The event was attended by around 300 online and offline participants, including representatives from government ministries, the US Embassy and the EU, academic and research institutions, workers’ and employers’ organizations, UN agencies, NGOs, industry associations and enterprises, and provincial level implementing agencies.
During the event, participants were introduced to the objectives and content of the programme, and provided with guidance on how to translate these aims into concrete action.
Approved by the Prime Minister through Decision No. 782/QD - TTg on 27 May 2021, the programme was developed and launched by the Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs (MOLISA) in collaboration with related departments and ministries, with technical support from the International Labour Organization (ILO) and the United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF).
With a long-term vision towards 2030, the programme has three core aims: to prevent and detect cases of child labour, and support and provide interventions for children engaged in and at risk of child labour; to raise awareness on child labour prevention and reduction; and to deliver training and capacity building on child labour prevention and reduction. The content of the programme builds on the successes and lessons learned from the implementation of the first National Child Labour Programme, implemented from 2016 ̶ 2020.
The first programme was coordinated and supported by a variety of ministries, sectors, provinces and international organizations, resulting in enhanced capacity to implement child labour prevention and reduction at all levels and among multiple sectors, with targeted interventions and support provided to children and their families across the country.
Moreover, the legal system on child labour has been strengthened, with child labour prevention and reduction rising on the policy agenda, resulting in the mobilization of Party committees, authorities, ministries, mass organizations, businesses and society as a whole.
Through the launch of the second national child labour programme, the goal is to step up these efforts, in line with Viet Nam’s commitments as a pathfinder country for Global Alliance 8.7 ̶ a multistakeholder partnership to eliminate child labour in line with sustainable development goal (SDG) target 8.7 to eliminate child labour. As such, the upcoming programme is aligned with Viet Nam’s Road Map towards SDG Target 8.7.
In order to achieve this target, more work is needed. According to ILO estimates, by 2020 160 million children worldwide were participating in child labour. As a result of COVID-19, this figure is predicted to increase by 8.9 million (rising to 168.9 million) by 2022.
In Viet Nam, according to the results of the 2018 National Child Labour Survey, 1,031,944 children aged 5-17 ̶ accounting for 5.4 per cent of children in this age group ̶ were in child labour. The rate of child labour in Viet Nam is almost 2 percentage points lower than the average Asia Pacific rate, and over 4 percentage points lower than the global average. However, as global estimates suggest, unless urgent action, these figures will rise as a result of the global pandemic.
Child labour not only poses reputational risks to Viet Nam as an international trade partner and weakens the capacity of the future workforce of the country, it undermines the rights of children and reinforces cyclical poverty. Today’s launch demonstrates the strong political will of Viet Nam’s leaders to secure a better future for future generations."Bharati Pflug, ILO specialist
“Viet Nam has committed to comply with international labour standards, including the eradication of child labour, as required by new-generation Free Trade Agreements. The implementation of the National Programme will ensure that this commitment is applied in practice, facilitating Viet Nam’s full integration into the global economy; this is crucial to the country’s economic recovery from COVID-19”, she added.
In her remarks at the event, Nguyen Thi Ha, Vice Minister of MOLISA, emphasized that "ministries, unions, localities and organizations must actively develop plans and solutions to better prevent and reduce child labour in line with their respective responsibilities. We must also continue to implement policies to support employees facing difficulties in the context of COVID-19, in line with Resolutions No. 68 and No. 126.”
The Minister also stressed the need to connect the child labour programme with other target programmes, namely the National Programme on Poverty Reduction and Social Security; the National Programme on Sustainable Poverty Reduction; the National Programme on Rural Development; and the National Programme for Socio-economic Development in Ethnic Minority and Mountainous areas.
Echoing this call, UNICEF Viet Nam representative, Lesley Miller, highlighted that “child labour can be prevented through integrated approaches that simultaneously address poverty, deprivation and inequality, improve resilience and access to social protection services and quality education, and mobilize community support for respecting children's rights. It is also important to promote regulations on working conditions for children of working age; promote social norms and public attitudes in opposition to child labour; incorporate child labour concerns into education plans; and push the private sector and civil society to act together to eliminate child labour.”
For more information, please contact:
- Vu Thị Kim Hoa, Deputy Director General, MOLISA Department of Child Affairs + 84-4-37478424; email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Tran Quynh Hoa, National Communication Officer, ILO Viet Nam; +84-24-38506127 ; email : email@example.com
- Nguyen Mai Oanh, ENHANCE Project manager, ILO Viet Nam; + 84-4-37340902 Ext. 104; firstname.lastname@example.org