence books
for several reasons: (1) Most of the migrant workers have no stable residence, they just rent a room
and register under a collective list done by their landlords. (2) To receive a temporary residence
book, the temporary residence applicants must have proof of their ownership of a house or a legal
residence; if their house is a rented one, or borrowed or agreed by an individual for a temporary
stay, they must get a consent in writing from the owners (Article 30, Law on Residence 2006), while
in reality few people meet this condition. The worry about the possibility of loan repayment for
people who do not have house ownership in the local areas makes this best potential target group
not accessible to loans from the poverty reduction program of the city3.

The loans are mainly for poor households having permanent residence, because the households
with temporary residence status have no stable housing , they can go elsewhere and the local
organizations cannot ask them to repay the loan capital. (IDI, staff of the Womens Union, HCMC)

Box 2. Many migrant workersin the survey belonged to the group of


multidimensional poor in the viewpoint of their accessibility to basic social
services:
Health care: 76.4% of migrant workers in the informal sector and 43.3% of migrant
workers household members in general do not have health insurance.
Education: only 7.7% of migrant children going to public day care centers, and 12% of
migrant children attend public kindergartens. There are 21.2% of migrant children aged
between 6 -14 who do not attend school.
Housing: 85% of migrant workers live in rental rooms, 5.3% stay at factory, 9.5% live in
the home of another person, and only 0.2% own a residence. Although the average floor
area is 6.6 m2 per capita, ensuring a minimum of 5 m2 as required by the government,
there are 12.3% of housing which are simple houses and temporarily built houses.
Electricity and water: 37% use drilled water wells. More than 2/3 of migrant workers in
the research pay almost three times higher than ordinary price for water and and twice
higher price for electricity compared with the local permanent residents.
Latrine: 40.9% of migrant workers use simple latrines and 0.2% do not have toilets.
Information: in the formal sector 87.3% of migrant workers do not know where to obtain
information and advice on labor laws and social insurance.

1.4. Best practices on support for migrant workers on job creation,


insuring a stable income and poverty reduction
With the approach of new multidimensional poverty measurement approved by MOLISA4 , a large
percentage of migrant workers belonged to poor households. According to a pilot evaluation
using multidimensional poverty assessment and sustainable poverty reduction in HCMC, including
the temporary residents from 6 months or more, these temporary residence households have a
multidimensional poverty rate 3 times higher than the permanent residence ones (HCMC Peoples
Committee , 2015 , p.18 ) .

There are a number of organizations who actively support the employees to


access information and employment opportunities through direct service provision
o r
organization for migrant workers. The job placement referral services which are suitable, with
good quality , free of charge or cheaply provided , are very important factor for the migrant
workers access . The migrant workers are provided with employment information , job skills or
business skills improvement through self-help groups , clubs , or cooperatives. These initiatives
create favorable conditions for migrant workers to enhance their position . The migrant workers
are gathered together to learn , to improve their understanding of their rights , increasing their
autonomy and confidence , increasing their team spirit and integrating them with the communities
at their destination.

Model on linking the supply and demand of labour of the Employement Service Center

3
The preferential credit sources for poor households and near poor households consisting
of (1) the City Fund for Poverty Reduction; (2) the Credit Bank for Social Policies: the program
316, loans for poor households to develop production and business; Loans for students; Loans
for Labor export; Loans for clean water & sanitation; (3) The national fund for employment; (4)
Fund 156; (5) CEP; (6) Credit Union Fund for Women.
4
According to the overall scheme Conversing the poverty measurement from single
to multi-dimensional method for the period of 2016 - 2020 approved by the Prime Minister
upon the Decision No. 1614 / QD-TTg dated 15/9 / 2015: besides the indicator on income to
measure the poverty line upon the policy, there are also 10 different indicators to measure the
peoples access to basic social services (health, education, housing, water and sanitation and
information); http://www.molisa.gov.vn/vi/Pages/chitiettin.aspx?IDNews=23458

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Bo co tm tt: Ro cn php lut v thc tin i vi ngi lao ng di c trong tip cn an sinh x hi

The Youth Employment Service Center of Ha Noi is under the management of the Ha Noi Communist
Youth Union. It has 25 years of operation on providing support to young people with rich and
effective forms of activities. A special feature of the center is no discrimination between the
people having permanent or temporary residence. The center organizes free job placement for
the employees. The center also provides advice and free training on urban integration for the
participants who are disadvantaged and vulnerable such as young people living with poverty,
disability or drug addiction rehabilitation. To connect labor demand to labor supply, the Center has
regular contacts with more than 600 businesses and is a reliable address for a number of social
and non-governmental organizations to link together and to send their needy people to the Center
to receive training , career advice , and job placement. Thanks to this way, the Center has so far
introduced employment to many young people, for example, in just the first 6 months of 2015, the
Center provided employment advice to 13,167 people; introduced employment to 3,317 people;

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25

provided vocational training advice to 1,984 people; and provided career advice to 30,000 people5.
Model of the migrant workers cooperative New Day: migrant workers empowerment and
capacity building
The migration cooperative New Day was officially established and operated since 2011 under
the Law on Cooperatives and Business Law, with the initial founders group of 15 people and the
technical support of LIGHT. The cooperatives group of founders has contributed an initial capital
of VND 300,000 per person in order to express the members commitment. The cooperative has
achieved its purpose in linking the migrants, helping each others to develop the economy based
on the creation of endogenous resources, capacity building to create jobs and sustainable
livelihoods for migrant workers.
The cooperative consists of 5 groups of occupations: motorbike drivers group, trolley/ porters
group, the fruit vendors/ hawkers group, home helpers/maids group and husbandry group.
Cooperative members meet monthly. The members of the cooperative receive training from LIGHT
on planning and implementing small business plans, and also the pilot management of a small
support fund for the home-based businesses. These small funds are revolving and have so far
supported over 30 times to households doing business with a loan amounted from VND 1,000,000
to 4,000,000 per business model. The funds have helped some migrant households or individuals
to better develop their economy. Besides, cooperative members are also actively involved in a
number of community communication activities, capacity building for other immigrants who live in
Phuc Xa Ward, Ba Dinh District, Ha Noi City Capital.
This is a model of a new approach to migrant workers, especially women migrant workers with
lessons drawn upon on the empowerment and capacity building for migrant women workers
through the organization, rather than for each individual separately. This creates a collective
dynamic based on business and trade cooperation, focusing on 3 pillars: the individual promotion,
sustainable family livelihoods and contribution to the communities which are their places of
departure and destination.
Model of women home helpers club: cooperation between the local Womens Union (WU) and a
social organization (GFCD)
GFCD has worked with local partners who are the Woman Unions of Tan Dinh and Da Kao Wards in
HCMC as well as Quan Hoa and Tan Nghia Wards in Ha Noi to establish the clubs of female domestic
workers. Each club has about 25 regular participants, comprising mostly women working as
domestic workers. Some clubs also mobilize the participation of women homeowners, thereby,
create cohesion and better understanding among each other, between employees and employers.
Once a month, clubs organize regular meeting on Saturday or Sunday, with the topics and contents
based on the needs and choices of their members. Besides the diversified contents of activities
of the clubs, GFCD and its partners integrate the communication and dissemination of legal
knowledge related to domestic help work for both helpers and homeowners, mobilize the home
owners and the helpers to sign a labor contract to create a better legal basis for the rights of both
parties; and mobilize domestic workers to purchase voluntary health insurance for having better
health care conditions and better guarantee in terms of social protection.
The Clubs activities has achieved some results, such as the impact of women domestic workers
club at Dakao Ward, District 1 since its establishment up to present is: 17 employers purchased
health insurance / social insurance for their domestic workers, more than 10 employers financially
contributed to 50% of the health insurance premium, mobilized benefactors to help two domestic
workers , who are mothers of young children and who suffer of serious diseases; 3 other domestic
workers received a loan for starting small business.
5 http://vieclamthanhnien.vn/tintuc/tinchitiet/tabid/111/Id/134/Trung-tam-Gioi-thieu-viec-lam-Thanh-nien-HaNoi-Doi-moi-sang-tao-cung-tuoi-tre-Thu-do-lap-than-lap-nghiep.aspx

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Bo co tm tt: Ro cn php lut v thc tin i vi ngi lao ng di c trong tip cn an sinh x hi

Thanks to joining the club, I better understand about workers rights and the roles of domestic
workers, we can have some days off on the occasion of holidays, and Tet (Lunar New year), if we
work on Sundays, we should be paid more money, we have health insurance purchased by our
employer, etc At the same time, I can see my professional skills improved, and my relationship
with the employer is also improved... (Mrs. DTTL, 52, club members, interviewed by telephone,
September 2015)

2. SOCIAL INSURANCE
The survey results showed that on the one hand almost all the migrant workers in the formal
sector have social insurance and unemployment insurance (97.8%). On the other hand, almost no
migrant workers in the informal sector have these kinds of insurance (99%). This shows that social
insurance for workers in the informal sector has not yet been made and despite a change in policy
in order to attract the participation of voluntary social insurance of employees, this policy has not
yet come to life.

