Building a generation of safe and healthy workers - SafeYouth@Work

The global project of which Viet Nam is a pilot country seeks to make workplace safer and healthier for young workers, aged 15-24 years, and to promote a culture of prevention on occupational safety and health.

The global project has selected Viet Nam, the Philippines and Myanmar as pilot countries for implementation. Strategies, products, and interventions in the pilot countries will serve as models for potential emulation in other participating countries and regions.

Partners: Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs (MOLISA); Ministry of Health (MOH); Viet Nam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI); Viet Nam General Confederation of Labour (VGCL); Viet Nam Cooperative Alliance (VCA); Viet Nam Farmer’s Union (VFU), General Statistics Office (GSO), Viet Nam Association of SMEs and other relevant agencies.
Beneficiaries: Workers, particularly young workers from the minimum age of work up to age 24, in the informal economy in handicraft villages, agriculture and construction in selected provinces
Target provinces: Hung Yen, Phu Tho, Da Nang and Binh Thuan Provinces for direct interventions, other activities at national level.
Sector focus: Craft villages (Hung Yen), Agriculture (Phu Tho), Construction and Craft villages (Da Nang), Construction (Binh Thuan)

Project background

The Socialist Republic of Viet Nam is entering a new era in occupational safety and health (OSH) with the passage in June 2015 of a new OSH Law. The legislation, for the first time, extends OSH protections to workers in the informal economy, including the establishment of an injury compensation system for those workers, who constitute over 60 per cent of the workforce.

The SAFEYOUTH@WORK project works together with the Government and the social partners to meet the challenge of this significant mandate. The project targets young workers because they suffer very high rates of workplace injuries and illnesses. Moreover, a significant proportion of the over one million youth entering the labour market every year in Viet Nam eventually find employment or launch their own business in the informal economy. These young workers have limited knowledge of their workplace rights, and generally lack the training, skills and experience to recognize workplace hazards, and manage associated risks. They are often unable to safely handle hazardous substances and job tasks. Young workers are also vulnerable to intimidation, denigration, and violence in the workplace. Lacking work experience and meaningful skills training, young workers usually are unaware of applicable OSH rules, or that they have a right to demand a safe and healthy workplace. They often work in precarious employment circumstances, and lack the capacity to voice safety and health concerns.

Viet Nam is one of the three “pilot countries” together with Myanmar and the Philippines to implement this global Project. The strategy and interventions employed in the pilot countries will serve as a model for potential emulation in additional ‘participating countries’.

The SAFEYOUTH@WORK project is a key element of the ILO’s OSH flagship programme “Occupational Safety and Health - Global Action for Prevention”, and supports the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) on decent work and economic growth (Goal No. 8). The project also contributes to the SDG on good health and well-being (Goal No. 3).

Project objectives

The project’s main objective is to improve the occupational safety and health of workers, particularly of young workers above the minimum age of work up to 24 years and to develop a culture of prevention in Vietnam. To achieve that objective, the strategy focuses on:
  • Improving OSH data collection and use;
  • Strengthening the OSH regulatory framework and programmes;
  • Enhancing the national capacity to promote and enforce compliance with OSH legislation; and
  • Designing innovative public outreach and communication programmes to increase awareness on the importance of OSH.

Project outcomes

  • Collection and use of OSH data and information, particularly regarding young workers is improved to better formulate and enact effective legislative and regulatory responses, and develop appropriate national policies and programs
  • Regulations and programmes on OSH to address the safety and health of workers, particularly young workers, are improved
  • Capacities of the Government and social partners to promote and enforce compliance with OSH laws and regulations, particularly regarding young workers, are improved
  • Knowledge and awareness of the particular hazards and risks faced by young workers is increased.

For further information, please contact

Nicholas J. LEVINTOW
Chief Technical Advisor
International Labour Organization
Geneva, Switzerland
Tel.: +41 22 799 7271

Nguyen Ngoc Duyen
National Project Coordinator
ILO Country Office for Viet Nam
Tel.: +84 24 37340902 Ext. 105
Fax: +84 24 3734 0904