Follow us on: 
facebook
youtube
flick
 

Young migrants: in search of a better life, but at a cost!

Print Email

As published in Giadinh.net.vn on Monday, 12/08/2013 08:00 (GMT+7)

Thanh, a worker in the Thang Long industrial Zone, is one of many young people who recently migrated to Hanoi in search for a job. Like many other Vietnamese youth who migrate from the rural regions to the city, Thanh has to pay higher fees for sexual and reproductive health services when accessing public health services.

"I migrated to Hanoi for a better job and moved away from the health center at which I was initially registered for my health insurance. When I now go to a public health clinic for reproductive health issues, I end up having to pay higher fees for services compared to those who are locally registered residents. I wish it was different as I now have difficulty accessing these services as I can't afford them... " says Thanh.

------

young migrant workersYoung migrant workers reside along the Red River bank in Ha Noi.Ha Noi, Viet Nam 12.8.2013 – Today marks the International Youth Day, and this year the focus is on the issue of youth migration. Young people, aged 10-29 years old, make up approximately 38 per cent of the total population of Viet Nam, recording the highest proportion of young people ever in the country's history. This provides a unique and one-off economic opportunity for Viet Nam's development, but also creates enormous challenges for the country. If Viet Nam wants to reap the full benefits of this demographic window of opportunity, investing in the education and health, including the sexual and reproductive health, of adolescents and young people is paramount.

The economic boom, along with the industrialisation and ubanisation of Viet Nam has led to many new employment opportunities in the cities, attracting large numbers of people looking for work outside their home town/province. Migration flows are dominated by young people aged 15-24, and the majority of these are women and girls who are in their reproductive age and many of them sexually active.

As young migrants move to the city for employment, they become separated from their families, communities, prevailing socio-cultural norms and social support systems, and as such become more vulnerable and prone to engaging in risky behaviors. Many young Vietnamese migrants are at a high risk to become victims of economic and sexual exploitation, especially during times of economic hardship.

Young migrants often face difficulty when accessing public health services because they are not registered in their destination cities. This means they are often unable to access critical public sexual and reproductive health services, leaving them vulnerable to unwanted pregnancies, unsafe abortions and STI/HIV infections. For example, a study in a 2009 found that only 40 per cent of female migrants planned to have gynecological check-ups.

Young migrants also often lack adequate knowledge on sexual and reproductive health. Many of them have only completed primary or secondary education, and comprehensive sexuality education is currently not taught in primary or middle schools in Viet Nam. For example, findings from the 2004 Viet Nam Migration Survey indicated that the majority of women migrants did not know the causes of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) or about how to prevent contracting STIs and how to treat them.

While Viet Nam has made impressive progress on sexual and reproductive health (SRH) and family planning (FP), most of the SRH/FP programmes are traditionally targeted towards married couples only. For example, the government has progressed well in implementing SRH counseling sessions for young couples entering marriage, but more programmes would be needed for those not yet married. Currently, no specific SRH/FP services are offered to unmarried youth, and service providers are not obliged to provide services to them. As a result, young people have often no place to go when in need of sexual and reproductive health information and services.

Given these challenges, the majority of Vietnamese young migrants, especially females, experience unmet needs for SRH information and services and are at risk of STI/HIV infections, unwanted pregnancies, unsafe abortion and sexual violence. Further investments in the provision of SRH information and services is crucial to ensure that young migrants stay healthy citizens. In turn, this improvement will greatly enhance Viet Nam's productivity and prospects for socio-economic development.

Strengthening the health care system in order to be able to provide affordable comprehensive sexual and reproductive health information and services for young migrants would be highly recommendable. Access to adequate and affordable sexual and reproductive health information and services for young migrants can reduce their unmet need for these services and thereby minimize the incidences of unintended pregnancies, unsafe abortions and even maternal deaths.

Keeping young migrants healthy and productive will ensure their active contribution to Viet Nam's productivity and development. Ensuring the availability of affordable reproductive health services for young migrants should therefore be a vital part of local government's socio-economic development planning, especially in the industrialized zones. Young migrants have played a significant role in Viet Nam's urban growth over the last decade, and the youth population represents an increasingly important proportion of the labor force in Viet Nam, both now and well into the future.

On this International Youth Day, let us all work together to ensure that all young Vietnamese people have access to adequate and affordable SRH services.

By Arthur Erken

* The writer is the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) Representative in Viet Nam.

Related link:

Watch the video:

 

Spotlight

myhealth-myright_en.pdf.png

WORLD AIDS DAY MESSAGE 2017

1 December 2017

Michel Sidibé
Executive Director of UNAIDS
Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations

This World AIDS Day, we are highlighting the importance of the right to health and the challenges that people living with and affected by HIV face in fulfilling that right.


contest_680.jpg

Community spaces design contest for an exciting hanoi

Ha Noi, October 17/10/2017 - Aiming at improving the living environment and bringing culture and art to the community towards a better urban future, United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat) successfully developed the project “Promote participatory, community-based and youth-led approach in safe, greening public spaces in Hoan Kiem district toward a pro-poor, inclusive and sustainable urban development” (hereinafter called Public Spaces project) under the Block by Block program with Mojang, the makers of the videogame Minecraft.

 

Deadline for round 1: From 17/10/2017 to 04/11/2017 Extended to 9 November 2017


op-ed-juv-justice-390.jpg

Harsh punishment for child offenders doesn’t prevent further criminality

The age at which a child, can be held criminally liable is a controversial issue around the world. Within Viet Nam, this issue is currently being grappled with in the Penal Code amendments. Some argue that a "get tough on crime" approach is necessary to punish children to prevent further criminality.

However, international research shows that because of their developmental stages, labelling and treating children as criminals at an early age can have serious negative impacts on their development and successful rehabilitation.


rc_ai_new_year_card_300.jpg

New Year Greetings from the United Nations Resident Coordinator a.i. in Viet Nam

 

On the occasion of New Year 2017, on behalf of the United Nations family in Viet Nam I wish to reiterate our appreciation and express our warmest wishes to our partners and friends throughout the country. We wish our partners and their families in Viet Nam peace, prosperity, good health and happiness in the coming year.

As we enter the second year of the Sustainable Development Goals era, we look forward to continuing our close cooperation for the sake of Viet Nam’s future development; one which is inclusive, equitable and sustainable, with no one left behind.

Youssouf Abdel-Jelil
United Nations Resident Coordinator a.i. in Viet Nam


WAD2016.jpg

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s message for World AIDS Day, observed on 1 December

 

Thirty-five years since the emergence of AIDS, the international community can look back with some pride.  But we must also look ahead with resolve and commitment to reach our goal of ending the AIDS epidemic by 2030.

There has been real progress in tackling the disease. More people than ever are on treatment.  Since 2010, the number of children infected through mother to child transmission has dropped by half. Fewer people die of AIDS related causes each year.  And people living with HIV are living longer lives.

The number of people with access to life-saving medicines has doubled over the past five years, now topping 18 million. With the right investments, the world can get on the fast-track to achieve our target of 30 million people on treatment by 2030.  Access to HIV medicines to prevent mother to child transmission is now available to more than 75 per cent of those in need.