2.1. Compulsory social insurance


According to Article 3 of the Social Insurance Law of 2006, compulsory social insurance is a
form of social insurance which employees and employers have to participate in. Specifically, the
employees who participate in the compulsory social insurance are employees working under
labor contracts with a term of 3 full months or more and the labor contracts which do not specify
the time limit prescribed by the labor legislation; employees, cooperative members, managers
work and receive salaries and wages according to the labor contracts for 3 full months or more in
cooperatives, unions of cooperatives set up and operating under the Cooperative Law.
The provisions on compulsory social insurance under the Social Insurance Law and the documents
guiding the implementation have some progressive points such as: i) The regulation is relatively
consistent on the items of compulsory social insurance for employees; ii) Gradual adjustment of
the amount of compulsory social insurance contributions and entitlements to ensure revenue and
expense balance of the social insurance; iii) Adjustment of compulsory social insurance payments
to ensure the principle of the amount of benefits is calculated on the basis of social insurance
premiums and seniority of participation in the social insurance; iv) To gradually expand the
categories of participants in compulsory social insurance, and increase the amount of benefits
from social insurance for employees to ensure that all employees are entitled to social insurance
when they have their income reduced or lost.
Legal and practice barriers to compulsory social insurance
Many migrant workers are not obtained social insurance since they do not have labor contract or
only have short term contract or even verbal agreement
-
Many employers do not sign labor contracts as prescribed by the law and avoid their
responsibility for the employees. While the migrant workers are already vulnerable due to their
new environment and displaced from their familiar social networks, they easily accept to work
without labor contracts and to get disadvantages in terms of non-wage benefits. In this study,
100% of migrant workers in the construction section and 50% of migrant workers in the garments
have only verbal contracts.
-
Under the Articles 85 and 86 of the Social Insurance Law, the compulsory social insurance
contributions are calculated on a monthly salary basis. Many employers have relied on this provision
to sign two different contracts, a labor contract with the minimum wage used for the compulsory

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Table 3. Percentage of workers participate in social insurance and unemployment


insurance by sector

social insurance; and another contract with the actual salary paid to the employee. Once retired,
the employees receive very low benefits based on the signed contract with the minimum wage.
-
Decree 95/2013 / ND-CP stipulating sanctions for violations of the provisions of labor and
social insurance. However, the penalties provided in this Decree are so low that employers are
willing to pay the fines to avoid implementing the regulation. For example, to pay a fine of up to VND
2 million for not signing a labor contract for 10 employees, the employer would be more profitable
than to pay 18% equivalent of 10 monthly salaries for compulsory social insurance of these 10
employees. Or with the maximum fine of 75 million for not paying compulsory social insurance and
unemployment insurance, the employers in businesses using hundreds of workers are willing to
pay a fine to avoid spending much larger amounts on performing this duty.
-
Besides, the lack of labor inspectors and investigator in labor relationship for the
monitoring and supervision toward the law application and enforcement is also a main reason by
which the employers more easily bypass the legal gaps.6

2.2. Voluntary social insurance


Article 2 of the Social Insurance Law 2006 indicates the category of participants in social
insurance, employees of the informal sector are subject to voluntary social insurance (work
without labor contract, less than 3 month labor contract, self employment, etc.). The fact that
workers in the informal sector having been cited into the amendment of Social Insurance Law is a
new advancement in ensuring a universal social security for all people. Also this law indicates that
the document to be submitted for social insurance records is a voluntary personal declaration form
which is not based on the residence registration status. Therefore, migrant workers may participate
in voluntary social insurance to receive pensions and death benefits at their destination.
-
The Social Insurance Law amended in 2014, entered into force on January 1st, 2016,
expresses many improvements from the Social Insurance Law in 2006 in the implementation of
social insurance for migrant workers. The category of participants in compulsory social insurance
is extended to all contract workers from one month or more of any employers. This provides an
opportunity for workers in the informal sector who do seasonal work (including domestic workers,...),
workers in small home-based businesses can participate in social insurance. The bylaws system
provides detailed regulation and guidelines for the implementation of some articles of the Law
on Social Insurance and these legal documents are now adjusted, amended and supplemented.
Compulsory social insurance has not completely reached the migrant workers in the informal
sector
The research findings showed that 99% of migrant workers in the informal sector have no social
insurance.

Formal sector

Informal sector

No insurance at all

1.9%

99.0%

Social insurance
(incl.pension)

97.8%

0.0%

Unempoyment insurance

97.8%

0.0%

Legal and practice barriers to voluntary social insurance

Firstly, the communication on social insurance policy is ineffective. The related stakeholders,
including employers and migrant workers are not interested in learning and understanding of
voluntary social insurance. The migrant workers are not interested yet and do not understand
the benefits of social insurance. The qualitative interviews showed that the migrant workers in
the informal sector hardly know anything about the voluntary social insurance and are indifferent
to this type of social insurance. For the bricklayers or hawkers, the voluntary social insurance is
too strange. Their common thinking is Its too far away to care for the future, I am only aware of
my current income, they do not want to spend an additional significant sum for social insurance
contributions while they have to struggle to make money to cover their daily living. No one said
anything about social insurance, and I go to work to earn a monthly of around VND 4 or 5 million, it
is not enough to cover my needs, I have no money to pay the social insurance. (IDI of a bricklayer,
HCMC). So far I do not know anything about social insurance, I only know how to do my selling work
for my daily living, I save a little sum for raising my children (IDI, of a hawker, Dong Nai Province).
Secondly, some employers who are owners of individual home-based business households do not
even know these regulations. Most of them said that they only need to fulfill tax obligations and
various kinds of contributions, to ensure the basic requirements of fire safety, and not to cause
security problems, then they will not get into trouble with the local authorities. This shows that
the legal policy information system in the informal sector currently is not under governments
control, and does not really come to life.
Thirdly, the local authorities did not supervise the payment of social and unemployment money,
and if so, they just remind lightly. This situation leads to a lack of compulsion in practice so that
the employers know well the Law on Social Insurance, but do not follow the law.

6
In the whole country, there are currently 455 inspectors of the labor sector, in which the
task force on workplace safety comprises of around 50 cadres. In Ha Noi, there are only 17 labor
inspectors and about 3 labor safety high professionals. (http://nilp.org.vn/sp/id/589/Thanhtra-lao-dong-Thieu-va-khong-chuyen)

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Fourthly, voluntary social insurance premiums are beyond the migrant workers capacity in
comparison with their income in the informal sector. In case the migrant workers in the informal
sector wants to buy voluntary social insurance, they must pay 22% of their income. With their low
and unstable income and most of the income being spent on basic needs, such a sum for paying
voluntary social insurance is not small for the migrant workers. The research team explored the
possibility of the migrant workers to buy voluntary social insurance and it was found out that they
are not ready yet.
Fifthly, the regulation on voluntary social insurance is still inadequate in terms oflegislation: The
participants to voluntary social insurance are not elgible the access to the same entitlements

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as the ones of the social insurance system. While the compulsory social insurance covers the
empoyees medication in case of sickness, maternity, labor accidents, occupational diseases,
pension and survivorship; the voluntary social insurance covers only two items which are pension
and survivorship; the remaing items such as sickness, maternity, labor accidents and occupational
diseases which are very practical for the lives of the workers in the informal sector in general and
femal workers in particular. This limitation causes many workers in the informal sector to not wish
to participate in voluntary social insurance .

