US Secretary of State John Kerry during his current Far East swing is certain to raise human rights concerns with his Vietnamese hosts, who are feverishly working to make Vietnam worthy of Trans-Pacific Partnership accession. It is doubtful, however, that the Vietnamese government’s Decree No. 95/2013/ND-CP will be anywhere near Kerry’s agenda. In effect since October and to be enforced after a three-month grace period, the decree will force Vietnamese overseas workers to face fines of 80 million to 100 million Vietnamese dong (US$3,800 and US$4,700) if they abandon their foreign employers, as vast numbers of them do to escape predatory brokers at the end of the term of their labor agreements.
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