January 29, 2019
SIGNING CEREMONY FOR PARTNERSHIP AGREEMENT PROJECT: “BLOCKCHAIN SOLUTION TO ADDRESS WORKER RIGHTS CHALLENGES”
On January 23, 2019 in Hanoi, Vietnam, The Asia Foundation (TAF), HMC Clean House Services Development Joint Stock Company (JupViec.vn) and Infinity Blockchain Labs Co., Ltd (IBL), with support from the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor (DRL) under the United States Department of State, participated in a signing ceremony to commemorate their partnership in developing the project “Blockchain solution to address worker right challenges.” The goal of the project is to build and pilot blockchain technology solutions in solving a number of labor problems. The project will span 30 months, from January 2019 to June 2021.
In Vietnam, the lives of families, especially in urban areas, have improved remarkably but the demand for domestic labor has increased. Recent studies have shown that domestic workers in Vietnam are mostly women who migrate from rural to urban areas and have a low level of education. With a lack of training and professionalism, many women are not afforded the rights and benefits they are guaranteed.
Blockchain technology can be applied to protect the rights and interests of workers and magnify the benefits from existing programs and projects to support workers. For Vietnamese workers, Blockchain technology can contribute to promoting compliance with current legal regulations, increasing transparency and accountability, certifying resumes, and minimizing the risk of being delayed or unpaid in the contract. However, the introduction of blockchain technology as an application for social problems is very new. Experimental initiatives to provide empirical evidence of that applications solutions are essential.
The project “Blockchain solution to address worker right challenges” has two main objectives. The first is to minimize the violations of labor rights for the workers through smart contracts based on blockchain technology. The second objective is to support the creation of an environment for the application of blockchain technology for social benefits in Vietnam. In the short term, the project will help more than 3,000 female workers, especially hourly domestic workers in Vietnam’s larger cities like Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, Hai Phong, and Da Nang. The project will build and test the blockchain platform which integrates Digital Identity Information Management and smart contract solutions in the first 14-16 month. Then the project will expand the application of Blockchain solution for the entire system of JupViec.vn company from the second quarter of 2020.
Representatives from TAF, Jupviec.vn, and IBL have partnered to move forward on this sustainable blockchain project. Mr. Do Van Long, the Regional Chief Strategy Officer (RCSO) of Infinity Blockchain Labs Ltd. (IBL), the primary technical organization responsible for building the blockchain platform for this project, has explained that blockchain technology is considered a bright candidate to build a transparent and secure information platform. Blockchain helps create a reliable information exchange environment which saves intermediate processing time and prevents tampering as it requires the consent of participants when modifying and changing the data.
With with is mind, blockchain technology allows for the transparent recordation of working times to ensure employees receive proportional and fair wages. Based on workers’ working records, the system can help unskilled workers prove their income ability to access consumer loans or personal financial services when necessary. This also opens the potential for future project development when connecting blockchain infrastructure and work history of employees with relevant daily life services.
On that basis, the Digital Identity solution on the Blockchain platform will allow JupViec.vn customers, particularly female domestic workers, to evaluate employers and report any breach of contract quickly and effectively. In addition, this function also allows workers to own, manage and use their profile and personal data that are certified, stored and updated automatically and continuously on the Blockchain platform. For example, helpers can use information in their personal records (such as experience, skills, qualifications and participating training classes, salary, etc) in negotiating with employers on contracts to have adequate terms of wages and working conditions. In addition to storing and processing Digital Identity data, Blockchain technology also enables the implementation of Smart Contract solutions to help strengthen the protection of employees’ rights. For example, this solution allows wages to be automatically transferred to employees when they complete the work specified in the agreed contract between the two parties. Thus, Smart Contract solution will help avoid delays or reduce salary deduction without the consent of workers.