2.3. Unemployment Insurance


Unemployment Insurance aims to replace or partly compensate the workers income in case of
unemployment, support workers in terms of vocational training, job retention and job placement
on the basis of paying to the Unempoyment Insurance Fund (Employment Act 2013, Article 3).
After more than 5 years of implementation of Unemployment Insurance policies, the number of
participants in unemployment insurance has increased but is still a very small proportion of the
total number of employees. The benefit entitlements regulation of the unemployment policy has
not yet really attracted the participants to unemployment insurance.
Legal and practice barriers
- The eligibility for unemployment insurance is difficult to meet. It is difficult for the migrant
workers to fully meet the four conditions of unemployment insurance beneficiaries: 1. Upon
termination of the labor contract (unless the employees unilaterally termination of the labor
contract is unlawful; the employee is entitled to a monthly pension or invalidity allowance); 2. In
case the employee has completed his/ her full payment of 12 months or more during the 24 month
period prior to the termination of the labor contract for indefinite or definite term labor contracts.
For seasonal labor contract or employment with a term of full 3 months to less than 12 months, the
employee must fully pay unemployment insurance for 12 months during the 36 month period prior
to the termination of the labor contract; 3. The employee has submitted his/ her application on
unemployment benefits to the employment service centers; 4. Not yet find an employment after 15
days of submitting of unemployment benefits application, except for some cases such as: serving
military service; detention or serving a prison term,... In these four conditions, there are two
conditions in derogation of unemployment insurance benefits to employees: fully completed the
payment of unemployment insurance for 12 months or more during the 24 month period prior to
termination labor contract and has submitted his/ her application documents on unemployment
allowance at the employment service centers.
- The method of calculating the financial allowance of unemployment insurance causes inequality
between the low income employees and the high income ones. This has not yet secured the equal
redistribution of income. The support level of 1% from the government budget in proportion with
the income causes great disparity between the highest income and lowest income employees.
This will create advantages for high-income employees to receive higher benefits when being
unemployed. Specifically, an employee earning VND 15 million per month participanting to the
unemployment insurance will receive of 1% which amounts to VND 150,000, while an employee
with a monthly salary of VND 1.5 million will only receive a monthly sum of VND 15,000.

2.4. Best practices on the support to access to social insurance


The support models for workers to access to social insurance focus on improving the migrant
workers legal knowledge, providing capacity building to the workers on negotiating skills ,
agreement with their employer and proposal to the government, in order to better protect their

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interests at their residence and workplace. The employees with better knowledge on negotiating
skills will share their knowledge and skills with their friends and colleagues. This is a very effective
method to spread knowledge and experience among employees in the conditions of limited
resources. In case of necessity, the lawyers will provide free of charge support , to protect the
rights of employees at the labor court. These are the activities that the employees cannot afford
as they are very costly.
Model of mobile legal advice for migrant workers of the Center for Legal Advice of Dong Nai Labor
Union (DNLAC)
The project on Enhancing access to information and legal advice for migrant workers in Dong Nai
province implemented by DNLAC with the support of Oxfam from 2010 to 2014 and still sustains
so far. The special characteristics of the project is the model of workers core group with about
400 core group workers who are able to actively organize mobile legal advising programs , direct
communication and legal advising for employees.
The Workers Core Group has been trained the knowledge of the labor law, social insurance,
health insurance, Labor Union, legal aid skills, communication skills, life skills, gender equality,
reproductive health, good life organizing skills, love, marriage and family... After training courses,
the Workers Core Group has shared their legal knowledge, organize entertainment and legal aid
programs for workers in companies and the boarding houses. With this method, the provincial
Labor Union has established and expanded the Workers Core Group and legal aid sessions to the
workers intensive residential areas. The workers core group is also the nucleus of operations of
worker support houses at the three areas of Bien Hoa City, Nhon Trach district and Trang Bom
district, Dong Nai Province. DNLAC has connected with the network of core groups of workers via
two-way communication system and regular meetings. Thanks to these systems all information
sharing from the Center to the core groups of workers or vice versa has been easily and timely
disseminated. i
The biggest efficiency of the core group of workers network is the replication and sustainability of
the communication and legal aid activities. Being an extended arm of the lawyers, the advisers of
DNLAC and Labor Federation of Dong Nai province, the core group of workers contributes greatly
into bringing legal knowledge, life skills to every boarding house, every industrial park areas and
significantly increases the number of workers who successfully defend their rights and interests.
Legal Aid Center No.1 of Ha Noi and its Model of support to workers to protect their rights at
their job loss
Being one of the 12 centers for legal aid and judicial support belonging to the Viet Nam Judicial
Support Association for the Poor (VIJUSAP), the Legal Aid Center No.1 of Ha Noi City provides
free legal aid services and legal support to the poor, migrant workers and other disadvantaged
groups. The center has 20 permanent officers, including lawyers and experts trained from the
social sciences such as jurisprudence, sociology, psychology, journalism and communications;
and a network of collaborators including 250 lawyers of VIJUSAP system and the Hanoi Lawyer
Association.
According to the Center Director, Lawyer Hoang Van Giang, There were many cases in protecting
workers social insurance benefits, within the overall support of the Center to the workers last
year, especially in December 2014, the center initiated an administrative lawsuit for a couple
living in Thanh Hoa province and work at the Dai Tu- Long Bien Industrial Zone. After signing a 12
month contract, the company producing automotive spare parts moved to a new location and
only bring with the company the main workers who are its relatives and fire all the remaining
workers with yearly labor contracts. When the Center receives the request on legal aid, and the
consultation documents, the Center contacted right away with the company. At first the company
did not cooperate. Then the Center helped the workers to sue in law court. After the successful
first conciliation session: the company must pay to the employee a pension fund of 4 months of

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the surveyed people are not eligible to.


In the survey sample, there are only 2 people receiving social assistance from local authorities.
Both persons are migrants, one is a person with a disability living on selling lottery tickets, the
other person having received no regular social assistance at all, although their lives are precarious
and specifically difficult.
Some migrant workers children under 6 years of age do not access to health insurance. Although
they are eligible to free health insurance, there are still 13.2% of children under 6 years old living
without health insurance. The reasons are that some children do not have birth certificates, their
parents are busy at work and have no time to go to apply for their childrens health insurance or they
lack the information because they are not adequately concerned and provided with instructions.
Box 3. A couple of migrant workers with a 5 years old child work in Dong Nai Province. They said
that their family came from Ca Mau two years ago to earn a living and to pay the debt after they
failed the shrimp raising. To rent a boarding room, they just have to give a copy of identity cards
to the landlord for temporary registration. The husband said, Since my arrival to Dong Nai up to
present, I have not yet seen any local officials or local policeman asking me. There is only the
boarding room owner coming here monthly to collect the room rental. The son has no health
insurance for children under 6 years old, but the father does not know where to apply health
insurance for his son. Currently, his son attends a private kindergarten near the residence but
he does not know whether his son will be eligible for public school or not later on when he will
start his grade 1, I just wait and see (IDI, Garment worker in the formal sector, Dong Nai).

Legal and practice barriers


unemployment. Fortunately, such cases have signed labor contracts. The special point is that
these workers were aware of their rights therefore they took actions such as inviting the press,
the local police officers and the centers lawyer7.

3. SOCIAL PROTECTION FOR MIGRANT WORKERS


3.1. Social protection
Social protection includes the programs and policies to support the marginalized and disadvantaged
groups such as providing financial supports to orphans, people with disability, elderly and lonely
people; supporting for caring the children under 6 years old, people facing serious health problems
and epidemic diseases (people living with HIV, mental health... ) or who encounter unexpected
difficulties as a result of natural disasters or other unforeseen reasons.
In addition to the nationwide social protection policies, many other local policies provide support
to households and individuals falling into extreme poverty by taking budget from local resources.
Only in HCMC in 2014, the City poverty reduction and better off increase program has mobilized
about VND 659 billion of non-refundable fund to support the health insurance purchase, medical
care co-payment, educational assistance, housing, vocational training for poor workers, poverty
reduction capacity building, and other support to poor and nearly poor households (according to
the HCMC Steering Committee on Poverty Reduction Programme, 2015). As the policy on expansion
of beneficiaries is reserved for people holding long-term residence status, almost the majority of

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Migrant workers are not yet considered as beneficiaries of social protection policies at their
destination. Once, because of lack of permanent residence registration and being excluded from
the poverty assessment, most migrant workers and their families living in the city are excluded
from the city social protection programs in the locations where they are living, although they are
facing difficult living conditions and they are much in need of the support for their livelihood.
Migrant workers clearly feel their marginalized status, they are not a full member at the place
where they are residing.

3.2. Best Practices on Social Protection


Many organizations and individuals are now involved in mobilizing community to support the
migrant workers especially in cases requiring unplanned expenses such as weddings or funerals,
holidays, sickness, etc, those which may lead lives of many up side down. There are various forms
of supports through the clubs (such as the workers living in boarding rooms Club , the boarding
rooms owners Club of the Youth Union and Womens Union), the mutual help fund ( such as the
Support Fund for migrant workers of the Youth Union), or the movements (such as the ticket of
love of the Labor Union helping the migrant workers to return home at the occasion of the Lunar
New Year), etc. All of these support forms have helped many migrant workers to struggle with
difficulties. These are very practical initiatives of the community, contributing to the governments
efforts to ensure social protection for the people in need.

In depth interview with Lawyer Hoang Van Giang, July 2015.

