Vietnam – Korea discuss effective models and practices to support migrant women

From Novermber 4 – 5, 2021, the Vietnam Women's Union (VWU), the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) and the International Organization for Migration (IOM) jointly organized the "Vietnam - Korea Bilateral Workshop: Exchanging effective models and practices supporting married migrant women and their families”. This is under the project “Strengthening Vietnamese Capacity for Sustainable Reintegration of Returning Migrants Women and their Households in Vietnam” funded by KOICA.
VWU Vice President Bui Thi Hoa addresses the opening remark

The workshop is organized in hybrid format (face-to-face and virtual).

Madam Bui Thi Hoa – VWU Vice President, Mr. Jeong Woojin - Consul General of Embassy of the Republic of Korea in Vietnam; Ms. Park Mi Hyung – IOM’s Head of Delegation, Mr. Cho Han-Deog – KOICA’s Country Director, representatives from ministries, agencies and organizations of Vietnam and Korea, from departments, sectors and Women's Unions of 6 project provinces and cities attended the worshop.

The workshop is organized in hybrid format (face-to-face and virtual)

At the opening, VWU’s Vice President Bui Thi Hoa emphasized that there are tens of thousands of Vietnamese women get married to the foreigners every year. International migration has caused diverse and multidimensional impacts on women, including negative ones. Studies have pointed out challenges faced by migrant women, which are mainly related to accessing social services. Findings from a research conducted recently by the VWU and IOM on the experiences of returned migrant women recently show that lack of knowledge and preparedness (such as no personal identification documents, uncompleted divorce procedures before returning to Vietnam) are major reasons, leading to lack of protection during their stay at the destination country,. The issues faced by migrant women, including return migrants, are exacerbating during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Focus on raising awareness, knowledge and skills for migrant women

Over the past time, many practical and effective activities have been implemented to support returning migrant women and their families for sustainable reintegration. Specifically, the VWU, with its role and mission as a socio-political organization  attaches importance to raising awareness, knowledge and skills for women; developing activities and models to support and protect women; participating in policy formulation, in supervision and giving social criticism towards laws and policies related to women.

Ms. Nguyen Thanh Cam (left) - member of the National Assembly (NA) and the NA Committee for Social Affairs - highly appreciated the role of socio-political organizations in caring for and supporting migrant women and their families

The One Stop Service Office (OSSO), established in 5 pilot cities and provinces to support repatriated migrant women, is considered as one of the effective models run by the VWU and presented at this Workshop. After over a year of operation, the OSSO Office has provided couseling for more than 400 repatriated migrant women with nearly 2,000 turns of receptions.

There are several models of supporting vulnerable women in Korea such as support centers, hotlines, Sunflower center etc. which provide appropriate and accessible services with effective referral and support mechanisms .

Ms. Park Mi Hyung, IOM’s head of delegation speaks at the workshop

At the workshop,  delegates of both sides also shared and discussed policies related to migrant marriage and children in Vietnamese-Korean families, legal and administrative requirements, and regulations for marriage and divorce registration; common administrative and judicial issues between Vietnam and Korea; future bilateral cooperation to support migrants, especially migrants for the marriage purpose, networking among service providers in the two countries to support returned migrant women.

Currently, the VWU and IOM are developing the phase 2 of the project "An integrated and multi - dimensional approach to support migrant women and their children in 6 provinces of Vietnam" proposed to KOICA for funding. The outcome of this workshop will be served for improving the quality and effectiveness of the existing models, as well as for the models to be established in the near future, towards comprehensive support for migrant women and their families" affirms Vice President Bui Thi Hoa.

Edited and translated by VWU International Relations Dept.