12/11 Sun【Filip系列03】Vietnamese workers in the Czech Republic and Taiwan
【Filip系列03】Vietnamese workers in the Czech Republic and Republic of China (Taiwan) – a comparative case study of Vietnamese labor migration to the Czech Republic and Republic of China （英語演講，不備翻譯）
時間：12/11 Sun 7:00 pm
The article is a comparative case study of Vietnamese labor migration to the Czech Republic and The Republic of China. The process of Vietnamese labor migration is considered as a part of the Vietnamese reunion with the world system – especially after a long period of Vietnamese global and regional isolation.
Historically, Vietnam is a country with a rich tradition of labor and political migration. Today, Vietnam is still an economically underdeveloped and strongly over populated country with highly corrupted state apparatus. This situation leads many Vietnamese to the decision to move and work abroad. But the administrative process of leaving the country is exorbitantly expensive. This, together with false information and expectations catch the migrant workers in a social trap – to leave the country, an immigrant must go in debt but the expected income in the host country barely covers these costs to pay back this indebtedness along with daily living expenses. In the process, the high broker fees are functioning as an additional means of commodification of the labor force by subjecting the workers into a subserviant and especially vulnerable group in the work force.
The process of immigration to the Czech Republic started during the 1980s when the Vietnamese government, in order to pay its war bill, exported its labor force to some countries associated in the Council for Mutual Economic Assistance. Over time, the migratory pattern developed into its legal, semi-legal and illegal forms that are feeding legal and illegal components of the Vietnamese community in the Czech Republic and many other countries of the European Union.
In the case of Taiwan, the Vietnamese labor migration is a result of a broader set of Vietnamese and Taiwanese policies on economic development.
The financial and the economic crisis from 2008 lead to different outcomes in the Czech Republic and in Taiwan. While in the Czech Republic, many of the workers lost their jobs as economic situation effectively ended the inflow of Vietnamese workers. In Taiwan the situation appears less dramatic.
Vietnamese communities in these two countries are main factors determining the social status of individuals. But, the traditional Vietnamese social structures and customs are followed in the new country so that together with the placing of Vietnamese migrants into a new environment become an especially vulnerable group. In this group, as a consequence of the isolation, the legal and illegal complexions are mixed and corruption together with high exploitation is common.
The reactions of the local people vary from state to state and by social group.
Filip Kraus is a Ph.D. candidate at the Graduate Institute of Social Research and Cultural Studies at National Chiao Tung University, Taiwan. At the same time, he is cooperating with Institute of International Relations Prague where he participates on various researches on Vietnamese migration and, last but not least, Filip Kraus is cooperating with Metropolitan University of Prague where he occasionally deliver speeches or wrote political analyses.
In his research interests in colonial and postcolonial studies he focuses especially on former French Indochina and the colonial legacy in contemporary Vietnamese, Cambodian, and Laos societies. His contemporary research splits to four directions: international politics and problems in international relations of Southeast Asian states (border conflicts and their impact on the process of the Southeast Asian integration); Vietnamese colonial literature; nationalism and identity problems in contemporary Southeast Asia, especially in the nations of former French Indochina and the Peoples Republic of China (PRC); and last but not the least Vietnamese diasporas living abroad – particularly in the Europe and East Asia (Taiwan, Korea, Japan, and the PRC). He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.