Spain will donate 2.5 million EUR to help Vietnam create and implement programmes to eliminate the worst forms of child labour.

Under the terms of the agreement signed in Hanoi on March 29, the Ministry of Labour, War Invalids and Social Affairs (MoLISA) will undertake the four-year project with technical assistance provided by the International Labour Organisation (ILO).

The project aims to support 5,000 children who are currently working in dangerous and Dickensian conditions in Hanoi, Lao Cai and Ninh Binh provinces in the north, Quang Nam province in the central region and Dong Nai province in the south by trying to find them suitable jobs after providing vocational training, additional schooling or simply returning them to their families.

It will improve information systems and the national database on child workers, design new models to reduce the worst forms of child labour in the five targeted localities and raise the public’s awareness on the issue.

Speaking at the signing ceremony, MoLISA Deputy Minister Nguyen Thanh Hoa said that the project represents a practical foundation which will enable Vietnam to set up and realise a national plan of action to prevent and eliminate the worst forms of child labour.

The ILO Director in Vietnam, Rie Vejs-Kjeldgaard, praised the country’s efforts to eradicate several kinds of child labour, including its approval of ILO Convention 182 on the eliminating the worst forms of child labour and Convention 183 on the minimum age for child workers.

The director confirmed that the ILO will work together with Vietnam to deal with this issue, adding that the project will be expanded into other cities and provinces if it is successful in the first five targeted localities.

The Spanish Ambassador to Vietnam , Fernando Curcio Ruigomez, said the funding clearly indicates the Spanish government’s support for Vietnam in eradicating hunger, reducing poverty and accomplishing its Millennium Development Goals.

By accelerating its open policy and promoting international integration, Vietnam has made a lot of achievements in many fields. However, the country has noted several negative issues emerging along with the development of the market economy. A growing number of children have become victim to social evils such as prostitution, drug and sexual abuse as well as human trafficking.

According to MoLISA, more than 26,000 Vietnamese children, equivalent to 0.1 percent of the total number, are currently working in hard, harmful and dangerous conditions./.