International labour standards

ILO congratulates Viet Nam, EU on signing free trade deal

The agreement promotes the respect for fundamental labour rights under the ILO’s 1998 Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work.

News | 30 June 2019
HANOI (ILO News) – The International Labour Organization (ILO) has welcomed the signing of the EU-Viet Nam free trade agreement (EVFTA) on 30 June in Hanoi, which promotes the respect for fundamental labour rights as a basic condition for fair international trade.

“I congratulate Viet Nam and the EU on this milestone. It is an excellent example of how free trade agreements and sustainable development can be balanced through mutual commitment to respecting and implementing principles under the ILO’s 1998 Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work for ensuring decent work for all,” said ILO Viet Nam Director, Chang-Hee Lee.

The Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work requires ILO’s 187 member States to respect and promote freedom of association and the effective recognition of the right to collective bargaining between workers and employers; the elimination of all forms of forced or compulsory labour; abolition of child labour; and elimination of discrimination in employment and occupation.

These universal rights are covered in eight ILO fundamental conventions, of which Viet Nam has ratified six. Most recently, earlier this month, Viet Nam’s National Assembly voted overwhelmingly for the ratification of Convention 98 on the Right to Organize and Collective Bargaining. Meanwhile, the Government plans to take steps for ratification of the two remaining core conventions – Convention 105 on forced labour and Convention 87 on freedom of association – by 2020 and 2023 respectively.

“I am pleased to see the major steps Viet Nam has taken to meet the challenges of rapidly changing labour markets as well as to fulfil its international commitments,” said the ILO Viet Nam Director who applauded the country’s ratification of Convention 98 and on-going revision of its Labour Code towards better alignment with ILO fundamental conventions.

He reaffirmed ILO’s commitment to supporting the Vietnamese Government, workers and employers’ representatives in their reforms of labour laws and industrial relations.

“I am convinced that Viet Nam will successfully complete this mission for its own future – a future built on higher productivity, better working conditions, the fair sharing of economic gains, equality, the recognition of the voices of workers and employers, and political and social stability,” he said.

* This story is a product of the European Union-funded project on Promoting the application of ILO Fundamental Conventions under the framework of EU – Viet Nam Free Trade Agreement. Its contents do not necessarily reflect the views of the European Union.