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33

The Mutual Fund for Young Workers, the Workers Mutual Support Club, the Cultural
residential area and the Cultural Boarding House Owners Club organized by the Youth Union
of Ho Chi Minh City provide social support to migrant workers.
The Workers Mutual Support Club of the boarding houses mobilizes local community
resources from the core members who are the boarding houses owners, the sweet hearted
individuals and generous businesses. They contribute and set up the Workers Mutual Support
Club in order to pay visit and encourage the workers on the occasion of workers celebration
(birthdays, weddings, births, etc. ) and pay visit to the workers facing sickness or difficulties.
These clubs are really useful and practical playgrounds for young migrant workers staying in
boarding houses, by connecting them to each other, to the Youth Union and the community
resources. Through the support of the Fund on the occasion of their happy or sad moments, so
that young migrant workers and their children have one more secure platform, to partly cover
the dimensions in shortage due to the macroeconomic policies on social security, particularly
when the workers face unexpected shocks which are beyond their ability to fight. In short,
these are the solutions at micro level and short-term social support. However, in the long run,
these solutions contribute into the process for young migrant workers to be integrated in
urban life.
The support fund for migrant workers of the Binh Duong Provincial Youth Union was established
since 2007, is a support platform for young workers with particularly difficult circumstances
such as sickness, occupational accidents, traffic accidents and other cultural and spiritual
activities. Since its establishment, the Fund has supported 416 cases of migrant workers
encountering unexpected difficulties such as sickness, occupational accidents, traffic
accidents and other cultural and spiritual activities, with a total amount of over VND 800
million, for the support from VND 1 to 5 million per case. This is a model of connection to social
resources in order to gather joined hands from many stakeholders through the provincial Youth
Unions roles as connector and coordinator.

4. ACCESS TO BASIC SERVICES OF MIGRANT WORKERS


To ensure an equitable access to basic social services of all the people, the Communist Party and
State have issued policies to support the peoples access to basic social services in education,
health care, housing, clean water, information and communication; including many policies
supporting the migrant workers to access to basic social services. The education policy has
created conditions for migrant children having temporary residence books to be guaranteed to
attend school at their destination. The migrant workers right of access to health care services
is also expanded based upon their temporary residence books. Children can obtain their birth
certificate at the local area where their mother has registered her temporary residence. Children
can also get their free of charge health insurance for children under 6 years of age along with
their birth certificate; the migrant workers can participate to health insurance at their local area
of temporary residence registration.
The State has issued many mechanisms and policies to support housing for workers at the
industrial zones. In order to facilitate migrant workers access to clean water according to the
policy on increasing the proportion of people using clean water, at all migrant workers intensive
areas, there is the policy on increasing the quota of low price of clean water consumption for the
tenants who are migrant workers. The information system is increasingly widespread on many
kinds of mass media which are associated with modern trends such as the social networks on the
internet, mobile phones, etc., besides the traditional media like newspapers, radio, person- toperson communication.

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The migrant workers increasingly have the opportunity of better access to basic social services.
However, the extent of their access is still relatively limited compared to their needs. ActionAid
s research ( 2014) shows that 90 % of migrant workers do not access to basic services of social
security and public policy at their destination. The survey results of the research team show the
migrant workers access to basic social services as follows:

4.1. Education
21.2% of the total 52 surveyed children in the ages between 6 and 14 who follow their migrant
workers parents to live at their destination do not attend school. These are alarming figures
about the status of children without access to education system.
Only 7.7 % of migrant children attend public nursery schools, and 12 % of migrant children attend
public kindergartens. Most children go to private nursery schools and kindergartens or homebased child care groups.

Precarious living conditions of migrant families, the parents lack of time to care for children, and
the surrounding social environment clearly cause adverse effects to the education of migrant
children. Besides, barriers of the school transferring and new school admission procedures are
also main factors mentioned at the survey. There are many reasons for this situation, but main
reasons which are often stated by their parents are as that lack of papers to enroll to school the
child performs badly at school so that he/she does not like schooling and drops out , the child
accompany his/her friends to go to work for earning money .
Migrant children lack of access to public kindergartens and nursery also because some nurseries
and kindergartens do not accept children under 8 months old. The time for keeping children at
these places is on administrative time basis, and there is no overtime work. There are no public
schools close to their residential places. They lack of permanent residential registration so that
they cannot enroll to school. The parents do not know the school application process. Meanwhile,
the migrant workers job characteristics is from dawn to dusk; especially in the formal sector, the
companies working time is very demanding. Thus, although they know that it is more economizing
to send their children to public schools and their children will be better cared for but the workers
have no choice, they have to send their children to the facilities which are near to their residential
place, and have overtime work, because it is more convenient for the dropping and picking of their
children.

Box 4: Migrant children not attending school and staying home alone
Two siblings, the younger sister is 11 years old and the elder brother is 16 years old.
They stay in Can Tho with their grand-parents when their parents come to work at
Dong Nai province. Both siblings are game addicts and drop out from school. Then
the siblings move to live with their parents in Dong Nai. The elder brother works at a
noodle production factory. The younger sister stays home alone. Every day she helps
her parents with the cooking and dish washing.

4.2. Health care


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76.5% of migrant workers in the informal sector do not have health insurance. While 100% of
migrant workers in the formal sector have compulsory health insurance, only 23.5% of migrant
workers in the informal sector have health insurance, of which 12.3% have voluntary health
insurance, 6.7% have health insurance for poor and nearly poor households, and 4.5% have health
insurance for the state priority policy groups. For the remaining members of the migrant workers
households, the percentage of having health insurance is 60.7%, still much lower than the average
coverage of health insurance in the country (67% in late 2014). Even with free of charge health
insurance for children under 6 years old, there are still 13.2% of the surveyed children who did not
have health insurance.
71% of the migrant workers lack access to public health services and only 29% of the migrant
workers benefit from health insurance. The most common method of illness treatment is that the
migrant workers come to pharmacies for medication. The method is widely applied, the highest
percentage is among informal garment workers, construction workers, and street vendors (roughly
80%). Even in the group holding health insurance, 71.2% of them also select this way.
A high percentage of migrant workers in the informal sector cannot afford health insurance. Nearly
half of the migrant workers in the informal sector stated that they have no money to purchase
health insurance. Notably, there is a very high percentage among women (60% of women versus
38% of men). This is the main reason leading to the lack of health insurance among a large number
of hawkers (67.5%).

The barriers against accessing health insurance of the migrant workers and their families are
partly caused by their lack of awareness (no need, no interest), and partly due to their lack of
financial capacity, and partly due to their lack of information, they did not know where to access,
and some migrant workers prefer to purchase health insurance at the city of destination, but as
they have no permanent household registration, therefore they cannot purchase it (Refer to Chart
5).
According to the regulation, the health insurance must be purchased simultaneously for all the
family members. A household of 4 members must pay VND 2.4 million. So, no one can afford this
sum. How can? (FGD, street vendors group 2, HCMC).
policy

The initial medical facility for health examination of the health insurance which is inconvenient
in terms of distance is also a hindering factor for migrant workers not to have health insurance.

For migrant workers in the informal sector, when being asked why he/she does not have health
insurance, up to 43.7% of them stated that they have no demand. For some respondents, the
amount of money to buy health insurance is not a small compared to the income they earn, but
with many others, it is the problem of awareness. Due to the lack of communication about health
insurance, migrant workers do not fully understand their rights and benefits of health insurance,
which is why they said that they have no demand. This percentage is highest among garment
workers in the informal sector (58.5%) and construction workers (46.3%). Even for the children
under the age of 6, those do not not have health insurance, the reasons explained by their parents
are because some do not have birth certificate, the parents are too busy at work and have no time
to go to apply for health insurance for their children or they lack of information, lack of concern,
lack of adequate instructions.

One obstacle for the access to health care services of the migrant workers in the informal sector
is the initial medical facility is inconvenient. Among 115 migrant workers in the informal sector
who have health insurance, only 20.9% of them can register the initial medical facility in the
city in which they live, and the rest still have to register in their original homeland. Therefore,
many migrant workers said that if they purchase the health insurance with the registration for
initial medical facility in the countryside, the health insurance will be rarely used in at the current
residential place; this is the reason that there is no need for purchasing health insurance.

The migrant workers are not fully aware of the benefits of health insurance: the
communication problem

Chart 5. Reasons for migrant workers in the informal sector not to participate in health
insurance

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Inconvenience in terms of time, long waiting time, long distance, complex administrative
procedures, opportunity cost of time for labor to earn a living are the main reasons that led to a
small percentage of migrant workers using health insurance cards.

