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Viet Nam’s child labour rate lower than region’s average by 2 percentage points


 Latest survey undertaken in 2018 finds more than 1.7 million children participating in economic activities across Viet Nam, among whom more than 1 million are engaged in child labour. Viet Nam’s second National Child Labour Survey  launched  on 18 December identifies an estimated 5.3 per cent of the 5-17 year olds engaged in child labour. This accounts for more than 1 million children. Conducted by the Ministry of Labour - Invalids and Social Affairs (MOLISA) in coordination with the General Statistics Office with technical support from the International Labour Organization (ILO), the rate of child labour in Viet Nam is approximately 2 percentage points lower than the regional average for Asia and the Pacific.



At the conference, Deputy Minister Nguyen Thị Ha said that Vietnam have been developing programs and projects to prepare for the implementation of the 10-year socio-economic development strategy for the period of 2021-2030 and the 5-year period of 2021-2025, the results of the 2018 national child labour survey play a very important role. This survey results are a scientific and practical basis for Vietnam to develop strategies and policies to implement international commitments on children's rights, to prevent and combat child labour, and to realize the sustainable development goals by 2030. Besides this, the survey help improving the child labour database and meeting international standards for child labour data analysis. 

On this occasion,  on behalf of the leaders of the Ministry of Labour - Invalids and Social Affairs, Deputy Minister Nguyen Thi Ha thanked the coordination of ministries, branches, unions, organizations, associations and international organizations for their support Viet Nam to implement children's rights in general, and in the field of preventing and eliminating child labour in particular.
Regional comparison, the rate of child labour in Viet Nam is approximately 2 percentage points lower than the regional average for Asia and the Pacific. This result shows positive signs of progress from 2012 to 2018. However, child labour is still potentially at risk of increasing again due to the impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic on socio-economy. Currently in Vietnam and around the world, many families are forced to use child labour as a means of coping with declining income and livelihoods caused by disruptions in global supply chains and other measures of social distance. At the same time, as a result of the devastating consequences of recent central floods, affected families face a double burden of both pandemic and natural disasters.
According to the most recent survey conducted in 2018, there are 1,754,066 children participating in economic activities in Vietnam, of which 1,031,944 are child labourers. Children engaged in economic activities include children and adolescents aged 5-17 years who participate in economic activities for at least 1 hour on any of the reference week days, not all children participating in economic activities is child labour.
Speaking at the Workshop, Mr. Chang - Hee Lee -   Director of ILO Vietnam highly appreciated Vietnam's strong commitment to the prevention of child labour. He hoped that the commitments would not only be maintained but also strengthened, especially during this period of crisis. This National Child Labour Survey provides an overall picture of child labour in Vietnam. This will be the basis for effective strategies, interventions and policies to address child labor as Vietnam develops the upcoming National Action Plan and provides momentum for the completion of the SDG 2030. He emphasized that children are the future of society, they must have the opportunity to fulfill their full potential, not be exploited for their labour force and not be hindered by obstacles to learning, safe, healthy and educated children will build a better future for themselves and for the country.
At the seminar, Mr. Rober Gabor, the economic Counselor of the US Embassy in Vietnam, highly appreciated the attention and direction of the Government of Vietnam in effectively implementing the prevention and elimination of child labour. He hopes that Vietnam will be a leading country in the region in preventing and eliminating child labour.
A total of 58.8% of working children in Viet Nam are engaged in child labour, undertaking work that has been prohibited either because of the age of the child concerned, the number of hours worked or the nature of the tasks involved. Child labour encompasses work that is detrimental to the physical or mental health of a child, and negatively affects their schooling or development.
In addition, besides the risks of children's health and safety, the survey highlighted the negative effects of participating in economic activities on children's school attendance. When their participation in economic activities increases, the percentage of children attending school decreases. Compared with the national average school attendance rate of 94.4 percent, only half of all child labours go to school. However, the survey data shows a positive trend in the total number of children participating in work attending school is 63%, compared with this figure in 2012 was only 43.6%.
The results of the 2018 National Child Labour Survey show the need for policies and interventions in the coming years to reduce and move towards eliminating child labour to ensure a bright future for Vietnamese children and a sustainable and integrated future of the country.