A symposium was held in Hanoi on June 12 to discuss preventing child labour amid COVID-19 in response to World Day against Child Labour (June 12).
The International Labour Organisation (ILO) estimated that 4.6 – 10.3 million Vietnamese workers could be hurt by COVID-19 as of April 2020. More than 1 million Vietnamese workers aged 5-17 are joining workforce in Vietnam, over half of them do heavy, hazardous and toxic jobs.
The Director General of the Department of Child Affairs Dang Hoa Nam said the rate of child labour dropped from 9.6 percent to 5.4 percent from 2012-2018 in a survey that will be announced soon. The rate is much lower than that in Asia-Pacific and the world.
Mr. Dang Hoa Nam attributed such to Vietnam’s achievements in poverty reduction, saying that poverty is not the only but the biggest cause of increased child labour.
Sharing the same view, Hoang To Linh from the ILO in Vietnam said COVID-19 prompted many families to use children as a mean to cope with joblessness, forcing them to go to work to earn a living.
According to Mr. Dang Hoa Nam, the Ministry of Labour - Invalids and Social Affairs, ministries and agencies concerned will review the impacts of COVID-19 on child labour and protection, thereby building a roadmap to continue mitigating child labour till 2025 and 2030.
The Department of Child Affairs is also working closely with the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and other organisations to build a set of criteria on the enforcement of child rights.