‘Due to malnutrition people started falling sick, in the last five years more than 200 people have died on this (Tea) estate alone.’
‘They do not have any rice, they are hungry and they have to work on empty stomach- so they fall ill and die. All of them died due to hunger and malnutrition. This is how my husband died, he worked without enough food and he died because the tea garden was shut down.’
‘Will I still have my job next month? Will I still have my job tomorrow? What will I do if I have an accident at work, or if I get pregnant?’ Millions of workers are working daily, contributing to steady profits of their employers without ever knowing the answer to these questions with any certainty – or worse, knowing with a certainty that their jobs and their very health and lives could be disposed in an instant.
Social security has been playing an important role in the socio-economic development plans of Vietnam as well as in the public awareness. It became an important measure for dealing with the price storm and impact of the economic downturn that started from 2008. This article tries to give an overview of the current social security system of Vietnam from the policy perspective and its development trend with a review of the government’s reaction toward the economic downturn.
The Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) is moving forward in their regional economic integration by 2015. The regional integration includes setting up regional social protection for all migrant workers and labour standards recognizing migrant workers as an integral part of labour who need social security. The migration of workers and their families, including low and unskilled workers, many of whom are undocumented, needs more serious consideration within the national and portal regional social protection schemes.