Since the beginning of the economic reform period nearly three decades ago, the number of domestic migrant workers has steadily increased. Between 1999 to 2012, the number has grown from 5.14 million to 6.57 million, half of which moved from rural to urban areas. Furthermore, it has been estimated that there will be 8 million domestic migrant workers by 2019. In his opening speech, Mr. Moritz Michel, Deputy Director of HSF in Viet Nam, strongly emphasised that:
“A continuously rising number of migrant workers and deteriorating work and living conditions make it necessary to improve the access to employment services for migrant workers - to ensure that every society member has equal labor and career opportunities.”
The first day of the workshop helped to set the wider context of how migrant workers are currently treated. There were presentations on the current status of migrant workers (i.e. living conditions, levels of satisfaction and pertinent issues associated with migration) and the regulations put in place that are meant to protect workers and ensure them labour rights. The second day of the workshop served to deepen the understanding of the issue of migrant workers for the participants. There were presentations on the national employment service system in Vietnam, the international standards of labour and employment as promoted by the International Labour Organisation, and the policies for handling migrant workers enacted by the EU and the German government.
The workshop was viewed as a success for both ILSSA and HSF. “Our participants have gained a greater understanding of the scope of the migration issue.” Dr. Dao Quang Vinh of ILSSA had said of the workshop. He added: “There was a fruitful discussion of ideas between the participants.” By the workshop’s conclusion, Dr. Matthias Meissner of the University of Dusseldorf had the following to say regarding the outcome:
“Through the interdisciplinary exchange, the seminar directly contributed to solidifying the capacity of the actors involved in the political process, in particular the Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs and the ILSSA research institute.”
Dr. Meissner has also announced the following:
“A member of the department involved in the process has confirmed that, in particular, the seminar's new arguments, analysis and policy recommendations will be incorporated into the recommendations and statements of MOLISA to the Vietnamese Government for signing ILO Convention No. 88 on Public Administration Employment Services.”