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Child labor in Vietnam

Name: Vu, Nhu Phuong group 1

We are living in a modern and active society. However, the more the it develops, the more problems we

have to cope with especially nowadays the shortage of labor is more and more increasing. That leads to an issue

that many companies or factories have a trend to hire the number of child labor with a low salary. Truly, it is

really a big benefit for an operation. Nonetheless, we should have known that children are white paper. They

just step few steps to the real life and start to learn the lessons or new experiences. They should have been

taught and educated in a good environment with a protection from family and parents as well. It is said that

children are the hope of future. Truly, it is believed that children are priceless treasures and gifts from God, and

as such, it is our conviction that the physical, emotional, psychological, and spiritual needs of children should

be amply and competently met. We consider the care of the little ones God entrusts into our care to be a very

important responsibility (Children: The Hope of the Future, 2017). Therefore, hiring children for working as a

labor is so cruel and controversial nowadays. More specifically, this issue is happening in my country- Vietnam

which is at an alarming rate recently. Furthermore, there are many people asserted that Vietnam should find out

some solutions to prevent this issue from being more and more serious

As we can see easily that nowadays people often talk about the child labor like an obvious thing which

is still happening in the daily life. However, who many of us know what is exactly child labor? Some people

claim that means when the children are used for working or doing anything which is not compatible with them

or out of their endurances. According to ILO the term child labor is clarified as something which steals

children of their childhood, their potential and their dignity, moreover that is harmful to physical and mental

development of children. (ILO, n.d.). Nevertheless, it is also stated that not all work done by children should

be classified as child labor that is to be targeted for elimination. Childrens or adolescents participation in work

that does not affect their health and personal development or interfere with their schooling, is generally

regarded as being something positive. This includes activities such as helping their parents around the home,

assisting in a family business or earning pocket money outside school hours and during school holidays. These

kinds of activities contribute to childrens development and to the welfare of their families; they provide them
with skills and experience, and help to prepare them to be productive members of society during their adult

life. (ILO, n.d.). Furthermore, it usually relates the some works which is mentally, physically. socially or

ethically dangerous and detrimental to children; or intervenes with their schooling such as depriving their

opportunity to come to school, forcing them to leave school earlier or demanding them to combine school

attendance along with massive, tired and burdensome work. (ILO, n.d.) . Whats more? ILO also asserted that

in its most extreme forms, child labor involves children being enslaved, separated from their families, exposed

to serious hazards and illnesses and/or left to fend for themselves on the streets of large cities often at a very

early age. Whether or not particular forms of work can be called child labor depends on the childs age, the

type and hours of work performed, the conditions under which it is performed and the objectives pursued by

individual countries. The answer varies from country to country, as well as among sectors within countries.

The agriculture sector comprises activities in agriculture, hunting forestry, and fishing. The industry sector

includes mining and quarrying, manufacturing, construction, and public utilities (electricity, gas and water).

The services sector consists of wholesale and retail trade; restaurants and hotels; transport, storage, and

communications; finance, insurance, real-estate, and business services; and community as well as social

personal services. (ILO, n.d.)

