Southeast Asian domestic labourers often migrate to wealthier countries where they are excluded from labour protections and left vulnerable to abuse. While COVID-19 has made labour conditions worse, some migrant workers have found their own ways to resist.
Female labour force participation has consistently been high in Vietnam. But behind this promising percentage lies a more sober reality about the experiences of working women in the country.
The reporting on the Essex lorry tragedy where 39 Vietnamese migrants were found dead in the back of a lorry has shown how the narrative of poverty only reinforce prejudices against migrants. So long as migrants continue to be marginalised and criminalised, it’s important to be mindful of how little we still understand about the push-and-pull factors of migration.
For a while, #MeToo stories popped up in Vietnam. Yet the movement failed to take off. A year later, though, more discussion of sexual assault and harassment is taking place, after two cases that took place in residential lifts drove home the message that it can happen to anyone.
Recent testimonies of sexual assault and harassment have brought discussions surrounding #MeToo to Vietnam, but entrenched bias and mindsets have proven difficult to shift.