Source: International Labour Organization –
VIENTIANE (ILO News) – Lao migrant workers, their families and communities in Louangprabang and neighboring provinces will benefit from a new Migrant Worker Resource Centre (MRC) inaugurated in 9 August.
This is the fourth Migrant Worker Resource centre in Lao PDR, where workers can find out about their rights and support services in destination countries, as well as access legal counsel and referral support.
It is estimated that there are 1.3 million Lao nationals living abroad, of whom over half are women. Thailand is the largest destination country for Lao migrants. Lao migrant workers in Thailand are predominantly employed in domestic work, construction, manufacturing, agriculture and entertainment work, mainly in neighboring border provinces and larger cities. Financial remittances from migrant workers are a significant source of income within Lao PDR. An estimated US$116 million in remittances was received in 2016.
“One of the most effective ways to protect Lao migrant workers from abuse and exploitation, particularly non-payment or underpayment of wages and substandard working conditions, is to ensure that they are equipped with the necessary knowledge, skills and strategies to secure their labour and human rights during the migration cycle,” said Ms. Khemphone Phaokhamkeo, the ILO Coordinator for Lao PDR.
Developed by the International Labour Organization’s ‘TRIANGLE in ASEAN’ programme, with the support of the Australian government, it will be run by the Lao Federation of Trade Unions (LFTU).
The TRIANGLE in ASEAN programme will continue to support technically the MRC, providing information and counselling services to potential migrant. The MRC will work in close collaboration with the job center of the provincial Department of Labour and Social Welfare.
The inauguration of the MRC was presided over by the Vice President of LFTU, Mr. Simoun Ounlasy, together with the president of the Louangprabang LFTU, Ms. Amphone Sivilaysack, and the ILO Coordinator for Lao PDR. Mr. Ounlasy emphasized the LFTU’s role in protecting the rights, interests and safe employment of Lao workers, including migrants. He thanked the ILO for its support to LFTU efforts to provide migration information to Lao workers.
The International Labour Organization (ILO) is the United Nations specialized agency dedicated to labour issues. Within a unique tripartite structure it brings together governments, employers and workers representatives to set labour standards, develop policies and devise programmes promoting decent work for all women and men. In Lao People Democratic Republic, the tripartite constituents are represented by the Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare, the Lao Federation of Trade Unions, and the Lao National Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
The TRIANGLE in ASEAN programme extends the cooperation between the International Labour Organization (ILO), the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and Global Affairs Canada on protecting migrant workers and enhancing development opportunities. TRIANGLE in ASEAN aims to ensure that the benefits of labour migration are equally realised by men and women migrant workers; employers and governments. In shifting emphasis towards leveraging the development potential of migration, TRIANGLE in ASEAN aims to shape labour migration opportunities to support inclusive and sustainable growth in the ASEAN Economic Community. TRIANGLE in ASEAN engages institutionally with ASEAN and focuses on delivering in six countries (Cambodia, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Malaysia, Myanmar, Thailand and Viet Nam).
For more information, please contact
Mr. Vongtavanh Sayavong
TRIANGLE in ASEAN programme Coordinator
tel: +856 20 7777 8421