Technical Support for Enhancing National Capacity to Prevent and Reduce Child Labour in Vietnam
Around 1.75 million children are estimated to be engaged in child labor in Vietnam with the majority between ages 12-17 and from rural areas. These children have a greater risk of dropping out of school and many experience work-related illnesses and injuries. Major factors contributing to child labor include household poverty, migration from rural to urban areas, and limited access to education.
The project supports the prevention and reduction of child labor in Vietnam through the following objectives:
- Increased capacity of national institutions and other stakeholders, such as the Chamber of Commerce and Industry, to identify and respond to child labor through improvements in relevant policies and legislation, and enhanced implementation of policies and monitoring and enforcement of laws, as part of a broader effort to promote adherence to international labor standards;
- Increased awareness of child labor, hazards associated with child labor and prohibitions against child labor across all levels of society; and
- Interventions aimed at preventing and withdrawing children at risk or in the worst forms of child labor in selected rural and urban geographical areas and sectors.
- The project is designed to reach these objectives through the following activities:
- Expansion and enhancement of formal schools and alternative learning opportunities, including vocational education for targeted children;
- Gathering of comprehensive child labor data, including baseline surveys for targeted provinces, a second National Child Labor Survey, and at least two studies on hazardous child labor;
- Offering of livelihood support and social protection programs to working and at-risk children and their households to help alleviate the root causes of child labor;
- Providing technical support, advocacy, and capacity-building to governmental institutions to improve policies, legislation, and service delivery;
- Raising awareness on child labor and the importance of education across all levels of project stakeholders;
- Supporting the design, implementation and supervision of the National Plan of Action on the prevention and elimination of child labor, for the period 2021-2025;
- Strengthening law enforcement for prevention and protection of child labor; and
- Revising and updating the list of hazardous occupations that are prohibited for persons under 18 years of age.
Children who are at risk of or engaged in child labor in target areas are eligible for direct assistance, with a focus on children working in the garment, agriculture and fishery, and traditional craft sectors. Households of beneficiary children are also benefitting from livelihood services through income-generating activities. The project operates in three provinces: Hanoi (traditional crafts), Ho Chi Minh City (garments and traditional crafts), and An Giang (agriculture and fisheries)
Some notable recent achievements include:
- The project developed and led a training on the Child Labor Monitoring System for labor officials representing all three targeted provinces at the commune and district levels. Labor officials will be better able to implement the CLMS with this training. The model is currently being piloted in four communes in Hanoi.
- The project supported the Government of Vietnam in carrying out the nation’s second National Child labor Survey, a multi-agency effort, which also included the International Labor Organization. This important survey provides a detailed overview of the current child labor situation in Vietnam to help inform additional action aimed at child labor reduction and prevention.
- In support of changes made to labor regulations, which included new protections for workers under the age of 15, the project provided trainings and produced implementation guidelines to ensure that government officials effectively abided by and understood the new regulations involving the protection of minor workers.
- The project provided technical support to the labor ministry and other government and industry stakeholders in implementing the 2016-2020 National Plan of Action on the Prevention and Reduction of Child Labor, which was approved by the Prime Minister. The plan led to the adoption of Provincial Action Plans to address child labor at the local level.
- The project provided education or vocational services to 4,850 children engaged in or at risk of entering child labor and livelihood support to 1,213 households. This support is an vital intervention in helping children avoid child labor.