Vietnam’s Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs (MOLISA) on Friday said it discovered 1.75 million labourers who were children or adolescents, mostly in big cities.
Dang Nam, the Head of the Department of Children Protection and Care under the MOLISA, said 67 per cent of the labourers work in agriculture sector, 16 per cent in construction and 17 per cent in other services.
He said that the rate of unschooled children also remained high.
He added that “as many as 52 per cent of the surveyed children left school, while 45.2 per cent are still attending school and 2.8 per cent never accessed any school.”
On average, he noted, the children work between 11 and 16 hours each day at low wages.
“Those who work in restaurants receive 1.8 to 2 million Vietnamese dong (about 80.7 to 89.7 dollars) per month, while many are unpaid,’’ Nam said.
Meanwhile, the MOLISA Deputy Minister, Dao Lan, said the Vietnamese Prime Minister, Nguyen Xuan Phuca, had approved a four-year programme in June this year to tackle child labour, spanning from 2016 to 2020.
He explained that under the programme, measures would be implemented to protect children and models would be set up to equip children with skills to protect themselves and support their families.
“At the same time, inspections and strict punishments on child labour abuse will be strengthened, along with education on child abuse prevention,’’ Lan said.
Vietnam is facing many challenges on how to deal with child labour as the awareness of children, their families and employers remain poor.
Lan stressed the need to improve the capacity of law enforcement agencies, as well as engage the society, including children’s families, businesses, trade unions and social organisations to end child labour.