Vietnamese laborers flock to China, Laos to work illegally despite issues
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 vov.vn.
“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.