Remittances contributed by migrants account for 5% of Vietnam's gross domestic product (GDP).
International migration and internal migration in Vietnam have long played a very important role in the country's socioeconomic development and they will continue to do so.
Park Mihyung, Chief of Mission of the International Organization for Migration (IOM) Vietnam, shared that view with The Hanoi Times .
|Park Mihyung, Chief of Mission of the International Organization for Migration (IOM) Vietnam. Photos: IOM Vietnam|
"If you look at the GDP, up to 5% of the country's GDP comes from remittances contributed by international migration and that's only recorded remittances, so it should be a lot more," she said.
For that reason, when the migration governance is done right and well, there's a lot of positive development and contributions to Vietnam when they return and with their remittances, Park added.
In addition, there's also a recognition that Vietnamese migrants make great contributions to their destination countries.
In this regard, she stressed the importance of migration, saying that when migration is done in a safe, orderly, and regular manner, the Vietnamese migrants who go overseas whether for work, are able to make more money and be more productive, more skillful, and knowledgeable.
However, not only in Vietnam but in many places, some of the migration happens in an irregular manner and there are vulnerabilities and risks involved with that. So, if the migration is done right, there would be more benefits that can come to Vietnam and the migrants, she affirmed.
IOM new approaches and implications for Vietnam
On that account, Park said migration is always positive when it's done properly though it's regarded as a "sensitive" and "restrictive" issue.
There's more negative that comes out in the media but when we look at the bigger picture and the individual lives, it's always positive at the end," Park said.
IOM always emphasizes the positive aspect of migration and supports the migrants, especially vulnerable ones. "It's positive because you get to go to a new environment," she noted.
As people live in this one world and no country is isolated, "we can only work together and do better when we're together."
Accordingly, IOM Vietnam has launched new approaches that bring about a better vision in a better environment.
Last year, IOM Vietnam celebrated International Migrants Day [December 18] by asking Vietnamese how they define migration and help people see their dreams and opportunities. "We want to make sure that migration is not that bad, it's never bad but it needs to be done correctly and that's the key point is to do it in a safe and regular manner," Park emphasized.
In this regard, IOM supported Vietnam for the safe resumption of international travel after the country fully opened its borders in March 2022. Accordingly, it was supporting the Government of Vietnam to enhance public health capacity at Points of Entry (POE) of six land-border crossings in Ha Giang, Quang Tri, Binh Phuoc, Quang Binh, Dak Lak, and Tay Ninh Provinces.
According to the expert, international travel is actually open, and IOM really wants to make sure of two things: providing protective equipment and making infrastructure available for health condition screening at POEs; promoting a safe migration message, and asking Vietnamese people to think critically and learn more about their options before taking a journey.
In that context, IOM has been taking action to protect people because there are more risks, and it will continue to do this here as migration is coming back.
Extended support to Vietnam
Migration becomes a matter of concern in Vietnam in the context of climate change as the country is one of the five hardest-hit nations.
IOM's support is aimed to ensure that the government and relevant actors and migrants conduct safe, orderly, and regular migration, Park stated.
In addition, the UN agency has worked closely with the community so that they know safe migration, how to conduct safe migration and work on legal framework related to labor migration or human trafficking and, recently, migrant health.
Specifically, IOM cooperated with Vietnam's Ministry of Health to provide a handbook for Vietnamese migrants, especially those going to Japan and Korea – the main destination countries. The handbook is now available online and it's very easy to understand.
The whole point is that before Vietnamese go overseas, it's very important that they know what they're getting into, what the destination countries are like, what services are available, what their rights are, and when they go, Park stressed.
To make migration safe, orderly, and regular, Vietnam has launched the Global Compact for Migration (GCM), the first inter-governmental agreement covering international migration in a holistic and comprehensive manner.
Commenting on this, Park said Vietnam has been very active in Asia and functioned as one of the top models, as not only the Prime Minister has enacted the GCM implementation plan, but the majority of the provinces and seven ministries have developed their own.
Park stressed the importance of the GCM implementation plan, saying it's a remarkable success as it requires expertise capacity, and resources. She affirmed that not only IOM but the UN family is very committed to supporting the Government of Vietnam to really achieve the goals and the plans that it has made.
Concerning the GCM implementation in the coming time, particularly in the context that Vietnam is a member of the UN Human Rights Council for the 2023-2025 term, Park said Vietnam is now really recognized at the international level. So international communities look at Vietnam to see what they're doing in terms of human rights, global migration, and the GCM.
She noted that what obviously important is the recognition of the rights of migrants. So it's very important that Vietnam is committed to doing more for Vietnamese overseas and to addressing trafficking in person.
Another issue in dealing with migration is data and legal framework. Park said it's very important to come out with good evidence-based, effective policies and interventions while having an updated legal framework that is in line with international standards.
Last but not least is the collaboration of all government agencies and different stakeholders. It's important to include non-government actors like international agencies and to raise awareness of Vietnamese people who want to go abroad and Vietnamese who have returned or are already overseas, Park emphasized.
"They need to be aware of their rights. What are the services available? What can they benefit from? It is very important and also to make sure that they don't take risks in the migration", she noted.
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