Media Release CPVW (Committee To Protect Vietnamese Workers) 16/6/2013

ILO: Stop using kids as household servants



[CPVW 16/06/013] Vietnam’s laws allow employers to employ kids 15 years or even younger. Kids working as household servants are especially at risk of exploitation because the workplace is closed. Last week, the ILO called on Vietnam to stop allowing people to hire kids as their servants in the home.


ILLUS CPVW MR 20130616 - ILO- Stop using kids as household servants

Speaking in Hanoi on 11th June 2013 to mark World Day Against Child Labour In November 2012, the International Labour Organisation’s local chief Gyorgy Sziraczki said “It’s time to identify hazardous elements of domestic work and to prohibit such work for children under 18 of age!”

Mr. Sziraczki also pointed out that while actual numbers are lacking, “[t]he latest national Population and Housing Census shows that 7.1 per cent of domestic workers in the country are under 18 of age”. Based on anecdotal knowledge, we at CPVW* believe the real figure is more than 10%. We have also seen 14 y.o. kids working in factories.

Diplomatically avoiding to use words such as “disgrace” to criticise laws allowing their exploitation, Mr. Sziraczki said “Since their work is often hidden from the public eye, child domestic workers are particularly vulnerable to discrimination, exploitation and abuse”.

Speaking in front of Hanoi’s officials, he claimed that “[t]he Vietnamese Government has made good progress in the fight against child labour.” But the truth is that both in law and in practice there have been little progress: The latest Labour Code still allows people to employ even 12 y.o. kids, and border officials still allow the trade of girls and boys to neighboring Cambodia as sex slaves to Cambodian men and westerners.

The ILO Country Director also formally thanked Spain and the US for funding his office’s work in Vietnam.

* CPVW is a member of Viet Labour, an alliance of labor-rights groups in and outside of Vietnam. Our is in English, the and are mostly in Vietnamese.