The government needs to have exclusive policies to attract migrant workers, particularly those from vulnerable groups, back to factories, heard at an international seminar on COVID-19 and social changes held by the Vietnam Academy of Social Sciences (VASS)’ Institute of Sociology in Hanoi on November 11.
In his opening remarks, Prof. Dr. Dang Nguyen Anh, VASS Vice President, said the COVID-19 has claimed more than 5 million lives globally. The pandemic has left many people without jobs or with reduced incomes, being isolated or hospitalized and living with insecurity, anxiety and stress.
As experts from the World Health Organisation have warned that it is impossible to eradicate the coronavirus, many countries started accepting the fact that people must live with the virus, and increasing vaccine coverage and launches of new treatment drugs would help reduce new infections, severe cases and deaths, Prof. Dr. Dang Nguyen Anh said.
From a sociological approach, the seminar focused on analysing changes in social behaviour, relations and norms, enabling people to safely and flexibly adapt to the pandemic.
Speaking of COVID-19 impacts on migrant workers at industrial parks, Assoc. Prof., Dr. Dang Thi Hoa from the Institute of Psychology said about 9.1 million Vietnamese aged 15 and above have had their livelihoods negatively affected by the pandemic. Tens thousands of migrant workers have been forced to leave factories and return to their hometowns in July and September, she added.
Urging the government to adopt incentives, such as providing support in training, housing, healthcare and childcare, to attract migrant workers back to factories, she particularly emphasized the need to have exclusive policies for workers from vulnerable groups, for example, ethnic minorities, the poor, and those from disadvantaged areas.
Speakers at the event discussed the status and trends of Vietnam’s labour market at the time of COVID-19, COVID-19 impacts on some vulnerable groups in Russia, and social civil organisations under COVID-19 impacts. They also proposed solutions to develop social theories to support the government’s science-based decision making for timely response to social behaviour changes.