New ILO project to eliminate child labour and its worst forms in Viet Nam

The Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation (AECID), ILO and the Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs (MOLISA) today launched a 2.5-million-Euro Project of Support to the Design and Implementation of National Programmes on the Elimination of the Worst Forms of Child Labour in Viet Nam.

Press release | 29 March 2010

(ILO Hanoi) The Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation (AECID), the International Labour Organization (ILO) and the Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs (MOLISA) today launched a 2.5-million-Euro Project of Support to the Design and Implementation of National Programmes on the Elimination of the Worst Forms of Child Labour in Viet Nam.

The opening of the economy has brought in its wake the emergence of new forms and patterns of vulnerability for Vietnam’s children. Social institutions to address this vulnerability have not kept pace with economic reform. Recent reports indicate a rise in internal migration and the number of displaced and unregistered families and children found in urban centers. Many children are at risk of labour and sexual exploitation. Children and young people now can also be found in informal work, in arrangements that are unsupervised and unregulated. In these situations, the children, having limited access to education, can neither develop themselves nor have a dignified life. Migrants, ethnic minorities and young girls are among those who require targeted attention.

This ILO’s 48-month project aims to contribute to the prevention and progressive elimination of child labour in Viet Nam. The project is to have national reach, and its pilot direct action programmes are expected to reach about 5,000 children and young people involved in the worst forms of child labour in 5 selected provinces and cities of Hanoi, Lao Cai, Ninh Binh, Quang Nam and Dong Nai. If successful, these programmes will be replicated in other areas of risk of child labour.

The project will be implemented through four components:

1) improving the national knowledge base on child labour and its worst forms;

2) creating an enabling environment to eradicate the worst forms of child labour through: institutional strengthening, capacity building, mainstreaming child labour issues into national policy frameworks;

3) developing, implementing and documenting integrated models in 5 target provinces aimed at reducing the worst forms of child labour;

4) advocacy, awareness raising, gender sensitivity and capacity building, which are integral parts of the above strategies Viet Nam has laid the foundation for effective and sustainable action against child labour. In November 2000, the Government of Viet Nam ratified ILO Convention No 182 on Prohibition and Immediate Action on the Worst Forms of Child Labour, and in 2003 the Government ratified Convention No 138 on the Minimum Age for Admission to Employment. Ratifications signaled to the international community Viet Nam’s commitment and determination to urgently undertake time-bound measures for the elimination of the worst forms of child labour in the country.

Further commitment was demonstrated in the National Workshop on Time Bound Measures to Combat Child Labour and its Worst Forms, held on 18 September, 2006, and the Stakeholders Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs Consultation Workshop on 25 January 2008. These two workshops reflected the Government’s decision and willingness to undertake action in cooperation and consultation with employers' organizations, workers' organizations, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), and other social institutions such as universities and the media.

“The Project will contribute to the improvement of legislation and policies relating to child labour; build management, monitoring and evaluation capacity of implementing agencies and partners; as well as develop, implement integrated intervention models aimed at prevention, protection, withdrawal of children from worst forms of child labour in 5 provinces and cities”, Mr Nguyen Thanh Hoa, Vice Minister of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs said. “This lays the foundation and creates favourable conditions for the design and implementation of a National Action Plan on the prevention and elimination of the worst forms of child labour.”

During the launch of the project, Ms Rie Vejs-Kjeldgaard, Director of ILO Office in Vietnam, said: “Children belong first and foremost in schools! Children are our tomorrow and the highest priority is to invest in their education and their skills. Reality is often such that not all children have the benefit of schooling and education as they should have. Limited family income and poverty can force parents to let their children be economically active to bring income to the family. All boys and girls much have a fair and equal chance for a better future. We must all stand together to eliminate child labour in any form."

Representative of AECID at the Launch, Mr Benito Álvarez Fernández, Resident Representative in Vietnam, said: “Spain has a long-standing commitment to support partner countries in the formulation and implementation of policies aimed at preventing and eradicating all forms of child labour. The lessons learned from ILO-IPEC initiatives funded by AECID in Latin America since 1996 will be very useful for the successful implementation of this new project in Viet Nam”.

The Project of Support to the Design and Implementation of National Programmes on the Elimination of the Worst Forms of Child Labour in Viet Nam will be hosted and implemented by the Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs (MOLISA), in coordination with the Ministry of Education and Training (MOET), the Ministry of Justice, the Ministry of Health, Viet Nam General Confederation of Labour; Viet Nam Chamber of Commerce and Industry; Viet Nam Alliance of Cooperatives; Viet Nam Women’s Union, local governments, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), and community-based organizations, and other agencies/ organizations identified in the future. ILO-IPEC, with funding from the Spanish Agency for International Cooperation and Development (AECID), will provide technical support and training.

For more information please contact:

Ms Le Thi Huong Lien
ILO Office in Vietnam
Tel: 37340902 ext 206, Email

Ms Tran Thi Dieu Thuy
Bureau of Protection and Care of Children – MOLISA
Tel: 37478703, Email