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Representatives from Vietnamese and Malaysian trade unions meet with Vietnamese workers during a study tour of Malaysia in October 2012

In October 2012, the Malaysian Trades Union Congress (MTUC) organized a mission for a delegation from the VGCL (Viet Nam General Confederation of Labour) and VAMAS (Vietnamese Association of Manpower Supply) to visit migrant workers, meet several government departments and NGOs, and to meet with the Labour Management Section of the Vietnamese Embassy in Malaysia. The group met with Vietnamese workers to hear their stories about their recruitment process from Viet Nam and their working lives in Malaysia. Many of the workers told how their passports had been withheld by their employers, and that they did not know where their employment contracts were and which recruitment agencies had deployed them in Malaysia. They were also unaware of the processes under the 6P regularization programme, which would enable them to regularize their legal status in Malaysia. The delegation also heard about the migration costs that the workers had incurred during their employment, their desire to return home but impossibility due to withheld identity documents, and their fear of contacting police for assistance. At the conclusion of the bilateral study tour areas for cooperation between the Malaysian and Vietnamese trade unions were identified including the development of an MOU between the two parties and a detailed work plan; and information sharing on a code of conduct for Vietnamese recruitment agencies.

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