Rural Lao communities oblivious to available labour information

VIENTIANE (Vientiane Times/ANN) - Laos needs to cooperate with labour experts from Asean countries and development partners to improve the national labour market information system (LMIS) to benefit rural workers.

This was the message at a meeting yesterday in Vientiane attended by Deputy Minister of Labour and Social Welfare, Mr Bounkhong Lasoukanh and labour experts from Laos, Thailand, Malaysia, Australia and other development partners.

An LMIS is job market information that tells workers about the current work and job environment in specific regions. It includes information about specific companies, industries, and occupations.

The meeting heard that several factors influence the labour market. Understanding their impact allows for the anticipation of the types of skills needed and kinds of work that will be available in the future.

Deputy Director General of the Department of Labour Skill Development, Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare, Mr Thai Seng-aloune informed the gathering that the government has successfully upgraded knowledge and capacity development around the protection of worker’s rights for several years.

“However, rural people’s difficulty in accessing information on the labour market is one the reasons for continuing unemployment in Laos,” he said.   

Accessing that information was still limited around the country, particularly in rural areas, he added.

“This meeting is discussing ways to improve accessing the LMIS including the protection of Lao workers’ rights by strengthening the law,” he said, adding that ministry officials and local authorities will distribute information on the issue in target provinces.

Meeting participants shared their experiences and made suggestions regarding accessing the LMIS in addition to discussing practical issues relating to developments in Asean countries.

Discussions included stepping up the protection and promotion of migrant workers’ rights against exploitation and mistreatment by enhancing labour migration governance in Asean countries.

Mr Thai explained that participants would also discuss cooperation to create regional labour market information and develop an Asean instrument on the protection and promotion of workers’ rights.

The government has identified a labour and social welfare programme until 2025 to improve workers’ skills to match market needs so the Lao workforce can be competitive at regional and international levels. 



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