Under a labor export project approved by the Prime Minister in 2009, about 10,000 laborers from disadvantaged districts in the country would be sent in the first year for employment to foreign countries. However, in the last three years of the project, only around 7,500 workers were sent, according to the Department for Overseas Labor Management under the Ministry of Labor, Invalids and Social Affairs.
According to the Department, the pace of implementation is slow. Moreover, some laborers quit their jobs, land up with bank debts and become even poorer.
Bui Duc Man, chairman of People’s Committee of Tan Son District in the northern province of Phu Tho, one of the poorest districts, said the local government finds it difficult to encourage people to participate in the labor export program as in 2011, 165 Vietnamese workers were sent back home from Libya due to political chaos there.
Recently, Man said, a labor export company recruited 160 laborers to go to Macao yet only 60 people registered and later 56 did not want to go any longer as they said expat workers face many risks.
Main reasons for labor export programs failing is bad reputation of export companies as well as high charges and rumours that laborers are beaten, abandoned or ill-treated by bosses.
In addition, more enterprises and agent decoys have deceived laborers; salary has not been as per signed contract and hidden charges added by export companies.
According to the department, total number of laborers in disadvantaged districts account for 5 percent of that in the whole country. There are around 2.4 million in 62 poor districts including 1.3 million of labor age in need of employment.
To improve the situation, Hoang Kim Ngoc, deputy director of the Department for Overseas Labor Management, said his department will make necessary corrections and lower number of workers sent abroad but improve in quality and focus on workers' rights and select eligible labor companies.