Regarding to the child labor issue, the international organization have set up the rule for it, for instance
The United Nations, collaborated with International Labor Organization (ILO), since 1999 have set standards
that is proscribed under international law falls into three terms: the unconditional worst forms of child labor,
which are internationally defined as slavery, trafficking, debt bondage and other forms of forced labor, forced
recruitment of children for use in armed conflict, prostitution and pornography, and illicit activities. The labor
performed by a child who is under the minimum age specified for that kind of work (as clarified by national
legislation, in accordance with accepted international standards), and that is thus likely to interfere the childs
education and full development. Labor that jeopardizes the physical, mental or moral well-being of a child,
either because of its nature or because of the conditions in which it is carried out, known as hazardous work
(United Nations, 2012). Besides, Vietnamese government also adopted this in order to enact a law regarding to
child labor since 2011 is that every recruiter can only hire a child who is at least 15 years old (13 with light
works).
However, due to the increase of the manual labor jobs, many recruiters in Vietnam have still
employed unqualified children. According to a survey conducted by ILO, there are 1.75 million Vietnamese
children, with two in every five of them under 15 of age, working in situations that fit the definition of child
labor adopted for this report (ILO, 2014) .What is more, one-sixth of the child population, or 2.83 million
children, was engaged in some form of economic and agriculture activity, 42.6% of them girls, and that
almost 86% of the working children lived in rural areas, with two-thirds belonging to the 15-17 age group.
(Zeldin, 2016) They are mostly kids from unpaid family workers. In addition to the bitter fact that children
work at too young age or even abused, one-third of the child laborers, or nearly 569,000 children, have to
work an average of more than 42 hours per week. Working long hours affects their schooling as most of
them do not attend school. (ILO, 2014). Obviously, many charity organizations in Vietnam and all around
the world as well as pundits have shown their objectivities towards this increase child labor circumstance in
Vietnam. UNICEFS has expressed its concern about this by mentioning these problems are intensified by
the absence of a strong and effective child protection system, including the lack of professional social work
and protection services with the capacity to respond adequately to the needs of vulnerable children for
prevention, support and protection. In addition, coordination amongst related protection service providers
or the necessary continuum of services is missing. The existing services for prevention, early
identification, intervention, referral to rehabilitative and specialized services and follow-ups are either not
in place or fragmented and unregulated. At a sub-national level, where the needs of poor families and
children are particularly dire, social work and protection services are provided by volunteers and untrained
workers undertaking complex tasks without the necessary skills. Viet Nams justice system is still very rigid
and lacks adequate capacity and established program to address the rights of child victims of violence,
abuse and exploitation, as well as children in conflict with the law and their needs for protection.
(UNICEF Vietnam, 2010). More than that Sandra Bisin, a journalist from UNICEF also raised her voice
after interviewing many poor families in which children had to give up studying and start working at young
age. She mentioned that the government should have some policies somehow can help poor families to
afford studying for their children in order to reduce child labor in Vietnam. (Bisin, 2012). Although this
problem is still happening day by day in Vietnam like an obvious thing, the people and some organizations
are trying to find some ways to tackle it. In reality, sometimes we know that thing is not good and illegal,
we still keep doing it because of some unavoidable reasons. As we have already known, Vietnam is a
developing country, however it could be considered as a poor country, therefore hiring the child labor is not
avoided sometimes. Some poor families do not have enough conditions to send their children to school,
moreover they need an income for the whole family, thus the children have to have a job. Lets have an
insight, if the children do not work, how can they ensure their daily life while the parents do not have
enough money. In some circumstances, even the employer dont want to hire that labor, they still need to
hire them because they do that, it also means they have helped that family. It is a dilemma situations
actually, but it is happening in my country- Vietnam.
All of the above statements have led to the fact that there should be solutions to partly reduce the
number of young child labor in Vietnam. Fortunately, on June 7, 2016, Vietnams Prime Minister issued
Decision No. 1023/QD-TTg on the countrys program to combat illegal child labor. Zeldin stated that the
program, which covers the period 2016-2020, focuses on preventing and minimizing child labor while
timely detecting and assisting child laborers and vulnerable children in accessing opportunities for
development. The program will seek the development of a pilot model of support and intervention to reduce
child labor by providing life and community-integration skills to the young laborers and vulnerable children.
Support to that, the children will be in the form of education, vocational training, and policies on seeking
work; at the same time, the childrens families will be given assistance in stabilizing the families means of
livelihood and increasing their income (Zeldin, 2016). Beside Vietnamese government, UNICEF also has a
plan on the child labor situation problem in Vietnam. UNICEFs Child Protection Programme supports the
creation of comprehensive child protection systems at national and sub-national levels. The Programme has
three strategic components. The first is to Strengthen Child Protection Human and Service

Structures, second is to conduct Special Protection Implemented to Protect the most

Vulnerable Groups of Children, and lastly, set up a Child-friendly Justice System.

(UNICEF Vietnam, 2010)

After having given some of information about child labor in Vietnam, I would like

to say that it is becoming a serious issue in my country. Therefore, we should judge it

as an important problem in Vietnam. Children are the future of any countries all over

the world, they are something which is very pure and need to be trained and taught

in a good condition and environment. Furthermore, they have a right to live in peace

with parents and are protected by them, not working all the time. Lets imagine, how

can they work with their small body and when they do not even have an awareness

of everything happening around. That is very vulnerable and hurt for children.

Besides, the government need to find new solutions or set up new laws so as to

prevent child labor issue and protect the children from becoming the victims of this

issue.