Child labor has been an ongoing issue in Vietnam and now the United States is stepping in in an effort to quell it.
Last week, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of International Affairs awarded an $8 million cooperative agreement to the International Labour Organization (ILO) as a means to implement a technical cooperation project to prevent and reduce child labor in Vietnam. The Vietnamese government will also aid in the undertaking of the project.
“2015 marks the 15th year of our bilateral cooperation on labor issues with the Government of Vietnam,” deputy undersecretary for international affairs Carol Pier said.
The project is designed to support Vietnam’s national plans of action on children, child protection and child labor, and will increase the capacity of national institutions and stakeholders to indentify and respond to instances of child labor. It is also expected to raise awareness of the issue throughout all levels of society and put an area-based intervention model in place to prevent and withdraw children at risk of or in the worst forms of child labor in certain areas.
According to the Labor Department, there are an estimated 1.75 million child laborers in Vietnam, most of which work in agriculture, and one in three works more than 42 hours per week and most don’t make it to school.
“The Government of Vietnam has taken great strides to enhance national and local capacity to address child labor, and the funding of this project highlights our continued partnership and underlines our commitment to provide assistance to vulnerable children and their families,” Pier said.