Chart 6: Reasons for not using health insurance card for health care services

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37

4.4. Clean water


More than 2/3 of the surveyed migrant workers have to pay almost three times as much for the
water bill and twice as much for the electricity bill compared to the local people. Most migrant
workers use tap water as the main source of drinking water (62.6%), while the rest use water
wells. Despite the government preferential policies on water and electricity prices for tenants,
most of migrant workers have to pay higher prices. Compared with the lowest water consumption
rate and price for households living in Ha Noi: the first 10m3 per household per month cost VND
5,020 per m3, in HCMC: the first 4m3 per person per month cost VND 5,300, in Bac Ninh: the first 10m3
per household per month cost VND 7,000 per m3 and in Dong Nai: the first 10m3 per household per
month cost VND 5,800 per m3; therefore the prices paid by the migrant workers at the surveyed
areas are much higher. The price that the migrant workers have to pay for water when using a subwater meter is in average VND 14.9 thousand per m3. Regarding the electricity price, compared with
the price of VND 1,484 per kWh for the first 50 kWh, the amount that the migrant workers have to
pay is more than twice in Hanoi and Bac Ninh, and from 166% to 186% higher in Dong Nai in HCMC
with the average price in case of using the sub-electricity meter is VND 2,794 per kWh.

Chart 7: Comparing average paid price of water with the lowest price as regulation
Opportunity cost is also a factor affecting migrant workers having health insurance but not getting
benefits from it. Especially for the migrant workers in the formal sector, due to strict regulation
of their working conditions, regulation on sick leave... greatly influence the workers selection of
medical treatment methods. Opportunity cost is one of the factors limiting the access of migrant
workers and their families to social protection policies. The migrant workers decide to choose
more convenient and less time-consuming services, in comparison with the services provided by
the health insurance; they accept to spend more money for private health care services than to
use public services with the health insurance.
If you compare the health examination by the private service which costs VND 100 thousand with
the one based upon the health insurance card which is free of charge, you will select the private
service. Instead of waiting for the whole day to get health examination upon health insurance
card, you can use the time of one day to go to work and earn VND 200 thousand. So it is better
to take your child to private health examination after your working day, and the service is much
quicker. Therefore you still earn VND 100 thousand for that day and you are also satisfied with the
quality of health care. (FGD garment workers in the informal sector, group 2, Dong Nai)

4.3. Housing
The survey results show that most migrants types of housing in the study areas are various kinds
of rented room: semi-solid (65.3%), solid (22.4%), temporary (8.3%), and the less-solid having a
very small percentage (4.0%), with a per capita area of approximately 6,6m2 per person, including
toilet and kitchen. The per capita area meets the criteria of 5m2 per person in Ha Noi and HCMC, but
if there are two persons (a couple), the room area of 10m2 room is cramped, and in addition, most
of the migrant workers do their cooking in-room.
Although the State has issued policies to support social housing for workers in industrial parks
and for low-income people in urban areas, as well as issued preferential policies for enterprises
investment in development projects of social housing, most of migrant workers do not access to
housing support policy.

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Legal and practice barriers

Migrant workers access to the utilities preferential price depends largely on their owners
boarding room, house. Migrant workers still do not access preferential policy in terms of utilities
subsidized prices for migrant workers living in rented rooms because there is a binding regulation
that the tenants must sign a contract of 12 months or more. This regulation is not appropriate for
the reality. Most of migrant workers mainly rent small rooms and do not sign a tenancy agreement.
Thus, with this regulation, they will not be eligible to enjoy the utilities price preferential policy.

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39

A common barier against migrant workers and their families in access public services (including
health care, education, housing, clean water and sanitation) is the regulation in the State
budget allocation. The current practice in budget allocation still mainly based on permanent
residents population, which puts more burdens on the locality having many immigrants, increases
presures on technical infrastructures and social facilities. Therefore, local authorities often
prioritize for the citizens having permanent household registered cirtificates in responding to
the overloaded infrastructures and social facilities, more demands than supplies, especially on
health care and education.

4.5. Access to information


The migrant workers access to information, especially on social protection policies that they are
entitled to in the destination area is still lacking and weak. Only a small ratio of migrant workers
received legal information related to their rights at the workplace. The research points out that
only 14,3% of surveyed migrant workers working in garment, electronics and constructions
industries knows about the enterprises collective bargaining agreements, and 27,7% of them
knows about social dialogues organized in the workplace. In addition, migrant workers can access
to information through information boards, that provide some social protection related information
suchs as payment situation of social insurance and health insurance (53,2%), social welfare fund
(29,3%). Except these information sources, many migrant workers especially informal migrant
workers, do know know where to get needed information.
The home appliances often acts as the means for the migrant workers to receive the information,
including mobile phones which are the most common (97.9%) and followed by the television
(52.3%). A significant percentage (22.4%) is the 3G internet and a few one (4.9%) is the computer.
The findings of qualitative research show that most migrant workers use their short spare time
to watch television and some young people working in the formal sector often go online to read
news, chat with each other and go on facebook. This may be the channel to receive and share
information on their real situation of benefiting from the social protection entitlements and the
related policies, although the main goal is still for entertainment. It suggests to diversify and
improve the efficiency of communication on social security policies for different groups through
their individual means of communication.

sector.
The workers, especially the workers of the informal sector, rarely approach my advising center.
Usually, the companies employees have better awareness and understanding therefore they
come here to seek for help to ensure their own interests. (IDI, Director of Legal Advice Center of
Trade Union, July 2015, HCMC).
The lack of integration into the community at the destination is also a barrier to the access to
information. Migrant workers have little opportunity to join social mass-organizations as well as
to participate in community activities in the destination.
The participation in community activities at the temporary residential areas is also a channel through
which the migrant workers can receive information about social security policies. However, the
survey results show that the extent of participation in community activities is very limited. There
are up to 77.2% of respondents said that they do not join any community activities or contacts
with the local authorities where they temporarily reside. Among those who have participated, most
notably approach the Ward Peoples Committee to register for their related births, deaths and to
certify their documents. More than 7% of migrant workers have contacted with the household
group leader, the local police and roughly 4% have participated in neighborhood meetings. The
participation in the activities of the Womens or the Youth Unions at the temporary residential
places are insignificant.
The participation in the mass organizations creates social networks helping the migrant workers to
access to social security policies. However, the survey results show that 94.7% of migrant workers
in the informal sector and 26.3% in the formal sector do not participate in any organization or
group. There are 70.5% of migrant workers in the formal sector join the Labor Unions but there are
no migrant workers in the informal sector participating into this kind of organization. This shows
that the Labor Union has not yet reached out to this target group. The involvement of migrant
workers into other organizations is not significant. Looking from various dimensions, the migrant
workers are excluded from official social relations at the destination, and due to this, they also lost
many opportunities to access to information on social security policies related to their benefits.

Legal and practice barriers


Social protection policies regarding information service are limited in ensuring information
facilities including newspapers, radio and television system. However, information channels,
information quality and responsibilities of information providers have not been targeted.
The Government has many mass media programs for specific population groups, including such
disadvantaged groups as ethnic minorities, farmers, the group with difficulties in hearing and
speaking..., but have not had any formal programs for migrants. Lacking of specific communication
policies is a barrier against migrant workers right to information and access to social protection,
as well as raising public awareness and drawing social attention to this disadvantaged group.
The majority of migrant workers do not know where to access to information and advice on labor
laws and social insurance. While this percentage accounts for 36.4% of the migrant workers in
the formal sector, it is 87.3% of migrant workers in the informal sector. For migrant workers in the
formal sector, most of them know that the trade union at the company, in the industrial zone and
the city labor federation are the places that they can access to information and advice. However,
very little migrant workers in the informal sector are aware of these places. This is a barrier for
workers and this is also the weakness of the communication work, especially in the informal

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Chart 8: Percentage of migrant workers not accessing to information channels,


disaggregated by areas

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Many organizations and individuals have actively supporting migrant workers and their families in
access to basic social services, such as health care, public education for children, buying cheap
priced electricity and clean water, stabilizing renting prices, and getting useful and understandable
legal information. These initiatives do not only provide direct support, but also help to broaden the
existing weak and small social networks of migrant workers and facilitate migrant workers to
participate in formal and informal social networks in order to increasing opportunities to access to
information of social protection policies. The remarkableness of these initiatives is the diversity,
focusing on workers empowerment through information access, as well as mobilizing active
participation of stakeholders including authorities, mass organizations, employers, landlords and
service providers.

The self-help model provides support to migrant workers to access to electricity and water with
the official price stipulated by the HCMC Peoples Committee

The migrant workers quite common mindset of being a temporary guest at their temporary
residential places is also a subjective obstacle for their integration into the local area and access
to social security policies. There are only about 20 % of interviewees said that they have planned
to stay for a long time. About 23.6 % said that they would stay only for some time before return
to the countryside to live and 4.8 % will return to their countryside if there is a stable job. The
remaining cases stated that they have no plan for the future yet, they depend on the real situation
of the current or future periods, they show a less active and unsecured mindset.

