Over the past five years, more than 120,500 Lao labourers have registered legally through recruitment agencies to work abroad, but many remain impacted by unsafe migration and exploitation, and could become victims of human trafficking.
This information was outlined by Minister of Labour and Social Welfare, Dr Khampheng Saysompheng in a meeting on Friday in Vientiane to mark the 16th anniversary of International Migrants’ Day (December 18).
Dr Khampheng said, the migrant labour problem is increasing in many countries with many workers looking for better jobs and income, safe workplaces for health and living standards, as well as some wanting to develop their skills, while others suffer from hunger, poverty, natural disasters and war.
In Laos, some migrant labourers come from remote areas to work in urban centres while others go to work in neighbouring countries, both legally and illegally.
However, the Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare and development partners are paying more attention to migrant labour protection, and have supported some Lao labour to train in agriculture and construction skills abroad every year.
Dr Khampheng said no one alone could prevent the migrant labour problem, but everyone could help by sharing information about labour protection rights, labour laws on safe migration and obtaining the right income and reaching social welfare to alleviate poverty.
The Lao government, local and international organisations have also jointly improved vocational system development and career recruitment.
Currently, there are 18 recruitment agencies in the country, working to arrange jobs for Lao labourers who would like to work in the local region and foreign countries. There are also nine labour recruitment service centres and two information centres for migrant labour.
International Migrants’ Day is held every December 18 to share information with migrant workers. This year the theme was Strengthening employment services to advance the promotion of decent work and safe migration.
The meeting was organised by Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare, International Labour Organisation (ILO), International Organization for Migration (IOM) and other development partners.
According to statistics, in 2015, a total of 244 million migrant labourers around the globe live in developing countries.
Source: Vientiane Times