Policy dialogue discusses int’l standards on child labour

The Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs (MoLISA) in collaboration with the International Labour Organisation (ILO) held a policy dialogue on March 13 on international standards related to child labour amidst international trade commitments.

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The event served as a chance for delegates to share Vietnamese and international experiences, and give recommendations and proposals for the prevention of child labour.

According to a survey by the MoLISA’s Institute of Labour, Science, and Social Affairs across three cities and provinces, more than 7 percent of households have members aged from 5 to 17 engaging in economic activities. Nearly 2 percent of households have a member in this age group involving in heavy, toxic, and dangerous jobs.

Dang Hoa Nam, Director of the Department of Children, said that child labour has been particularly rampant in the unofficial sector, with employers often taking advantage of children for their low wages. The employment of child labour in supply chains is also a risk, he said.

According to Nam, the objectives of the project in reducing and putting an end to child labour during the 2016-2020 period include raising public awareness of associated laws at all levels, sectors, and organisations related to labour and community.

Currently, the awareness of child labour laws in Vietnam is not adequate as legal regulations in the field have yet to be strictly implemented, he said.

Meanwhile, ILO Vietnam Director Chang-Hee Lee said that Vietnam has approved the convention on child labour and taken steps towards improving the situation. However, he noted that a large number of children are working in household businesses and the unofficial sector.

At the same time, the definition of children working in supply chains is rather new in Vietnam, added Lee.

He said that the ILO has mobilised relevant agencies to conduct a model of cooperation on the prevention and ending of forced labour, human trafficking, and modern forms of slavery.

Participants at the dialogue said that in the context of international integration and Vietnam’s engagement in free trade agreements, the realisation of international commitments on labour in supply chains will receive greater attention, especially issues related to child labour.

The prevention and ending of child labour should start from raising the awareness of children, their parents, the community, and businesses, they said.

The delegates also stressed the need for the regular, continuous, and stable engagement of and close coordination among social sectors, state agencies, businesses, trade unions, families, and the community.

Seminar discusses social protection system for children

Children who account for 28 percent of Vietnam’s population are among the groups vulnerable to disasters and climate change incidents 

The findings of a study on social protection systems in response to potential environmental risks and traumatic incidents for children and their families were revealed during a seminar in Hanoi on March 13.

The event was jointly held by the Ministry of Labour, Social Affairs and Invalids and the UNICEF.

The research on the building of a social protection system capable of responding to traumatic incidents in Vietnam was carried out in two disaster-prone districts of Thuan Bac and Bac Ai in the south-central province of Ninh Thuan in November 2018.

According to the research, periods of drought have caused poor health for children due to hot weather, dust and pollution, resulting in digestive diseases, especially for children under the age of five.

Meanwhile, families relocating to other places can also disrupt children’s studies, along with other risks such as change of environment and unstable living conditions.

Participants at the event said that Vietnam faces various challenges, including a degrading environment and prolonged child poverty. As Vietnam is among those nations hardest hit by climate change, the frequency of natural disasters and climate change-related weather incidents are likely to badly affect the country’s development potential.

Frequent disasters and climate change incidents have caused severe impact to vulnerable groups, including children who account for 28 percent of Vietnam’s population.

Participants also discussed limitations to the country’s current social protection system in response to natural disasters and the role of competent agencies in the development of the system for children and their families, as well as determined prioritised steps to extend the system.

They agreed that it is necessary to enhance financial sources, raise public awareness about child care and protection, and bolster training for parents and children in disaster response and prevention.

In addition, authorised agencies need to diversify types of aid relief after disasters to meet people’s demands, particularly for children in mountainous regions, and to review procedures to deliver aid in a timely manner.


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