At the partnership signing ceremony, the representatives of TAF, Jupviec.vn, and IBL expressed their admiration for the project. The CEO of JupViec.vn, Mr. Phan Hong Minh, explained that in “participating in the project, we hope to develop our model in a sustainable way based on Blockchain technology application to ensure benefits for workers. Information about workers (eg, personal status, health, experience and knowledge through training, customer reviews …) is kept transparent and clear, enabling them to access future social utilities. The Blockchain platform will allow JupViec.vn to increase efficiency in meeting the needs of workers and customers, thus increasing the demand for using the service on the basis of corporate reputation with transparent information and better service quality. In addition, blockchain technology also allows JupViec.vn to expand new products and services later.”
IBL’s RCSO, Mr. Do Van Long, also shared about IBL’s participation in this project. He explained that “the project is an important milestone for Infinity Blockchain Labs to accelerate the deployment of blockchain’s specific applications into life. In addition to commercial, economic projects, IBL has always focused on and cared for community projects, especially Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) projects in Vietnam. IBL has also established a strategic project called Vietnam Blockchain Country (VBC) with a desire to make Vietnam a pioneer in the research and application of Blockchain technology achievements.”
In a speech, Long further explained that, in addition to building a blockchain platform, the project also designs and organizes training courses to raise awareness or worker rights for JupViec.vn employees, supervisors, and workers. At the same time, the project organizes forums and seminars to raise awareness for policy makers and others to learn about blockchain technology’s application in solving social problems and as disseminating successful lessons of the project.
Mr. Michael DiGregorio, the Chief Representative of The Asia Foundation in Vietnam emphasized that “the Asian Foundation, JupViec.vn, and IBL consider this project as the beginning. As uncertain and temporary employment conditions increase, we are increasingly inclined to find out how technology can support employees, especially workers in the informal sector to get more secure jobs. We also hope that the project will have a certain impact on policies and promote the development of other foundations to enhance protection for employees working in other informal sectors. such as repairing houses, driving vehicles, manicurists.”
The Asia Foundation is a nonprofit international development organization committed to improving lives across a dynamic and developing Asia. Informed by six decades of experience and deep local expertise, our work across the region addresses five overarching goals—strengthen governance, empower women, expand economic opportunity, increase environmental resilience, and promote regional cooperation. Headquartered in San Francisco, The Asia Foundation works through a network of offices in 18 Asian countries and in Washington, DC. Working with public and private partners, the Foundation receives funding from a diverse group of bilateral and multilateral development agencies, foundations, corporations, and individuals. In 2018, we provided $82.9 million in direct program support and distributed textbooks and other educational materials valued at $10.4 million. The Asia Foundation began supporting Vietnam in 1993 and opened an office in Hanoi in 2000.
JupViec.vn is a company specializing in providing “Family Help” services including Hourly Help, Daily Help, Industrial Cleaning After Construction And Other Utility Services Like: JupSpa, JupSofa, etc. Operating since 2012, JupViec.vn is the first company in the field of common labor to receive investment from Japan Investment Fund – CyberAgent Ventures in 2016 and US Investment Fund – Patamar Capital in 2018. JupViec.vn currently serves in 8 major cities and provinces, mainly in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, creating more jobs for more than 3,000 employees, over 2 million working hours per year.
Infinity Blockchain Labs (IBL) is a visionary R&D company committed to advancing society with next-generation solutions. IBL receives global recognition through its renowned initiatives and influential partnerships while leading the blockchain ecosystem in its home, Vietnam. IBL’s mission is to be the R&D engine that transforms future technology into practical applications for business and everyday life.
In fulfilling this mission, IBL turns the complexities of blockchain technology into practical solutions through a comprehensive range of IT consultancies, the creation and integration of Apps, and an unyielding commitment to the research and development of cutting-edge blockchain innovations, Named one of the top ten blockchain technology solution providers in 2018 by APAC CIO Outlook, the 200+ employees at IBL aspire to empower Vietnam and all of humanity with powerful blockchain innovations to power the future.
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