In a document sent to People’s Committees nationwide, the ministry warned that regulations banning the use of child labour and forced labour are still being violated, particularly at small- and medium-sized enterprises.
Popular violations were recorded particularly in restaurants, processing facilities of wood, fishing products and rubber, garment and textile manufacturing, and brick production.
Children still work long days or are employed in dangerous jobs affecting their health, personality and physical and spiritual development, as well as their education, the ministry said.
Apart from child labour, forced labour still occurs in violation of Vietnamese laws and international labour standards that Vietnam is committed to uphold, mainly due to lack of awareness of both employers and employees.
The ministry asked local authorities to increase inspections and check production establishments that are likely to be using child or forced labour. All such establishments will be strictly punished, it said.
Provincial agencies were also instructed to disseminate the relevant regulations and policies in order to raise public awareness of the issue.
The latest National Child Labour Survey, launched in 2012, reported that 1.7 million children are still working, 34 percent of them for more than 42 hours a week. Most are aged 15 to 17.
Dang Hoa Nam, director of the ministry’s Child Care and Protection Department, said that poverty was the main reason for child labour.
Poor access to social services, education, children protection services and vocational training were also to blame, he said at a June advocacy workshop on prevention and elimination of child labour in supply chains.
Also in June, the Prime Minister approved the National Programme of Action on Prevention and Elimination of Child Labour for the years 2016-20, demonstrating the Party and State determination to strive for a better future for the children.
The programme will include education to raise community awareness of the ills of child labour, and inspectors and social workers, especially at the commune level, will receive more incentives to reduce child labour.-