Co-hosted by the Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs (MoLISA) and the International Labour Organisation, the event was part of a project on providing technical support for enhancing the national capacity to prevent and reduce child labour in Vietnam.
According to the MoLISA’s Department of Child Care and Protection, Ho Chi Minh City is home to the country’s largest industrial parks along with thousands of household tailors’. The city also attracts a number of foreign-invested enterprises and immigrant workers, including children, mostly from Dak Nong, Dak Lak, Dong Thap, An Giang and Quang Binh provinces who are at risk of labour and sex abuse.
Deputy head of the Ministry of Public Security’s Department of Criminal Police, Colonel Phan Minh Truong called attention to managing household registration and business establishments as well as supporting children’s studies and poverty reduction.
Participants stressed the need to offer direct services to children who are at risk or did join the workforce, especially vocational orientations and training to children aged 14-17, and to improve livelihoods and sustainable job opportunities for families of children.
Tran Thi Kim Thanh, head of the municipal Department of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs’ Office of Child Care, Protection and Gender Equality, said the city allocates over VND2 trillion (US$86.9 million) for school infrastructure in 322 wards and communes, and scholarships for poor students with outstanding academic performance each year.
The city is working closely with the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women), the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the International Labour Organisation to work out solutions to preventing child labour.
Head of the Department of Child Care and Protection and Gender Equality Dang Hoa Nam suggested raising public awareness of child labour and alerting the issue to the hotline 111 and local social work centres.
Authorities should also enhance their capacity in using State management tools via legal and policy enforcement, he said.
At present, Ho Chi Minh City has the largest population nationwide with over 8 million people. According to a recent national survey on child labour, more than 80,000 children below 17 have joined economic activities, 77.5 percent of them aged 15-17.