Vietnamese Migrant Workers in Thailand – Implications for Leveraging Migration for Development


Announcing: Nguyen, Nancy Huyen and John Walsh, “Vietnamese Migrant Workers in Thailand – Implications for Leveraging Migration for Development,” Journal of Identity and Migration Studies, Vol.8, No.1 (2014), pp.68-94, available at:


A greater flow of people to and from each of the Mekong countries is catching the attention of the general public and academic researchers. As one of the fastest growing countries in the GMS, Thailand is attracting the majority of migrant workers from its neighbours. At a smaller scale, when compared with those from Lao PDR, Cambodia and Myanmar, Vietnamese workers are also joining this increasing trend in immigration to Thailand. By analyzing information from secondary data sources, this research paper attempts to provide further insights into the social and economic impacts generated by the Vietnamese migrant workers in Thailand both at home and the host country. The study discovers that moving to Thailand for work has eased the pressures of rural unemployment and underemployment that have plagued Vietnam recently. Meanwhile, Vietnamese workers are helping soothe the stress caused by the increasing demand for unskilled and low skilled labourers in Thailand. The study further learns that the long-established community of Vietnamese migrants in Thailand is encouraging the increasing movement of Vietnamese workers to Thailand. The study findings suggest meaningful implications for future policies in leveraging labour migration for development.

Keywords: Vietnamese migrant workers, cross-border migration, labour, employment, remittances, networks, Thailand, Greater Mekong Subregion.



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