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Analyses, Perspectives and Opinions

RLS Southeast Asia regularly publishes political analyses and working papers on current and relevant topics from the Mekong Region. Together with our partners, we shed light on different opinions and introduce perspectives on pressing social and ecological questions and challenges. The publications are categorized according to topics and countries and can be selected using the links below.

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Active categories:
  • Social Justice

 Social Justice, Vietnam

The study aims to document the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on female migrant workers in Vietnam’s apparel and footwear industries over a period of six months, from February to July 2020, focusing on: (i) economic impacts (employment, income); (ii) health impacts (access to health services, healthcare, and infection prevention); and (iii) social impacts (constraints on families and individuals; need for future support).

 Social Justice

The European Union-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA), effective on 1 August 2020, is one of the first two “new-generation” free trade agreements (FTAs) that Vietnam has joined. EVFTA promises to bring many benefits to Vietnam across areas ranging from trade, services, and investment to intellectual property, public procurement, labour, and the environment, among others. According to the Ministry of Planning and Investment, wages of Vietnamese workers will be approximately one percent higher in foreign direct investment (FDI) enterprises than in domestic firms.

Even if the forecast of social benefits is a modest one, can a three percent wage increase by 2025 be achieved as expected? This is a question that should be studied thoroughly in order for policy-making to achieve the predicted benefits from EVFTA in practice.

 Social Justice

The Mekong Delta region in southwestern Vietnam is home to over 20 million people, and is crucial to the country’s agricultural and aquaculture production. It is also a unique natural habitat, teeming with thousands of plant and animal species that cannot be found anywhere else. Yet it is also one of the parts of Southeast Asia most threatened by accelerating climate change.

Philip Degenhardt of the Rosa-Luxemburg-Stiftung’s Southeast Asia Office in Hanoi spoke with the Institute’s director, Nguyen Hieu Trung, to learn more about the challenges that climate change is imposing in the Mekong Delta, and how people are responding.

 Social Justice, Vietnam

According to research reports from INGO and government organizations, Vietnam state budget and resources have not been adequate in meeting the needs of social care for vulnerable people. Many official documents from the government call for contributions from all stakeholders in this area of “socializing social assistance”. In fact, for the past decades, many individual charities, philanthropists, religious groups, self-help groups… have supported vulnerable people, filling this gap of social assistance.

 

 Social Justice, Vietnam

With financial support from RLS SEA – Hanoi Office, the research team assessed the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the group of migrant female workers in the informal sector in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City. With the desire to have a concrete and comprehensive assessment of COVID's impacts on this target group, the research team used a participatory approach with a sociological survey method to survey over 600 qualified samples and 12 case studies in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh city.

 

 Social Justice, Vietnam

More than 200 households in the two above-mentioned communes, tourism service companies and representatives of governmental agencies related to the tourism industry of Sa Pa town were selected to survey.

 Social Justice, Vietnam

The research study found 99% of couples had marital/domestic conflicts during the COVID-19 pandemic. Up to 80.9% of women reported suffering from controlling behaviors during the COVID-19 pandemic; 34% experienced economic violence; the rate of women being abused psychologically and physically are 87.8% and 59% respectively. Furthermore, 25% of women were found to be victims of sexual violence.

 Cambodia, Social Justice

In our collaborative program with Cambodian Center for Independent Media, we illustrate incidents and problems encountered by the workers, by having them speak up for their own. The authority and employers are also interviewed for their sides of the stories, and their responses accordingly.

 

 Social Justice

The Institute of Policy and Management (IPAM) and the Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung Southeast Asia (RLS SEA) have cooperated to implement the first research projects on SEET in Vietnam from 2018 up to now. SEET is an interdisciplinary research direction focusing on common interests on a real sustainable development and policy implications for ensuring a balance between social, ecological, and economic factors. The purpose of this interdisciplinary research direction is to create knowledge that allows approach and proposal of practical solutions to ensure a better future for all. The main focus of the social, ecological and economic transformation research is to find ways to change the current production methods and lifestyles by examining and assessing the impact of the current methods on the social and ecologic foundation.

 

 Social Justice, Social-ecological transformation, Vietnam

Vietnam is known for its remarkable economic and human development in the last 30 years. From one of the poorest nations in the world, the country successfully transformed to a lower-to-middle income country in 2010. Besides economic growth, Vietnam has also witnessed impressive human development as the country’s Human Development Index (HDI) value increased by 45.9 percent between 1990 and 2018 (UNDP, 2019). However, despite the huge and stable growth in the economy and human development, the country records low utilization of health services, especially among poor demographics. This study examines the impacts of health inequalities, political, economic, and social determinants on health utilization.