With the local situation having a big number of migrant workers who concentrated in numerous
private boarding houses , the government of Linh Trung Ward and Thu Duc District initiated many
models of autonomy, including self-help boarding houses, student -run, worker self-management,
taxi motorbikes autonomy, hotels/motels autonomy, residential groups autonomy, selfmanagement civil defense. These models are widely deployed in 6 sub-wards and 79 household
groups of Linh Trung Ward.
The self-management model focuses on the peoples spiritual and material life, with most of them
being migrant workers. The author of the article Self-management model in Linh Trung in the
series of Stories from the Ward has many years holding in high positions in HCMC Communist
Party, Peoples Committee and Peoples Council, he said that the lessons learned from Linh
Trung Ward is that the care for the people with self-management and promote the role of the
civil organizations, from the Party, the Fatherland Front and other unions have to be tight,
provide communication and encouragement so that people can understand and implement the
government guidelines, policies, laws which are closely associated with their best interests. The
Labor Union must actively monitor the situation and when some issue occurs, the Labor Unions
have to timely inform, provide the direction for the solution, in order to protect the workers legal
rights and legitimate interests, provide guidance to the workers to have correct awareness and
proper action8.
The migrant workers access to education, health care, employment, temporary residence
registration is strengthened through good practices made by the active people at the grassroots
level: the household groups, the sub-ward management board, the Ward Womens Union (WU)
and the neighborhoods
Ms. Tran Thi Hang is currently 68 years old (in 2015). She is a local resident at the Household group
40, sub-ward 4A, Binh Thuan Ward, District 7 , HCMC . She is in charge of many roles at the same
time: Group leader of the Household group 40, Deputy director of the Sub-ward management board
and Head of Sub-ward WU 4A, Deputy director of the job placement management board belonged
to the Ward WU.

4.6. Best practices for the support on the access to basic social
services
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Ms. Hang has given many supports to migrant workers and their families, for example, through her
support, 13 families living in rented rooms who have got their temporary residence registration
book by mobilizing the landlords and other households to sponsor the migrant workers living in the
rented boarding houses so that the migrant workers can register their temporary residence; more
than 20 children entered grade 1 and transfered from the countryside schools; around 20 migrants
successfully purchased voluntary health insurance under the individual category, not household
8

Sd, tr. 44.

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43

category, which is currently the big barrier to prevent them to access. To do this, she explained to
migrant workers on the procedures, the steps to do, and mobilized other stakeholders to join her
in supporting migrant workers.

activities are derived from the strategy on communication for to both employers and employees,
in order to make fastest changes in labor relations and to more effectively protect the rights of
workers.

To help migrants wishing to apply for a job, Ms. Hang together with Ms Thanh - director of the
management board of the job placement club - have introduced employment to about 40 people to
get a job or to work at Tan Thuan Export Processing Zone , or to work as home helpers or cleaners in
Phu My Hung residential buildings or office buildings, etc... She just helps some persons in advance
then later on, these persons will continue to help others, because the workers recruitment
information is posted in all places where they have the demand to recruited more workers. By the
way, the club management board members have been able to increase the number of job seekers
and recruited workers, in which there is a large number of migrant workers.

The channels and media, forms of communication to bring information, knowledge and skills to
migrant workers are very diversified, creative, unique and reflecting the identity of the particular
organization.

In addition, Ms. Hang has mobilized the local Electricity Branch to install a common water meter
for 11 households of migrant workers living in the rented boarding houses. This action has
significantly reduced the expense for clean water. With the migrant workers who face unforeseen
severe illness or death, ... with miserable circumstances, Ms. Hang introduces them to the ward
level mass-organizations, social organizations such as the Red Cross, the Fatherland Front to
seek assistance in cash or in kind.
In brief, Ms. Hang has the enthusiasm, kindness, social responsibility of a citizen and the
connection with local social resources. These are essential factors to provide the efficient and
practical support to migrant workers.
Support to migrants to access to health care services, reproductive health services, safe sex,
through the good practice of the unions, non-governmental organizations: the Institute of
Community Health Development (LIGHT), the Social Work and Community Development Research
& Consultancy (SDRC).
LIGHT is one of the local non-governmental organizations pioneering to accompany and support
the migrants in over 10 years. LIGHT Institute has implemented many programs and intervention
projects aiming at improving the quality of life of migrants, especially in term of health (public
health, reproductive health and sexuality) in combination with empowerment, capacity building
and sustainable livelihoods .
In the south of Viet Nam, SDRC also has similar activities as LIGHT but with more limited project
areas. It aims to provide knowledge and skills on reproductive health care and sexual safety for
migrant workers in the community of Binh Thuan Ward, District 7, HCMC. The main target groups
of its communication activities, education on HIV/AIDS, reproductive health and gender are the
migrant workers residing in the boarding houses of this locality. Also, besides the participation of
the community, the activities of the SDRC also target local staff (ward), the Sub-ward management
board, the boarding house landlords, through training on HIV/AIDS, reproductive health, gender,
communication skills, community development, project management, participatory planning,
team work and team building, communication skills and behavior. The content and duration of
courses are tailored for particular target groups.
Supporting the migrant workers in their accessing to policy information and life skills relating to
social protection, gender and labor rights by the contribution of many social organizations and NGOs.
Most of the social organizations and unions have communication activities aiming at providing to
migrant workers the information related to labor policy, employment and social protection in general.
The communication activities are often take place at the residential areas, focusing on areas where
there are many boarding houses for migrant workers. The most typical activities are the mobile
legal advising activities conducted by DNLAC in Dong Nai, CDI and SDRC . The Legal consultancy
center No. 1 has so far organize legal communication sessions in factories, businesses. These

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(i) Communications through community based organizations (CBOs) such as teams, selfmanagement groups, core groups: Typically, through the core group of migrant workers as the
model of DNLAC in Dong Nai, the autonomous groups of migrant workers in the model of CDI, self
help groups of migrants street vendors and discarded materials sellers in Ha Noi, and New Day
cooperative initiated by LIGHT, Club of female autonomy domestic workers as the models of GFCD
and the ward WU in 2 wards of HCMC and 2 wards of Ha Noi, or the self management club of
young migrant workers living in boarding houses, organized in 38 Cultural boarding houses in HCM
City initiated by the HCMC Youth Union, or through the gathering places like the models of LIGHT,
CDI, DNLAC of Dong Nai, etc. The main forms of communication include direct, verbal, dialogue
(questions and answers, sharing, discussion), integrated with games, theater, projection of film
and video clips, picture exhibitions, etc.
(ii) Communication via the indirect media or through printed materials: the social organizations
and government agencies are increasingly using multiple forms of media to provide fast and
convenient, less expensive information to migrant workers, who are the persons with very limited
time to attend direct or face to face communication. The brochures, flyers, leaflets, questions &
answers handbooks, manuals based on the real situations in order to learn the laws and social
policies are often implemented by many organizations (such as CDI, SDRC, LIGHT, PLD, DNLAC,
legal advising center No. 1 of Ha Noi, etc.) in order to increase the coverage towards the migrant
workers, both in the formal and informal sectors. At the same time, there are other forms of online
communication such as webpages, social networks (such as the webpage laodongxanha.net,
facebook, the legal forum for migrant workers of CDI, migration forum of LIGHT). In parallel, there
are also other forms of online communication such as email, mobile messaging (SMS), free call to
the hotlines 1088, 1900 555 550 of DNLAC Dong Nai and the hotline numbers of CDI, etc.
(iii) Communications through seminars, exhibitions to raise awareness among the stakeholders
on the roles, contributions, advantages and difficulties that are encountered by the migrant
workers; thereby increasing the effectiveness of social mobilization and policy advocacy for
migrant workers, especially social security policies.
Labor rights, human rights of migrant workers are aware of better protection through strengthening
the capacity of negotiation, dialogue, policy advocacy: good practices of social institutions and
Vietnamese NGOs.
The policy advocacy model of CDI: is done mainly through seminars, workshops, based on the
input data from the models of organization and activities of the self-managed group of workers,
workers core groups, mobile legal consultancy, information kiosks and dialogue at the provincial
and city levels. Thereby, CDI can help workers to gather together and to raise the suggestions for
the necessary changes. An illustrative example: On December 13, 2013, in Ha Noi, CDI collaborated
with the labor federation of Hai Phong and DNLAC to organize the seminar on Policies and models
to promote and protect the rights of workers in industrial zones to introduce the good, effective
and easy to be applied initiatives in order to protect the migrant workers rights at the areas where
these three institutions have been deploying their projects (Ha Noi, Vinh Phuc, Hai Duong, Bac
Ninh, Hai Phong, Dong Nai) and plan to get the concerns from the agencies and organizations such
as the General Labor Confederation, Ministry of Labour- Invalids and Social Affairs, the National
Assembly. It is expected that these organizations will acknowledge the suggestions of the support
policy so that the effective pilot initiatives which were already implemented will be able to be

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45

applied and replicated in other regions.


