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Lao Migrant Workers Send Home Millions Of Dollar This Year

Source: Vientiane Times

During the first six months of this year, Lao nationals working in other countries transferred millions of US dollar in remittances to Laos, with most of the money going to their parents.

The remittances are expected to worth about US$4.5 million per month and this money is then spent on goods and services in Laos and is an important economic stimulus.

Although only a small proportion of remittances are directed into productive investments, this does not warrant the conclusion that the developmental value of remittances is negligible.

Employment of Lao nationals in other countries has many advantages, both for the workers themselves and for Laos, but at the same time there is a shortage of workers in some sectors of the Lao economy, the Deputy Director General of the Department of Employment, Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare, Mr Souliya khamvongsa, said recently.

He was speaking at a meeting to explain the law in regard to Lao workers in other countries, as well as an agreement on worker protection in Savannakhet province. 

If people continue to seek jobs in other countries, the government will need to formulate policies to regulate the Lao labour market abroad like any other Asean country, Mr Souliya said.

Some people take up job offers in the Republic of Korea. They may either work under the Employment Permit System for a period of 3-5 years or apply for employment as seasonal workers for a period of 3-6 months.

In June, more than 13,000 Lao nationals went to Korea, Thailand and Japan to take up employment, after passing competency tests administered in Laos.

Training manuals are often provided before people go to work in other countries. Recruitment agencies are required to inform new hires about the rules of employment and other regulations in their destination country, as well as travel and living conditions, and ways to contact the authorities if they encounter a problem.

The Lao Foreign Employment Agency manages and monitors at least 30 government agencies and private recruitment agencies and issues permits under the Labour Law.

The Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare can take action to prevent employers from misleading workers, while authorisation documents must be issued by local authorities before workers can be relocated.

Before a company recruits workers for jobs either within or outside of Laos, it must submit a letter from the Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare to the Department of Labour Protection and Welfare in Vientiane or the relevant province to track and facilitate the recruitment of workers.

An online programme records data about workers sent abroad by a recruitment company and there is periodic monitoring and evaluation of the activities of each company.