Viet­namese la­bor­ers flock to China, Laos to work il­le­gally de­spite is­sues

The China Post - - BUSINESS -

Thou­sands of la­bor­ers from Viet­nam’s north­west­ern prov­inces have worked il­le­gally in for­eign coun­tries.

Ac­cord­ing to sta­tis­tics from Lao Cai province’s depart­ment of la­bor, in­valids and so­cial af­fairs, ev­ery year about 4,000 la­bor­ers leave the province for China.

Quang Van Tinh, who lives in Muong Ang dis­trict’s Bung Lao com­mune, still feels an­gry when re­call­ing his time in China.

Af­ter en­tice­ment from a “bro­ker” Tinh and his wife left their chil­dren at home with their par­ents and went to work in China.

“They (the bro­kers) cheated us. They con­vinced us to go to China with­out telling us how much money we would earn,” he said to

“Ev­ery month, they gave us thou­sands of Viet­namese dong. It wasn’t enough to cover our ex­penses,” Tinh said, adding that they had to work 12 hours a day.

Af­ter four months work­ing there, the cou­ple de­cided to re­turn home with just 300,000 dong (US$13.3). Now they were strug­gling to pay a 5-mil­lion-dong (US$222) loan they took out be­fore leav­ing for China, a large amount for fam­i­lies like Tinh’s. They also had to pay 750,000 dong (US$33) monthly in­ter­est for the loan.

Chao Lao Su, a res­i­dent of Bat Xat dis­trict’s Den Sang Com­mune, is another illegal worker.

Su, 24, grad­u­ated from the Univer­sity of Wa­ter Re­sources last year.

While wait­ing to get his de­gree, he fol­lowed other vil­lagers to il­le­gally work in China. He had an ac­ci­dent which left him un­con­scious for sev­eral days. When he awoke in hos­pi­tal he found he had lost his right arm.

“I had in­tended to ap­ply for jobs in other prov­inces to get ex­pe­ri­ence be­fore re­turn­ing to Lai Chau province. Now it’s go­ing to be harder to get a job,” he said.

In Dien Bien province over 700 la­bor­ers are re­ported to have il­le­gally mi­grated to for­eign coun­tries for jobs in the first seven months of this year.

These work­ers are mainly from the dis­tricts of Muong Nhe, Nam Po, Muong Ang, Tuan Giao and Dien Bien Dong.

A lack of land for cul­ti­va­tion is be­lieved to be the rea­son for the illegal flow of la­bor to other coun­tries.

Many peo­ple con­tinue work­ing il- legally abroad de­spite not be­ing paid or hav­ing se­ri­ous ac­ci­dents, as they don’t know the law in the coun­try they’re in.

Hoang Van Hai, deputy head of Dien Bien Dong dis­trict, said the dis­trict’s eth­nic Mong, Dao and Thai peo­ple have close re­la­tion­ships with eth­nic peo­ple in neigh­bor­ing coun­tries such as China and Laos. Illegal mi­gra­tion and immigration is a press­ing is­sue in the dis­trict, he said.

He called for mea­sures to be ini­ti­ated to help lo­cal res­i­dents es­cape poverty and pre­vent them from work­ing il­le­gally abroad.

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