Deputy Minister of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs Nguyen Thi Ha said “Generation Safe & Healthy” is the theme of World Day Against Child Labour (June 12) in 2018. It is a practical theme when the whole world has committed to preventing child labour.
She noted Vietnam has promulgated a number of regulations and carried out many solutions to prevent child labour and realise the Sustainable Development Goals, including Target 8.7 of eradicating forced labour, ending modern slavery and human trafficking, and securing the prohibition and elimination of the worst forms of child labour.
However, the solving of the child labour issue, especially protecting children from strenuous, hazardous and dangerous labour, needs active participation and close coordination of all partners in society, from State agencies, businesses, trade unions, social organisations to families and the community, Ha added.
Minoru Ogasawara, chief advisor of the project “Technical Support for Enhancing the National Capacity to Prevent and Reduce Child Labour in Vietnam” (ENHANCE), said to eliminate child labour, it is necessary to have a solid legal foundation, regularly update the list of dangerous and hazardous jobs, consolidate the law enforcement mechanism with the engagement of relevant sides, and strengthen occupational safety and health management.
Programmes to educate occupational safety and health at schools are also needed to educate students on occupational risks, he said.
Suggesting child labour prevention measures, Chief of the child protection section at UNICEF Vietnam Le Hong Loan said the country should improve educational quality to reduce the dropout rate among children while increasing intervention measures and support for low-income families since poverty is one of the main causes of child labour.
She also called for a legal framework and policies built in line with international standards, all the worst forms of child labour banned, and policies with multidimensional approach made.
At the workshop, Director of the labour ministry’s Department of Child Affairs Dang Hoa Nam said in the time ahead, the ministry will revise the regulations on child and adolescent labour in the Labour Code, continue the national survey on child labour, and push ahead with the Government’s programme on child labour prevention and elimination and the ENHANCE project.
Child labour is currently a global issue. The International Labour Organisation (ILO) estimates that there are about 152 million child labourers in the world at present.
Working at an early age has been leaving serious consequences, including affecting children’s physical and mental development and preventing their access to suitable education. It also negatively influences socio-economic development, especially the quality of future human resources.
In Vietnam, the national survey of child labour in 2012 showed that there were about 1.75 million child labourers nationwide, accounting for 9.6 percent of children aged between five and 17.