Model of policy advocacy through research, evidence-based assessment of GFCD: to better
advocate for home helpers, GFCD focuses into the assessment research to provide evidence for
the implementation of policy advocacy. From the interventions, GFCD collects information and
problems as well as the evidences related to the decrees and circulars in order to do policy review
and advocacy, such as the Decree 27, Circular 19, the regulations and detailed guidelines for the
implementation of Decree 27.
The policy advocacy to obtain more appropriate and more accessible laws and by-laws for migrant
workers and workers in the informal sector is also implemented by many other social organizations
through consultations in order to collect information, seminars and workshops at national level,
such as the ones conducted by VIJUSAP, PLD, LIGHT, CDI and SDRC.

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Chng trnh Quyn Lao ng ca Oxfam ti Vit Nam

47

CONCLUSIONS AND
RECOMMENDATIONS
Social Protection Strategy 2012-2020 is an effort of the Government of Viet Nam in the
implementation of ILO Recommendation 202 on social protection floor and there have been some
changes in the law to extend the social protection opportunities for workers in the informal
economy. Most migrant workers work in the informal economy. However, the majority of migrant
workers do not have access to adequate and equitable social protection. To ensure the rights and
interests of the migrant workers in accordance with the national social protection objectives in
order to contribute to sustainable development, to enable the migrant workers social protection
to be accessible and equitable, it is necessary to combine simultaneously the overall solutions
in the Social protection strategy with some measures to remove the current barriers. The study
recommends the following eight recommendations:
1. Develop the overall program for migrant workers regarding the socio-economic development
plans, social protection policies and other development policies, in which the migrant workers
are identified as an important part of the workforce
The current practice and development trend show that the migrant workers are a large
population having an increasingly important role in the economy and society. This group has
some characteristic weaknesses, including (i) lack of employment and precarious employment,
low and unstable income; lack of access to basic social services in the destination, (ii) lack of
social support networks at the destination therefore there is a lack of supporting information and
resources in case of risk, (iii) lack of household registration and long-term temporary residence
at the destination therefore many social policies become inaccessible. Thus, the majority of
migrant workers group have multidimensional poverty in urban and industrial areas. This part of
the population has not yet become a direct target group and a focus of development policy in
general and for the social protection policies in particular.
So far, the Government has no comprehensive program for the migrant workers as a large
vulnerable group and needy of governments adequate concern. There is no state agency that
is generally responsible for the migrant workers social policy, compared with the specialized
agencies for other characteristic groups such as ethnic minorities, women, or youth. The social
policies related to the migrant workers are fragmented and these policies do not fully consider the
migrant workers needs. For example, the employment policy focuses only on vocational training
and provides general information on employment without regard to the training of soft skills and
social skills required by the job, so that the migrant workers, with most of them are farmers and just
come from the rural areas, can adapt to their urban and industrial work environment. The poverty
policy focuses only on the local poor upon their household registration, without consideration to
the nearly or relatively poor and multidimensionally poor in the urban and industrial areas, who
are mostly the migrant workers. The loan policies is also based only on the residential registration
status. Or the urban management policy only focuses on cleaning the urban areas without taking
sufficient account on the needs of the migrant workers livelihood who work as hawkers so that
they are chased away and suffer of precarious working environment. The urban authorities in many
areas do not have yet specific policies to support the migrant workers on community integration at
the destination (to disseminate policies, support for temporary residence registration procedures,
encourage to participate into community activities at the local areas). Therefore this makes them
feel marginalized from the urban society and industrial areas. The necessary information for migrant
workers such as the information on social protection policy are not tailored to the characteristics
of the migrant workers, such as they have very long working time, they often change of employers

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and housing, and they lack of social networks at the destination. The policies on planning and
allocation of the government budget did not include the migrant workers, therefore the migrant
workers are make up only a second priority after local residents in their access to basic social
services at the local areas.
Because the migrant workers are an important part of the population and contribute to the
development of the economy but they are belonged to the multidimensional poverty groups with
different characteristics of their vulnerable status. It is necessary for the government to design
a comprehensive policy for migrant workers which is similar to the overall policies for other
disadvantaged groups such as ethnic minorities, women, children. The overall policy on migrant
workers needs to be consolidated, integrated into development policies as an integral part.
This allows the mobilization of resources so that these resources will be regularly allocated to
sustainably ensure the migrant workers social protection.
2. Review and remove the regulations which so far still tie social protection policies with the
household residential registration status because this is one of the biggest barriers for migrant
workers to access social protection
Although the Law on Residence 2006 has many advances in the management of household
residential registration, and prohibits the abuse the regulation on household residential
registration to restrict the rights and legitimate interests of citizens, there are still many
administrative procedures requiring the household residential registration. This hinders the
migrant workers access to social protection policies. The calculation of electricity and water
prices, the housing procedures, the policies supporting the poor, ... are all based on the household
residential registration. These are the clearest evidences of the policy barriers. The current budget
allocation, which essentially remains based on the permanent residential population, increases
the burden for the localities having many migrants, increases the pressure on the technical
infrastructure and social infrastructure, creates the basis for local governments to firstly prioritize
the people with permanent residence in this overload, excess demand of the social infrastructure,
particularly education and health. These policies appear increasingly incompatible with a modern
market economy and with the current social protection policies. It is necessary to allocate the
local budgets based on actual population of residents. A clear division between the household
registration status with the ownership of land and housing, employment, education, poverty
reduction, ... will not only appropriate with the objectives of people-oriented social protection,
but also accelerate the process of integration of Vietnam. The migrant workers have the rights to
equally access to social protection policies. The separation of these policies with the household
registration status will strongly contribute into the implementation of this progressive objective.
3. The Government should implement the co-payment of voluntary social insurance for informal
workers and expansion of voluntary social insurance benefits
Currently, the contributions and entitlements of social insurance are not fair for the workers in
the informal sector (including self-employed workers, unpaid housekeepers, enterprises and
cooperatives workers in the informal sector, workers with oral or short-term contracts in the
formal sector). The state should expand the voluntary social insurance entitlements like the
ones of the compulsory social insurance, instead of the current regulation which has only two
entitlements such as pension and survivorship. Because the short-term entitlements such as
sickness, maternity, labor accidents and occupational diseases are very practical for employees
in the informal sector in general and women workers in particular.
The current labor law system seems not to entirely cover the employees in the informal sector,
except the home helpers group, while the employment is precarious, the income is unstable, and
the risks such as illness, accident ... are always lurking. Therefore, the State should consider to
partly support of the financial budget for workers in the informal sector to access to social and
health insurances.

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4. Having effective mechanisms to ensure the employers to be responsible for co-paying of the
voluntary social insurance
The state should have more effective mechanisms to ensure the workers in the informal sector to
access to social protection, for example, the employers should be responsible for partly paying a
sum which is equivalent to the cost of compulsory social insurance according to the monthly salary
for the workers to purchase voluntary social insurance. So far most workers in the informal sector
seem not to implement this regulation and also there is no monitoring nor sanctions in case of
disregard. India has a good experience this is to establish a welfare fund for construction workers
from 1% of the total investment of all public and private buildings and this fund is independently
managed.
5. Review of some policies to ensure the migrant workers better access to social protection,
for example: i) The minimum wage should actually guarantee a minimum living standard; ii) the
unemployment policies should better facilitate migrant workers to access to, and the method for
calculating the unemployment insurance support shoud be revised for migrant workers to have
fairer benefits
6. Add more details to some policies to ensure the implementation, for example: i) develop
guidelines to implement the Decree 196/2013/ND-CP issued on 21/11/2013, which regulates the
Center for Employment Service in supporting workers when they move from a locality to a new one.
Specifically, it should clearly guide on support mechanisms and support levels; ii) Add decrees and
circulars guiding the implementation of preferential credit programs to create jobs for the migrant
workers at the destination areas in order to facilitate the migrant workers access to loans to
create jobs , stabilize their life at the destination; iii) Provide more guidance documents detailing
the implementation of some provisions in Paragraph 1 , Article 38 , Social Insurance Law 2014,
regulating in details the support target, the amount of support and the time to implement the
policy on supporting the premiums of social insurance for workers participating into voluntary
social insurance
7. Promoting communication activities, diversify the communication forms and channels to
increase the migrant workers accessibility to information, especially workers in the informal
sector
Among all dimensions of poverty, the poverty of information is the biggest, having most impact
to the extent of access to social protection policies of the migrant workers. Due to the lack of
information or inadequate and inaccurate information on the policy and guidelines of social
protection policies, the migrant workers lack of awareness on their rights and interests as well as
the addresses that they can come to seek advice to obtain their rights and legitimate interests.
On the other hand, the lack of information has led to the migrant workers restrictions in the
understanding and performing civic duties at their residing place.
Many documents on the labor law are very complex, while the training, communication, and support
were not yet adequately concerned. Therefore the local officials in charge of policy implementation
have not yet fully understood and applied correctly in reality, and more importantly the employer
and employees are not aware of their responsibilities and rights to the above issues. The labor
law policies still have a huge gap in the economy of the informal sector. Therefore, building a
communication strategy from the central to local levels and mobilizing all organizations, social
organizations to participate in these activities with good practices are an important solution to
help the migrant workers and employees in the informal sector approach and benefit more from
the social protection policies.
It is necessary to improve and diversify the forms, the communication channels for migrant
workers, make them to be appropriate to various migrant workers groups in terms of type of job,
job location, ability to access and use of the modern communication media (such as the internet:

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email, website, facebook, etc.).


It should encourage social organizations to use more communication media, especially the simple,
inexpensive and most accessible to the most disadvantaged groups of migrant workers: such
as the poorest migrant workers group, the less educated one, the busiest for livelihoods, who
are working in the most inaccessible areas. The reality shows that three kinds of communication
media that the most vulnerable migrant workers group can also easily get are as follows: (ranked
in order of most simple, most accessible and cheapest): (i) SMS via mobile phone, (ii) the broadcast
programs via nationwide or local radio stations, (iii) television programs through nationwide or
local major channels.
At the same time, it is good to continue to maintain and develop other forms of online and offline
media which have been implemented by many unions and social organizations, such as: direct
and mobile (face to face) communication at the boarding houses areas, at the enterprises, in
the industrial parks; seminars, conferences and exhibitions; brochures, questions and answers
manuals on various circumstances; PABX or telephone switching system (free for callers), hotlines,
chat mail, voice chat, email, webpages; activities gathering places, information kiosks, etc. In
which, the information channels through internet systems are more relevant to young workers
employed in the formal sector, especially workers in the industrial zones.
Despite what kinds of communication media, the role of community-based organizations (such
as the core groups, the self-management groups, self-help groups) and the active persons of
the local areas are still always essential for the provision of information and clear explanations,
specific and comprehensive information that the migrant workers need to learn about the current
social protection policies.
8. Formalizing, modeling the initiatives in order to replicate and promote the impact of the good
practices on supporting the migrant workers which were implemented by the social and mass
organizations in the country, with reference and lessons learned from the world and continue to
use effective technical and financial assistance of the international social organizations
The reality in Vietnam as well as in many parts of the world, there are many initiatives and best
practices from different levels that one can refer to. These lessons have greater value if they are
synthesized and systematized per types of social protection issues; or per forms of approach,
methods or by subjects/ actors. If these lessons will be sorted by the conditions of the context,
the legal environment, kinds of policy, leadership, economic background, socio-cultural norms,
etc. Based on this, one will be able to develop models to adequately support the migrant workers
to apply and replicate the models, especially in the informal sector, where it lacks the official
support from the labor law system. The international social organizations have the advantage to
technically and financially play the roles of a leader, coordinator and supporter to those activities.
The mass and socio-political organizations, especially the Womens Union and Youth Union were
established from the central to grassroots levels will be more favorable if they set up of programs
targeting the migrant workers to be integrated , incorporated into the national programs. In
particular, the most priority group is the migrant workers in the informal sector, due to its
marginalized feature, which is easily to be overlooked, and the most vulnerable.
The Labor Unions play a very important role for migrant workers. It is necessary to summarize the
models, practice or of the Labor Federation at all levels. Especially the legal advising centers of
the Labor Unions, with legal aid activities , roles of the representative and protector of the rights
of employees in the negotiation, and establisher of collective agreements, or even at the law
courts, the initiator to establish workers core groups and self-management groups ... All of these
good practices should be documented, learned and replicated as a component of the program of
the General Labor Confederation of Vietnam. In addition, the objective programs of the General
Labor Confederation and Labor Federation of all levels should take into account the migrant

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workers group in the informal sector, to narrow down the gap in the current coverage of the Labor
Federation, because at present the Labor Federation can reach out to migrant workers groups in
the formal sector.
Also, there are many models of good practice of the local government which is the closest to the
people (such as the Commune/ ward Peoples committees, the sub-ward management boards,
the local police). The best practices indicate the areas where the local officials are interested,
knowledgeable and flexible in dealing with administrative procedures related to migrant workers
as well as in caring for activity programs for migrant workers. Then the migrant workers of these
areas are better integrated into urban life, have greater access to social protection programs
(such as job placement, job training, poverty reduction, health insurance services and health/
reproductive health care, education, social protection in case of risk, electricity and water
services with the official price, etc.).

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HI LUT GIA VIT NAM


Nh xut bn Hng c
S 65, ph Trng Thi, Phng Hng Bng, Qun Hon Kim, H Ni
in thoi: 04.3926 0024 * Fax: 04.3847 4831
Web: www.nxbhongduc.vn * Email: lienhe@nxbhongduc.vn

Mac Tien Anh, 2005, General concept of social protection, Social Protection Magazine number
1/2005, 2/2005, 4/2005. Source: http://thongtinphapluatdansu.wordpress.com
[Mc Tin
Anh, 2005, Khi nim chung v ASXH, tp ch BHXH s 1/2005, 2/2005, 4/2005. Ngun: http://
thongtinphapluatdansu.wordpress.com]

Chu trch nhim xut bn:


Bi Vit Bc

Nguyen Chi Dao, 2010, Social Housing When the Demand will be Met, http://laodongdongnai.vn/
Kinh-te/Do-thi-khu-cong-nghiep/2FB64F/khan-hiem-nha-o-xa-hoi-bai-cuoi.aspx [Nguyn Ch
o, 2010, Nh x hi - bao gi p ng c nhu cu (http://laodongdongnai.vn/Kinh-te/Dothi-khu-cong-nghiep/2FB64F/khan-hiem-nha-o-xa-hoi-bai-cuoi.aspx)]

Bin tp vin:
Phm Qunh Trang
Chu trch nhim ni dung:
Trng i hc Y t Cng cng H Ni

Nguyen Manh Huan, 2010. Good practices of social protection for sustainable development (http://
laodongdongnai.vn/Thoi-su/chinh-tri/0E3446/thuc-hien-tot-an-sinh-xa-hoi-de-phat-trienben-vung.aspx) [Nguyn Mnh Hun, 2010. Thc hin tt ASXH pht trin bn vng (http://
laodongdongnai.vn/Thoi-su/chinh-tri/0E3446/thuc-hien-tot-an-sinh-xa-hoi-de-phat-trienben-vung.aspx)]

Thit k v trnh by:


Cng ty TNHH LUCK HOUSE
Sa bn in:
Nguyn B Hc

Nguyen Thi Lan Huong, 2015, Survey on income and living conditions of migrant women workers in
enterprises with foreign investment. Report findings. [Nguyn Th Lan Hng, 2015, Kho st thu
nhp v iu kin sng ca lao ng n di c trong doanh nghip c vn u t nc ngoi. Bo
co kt qu nghin cu].
Nguyen Van Oanh, 2007. Solutions to improve the lives of workers in the industrial zones. Website
of Phu Tho industrial zones [Nguyn Vn Oanh, 2007. Gii php nng cao i sng ngi lao ng
ti cc khu cng nghip. Website cc khu cng nghip Ph Th]

Nguyen, Liem T & White, Michael J, 2007. Health Status of Temporary Migrants in Urban Areas in Viet
Nam, International Migration Vol. 45(4).
Pham Phuong Thao, 2014, Stories at the Ward, The HCMC General Publishing House [Phm Phng
Tho, 2014, Chuyn Phng, NXB Tng hp TPHCM]

Pham Thi Hai Chuyen, 2014, in the article on The Employment Law 2013: Safety net for workers in
the informal sector http://www.misa.com.vn, 05/07/2014 [Phm Th Hi Chuyn, 2014, trong bi
vit Lut Vic lm 2013: Gi : cho lao ng t do, http://www.misa.com.vn, 7/5/2014]

In 500 quyn, kh (cm): 17x25 ti Cng ty TNHH LUCK HOUSE.


a ch vn phng: 276, ng Lng, Thnh Quang, ng a, H Ni
Quyt nh xut bn s: 248/Q-NXBH cp ngy 21/11/2015
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M s sch tiu chun quc t (ISBN): 978-604-86-7660-5
In xong v np lu chiu Qu 4 nm 2015

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