Wednesday, February 4, 2015

U.S. Dept. of Labor to Direct $8 Million toward Reducing Child Labor in Vietnam

On January 29, 2015, the U.S. Department of Labor announced the award of an $8 million cooperative agreement to the International Labor Organization to implement a technical cooperation project to prevent and reduce child labor in Vietnam. This project will be undertaken in coordination with the Government of Vietnam. There are an estimated 1.75 million children in Vietnam who work as child laborers.

According to the U.S. Department of State, it it's 2013 Human Rights Reports: Vietnam

The Socialist Republic of Vietnam is an authoritarian state ruled by a single party, the Communist Party of Vietnam (CPV), led by General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong, Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung, and President Truong Tan Sang. The most recent National Assembly elections, held in 2011, were neither free nor fair.

The most significant human rights problems in the country continued to be severe government restrictions on citizens’ political rights...

Specific human rights abuses included continued police mistreatment of suspects during arrest and detention, including the use of lethal force as well as austere prison conditions; arbitrary arrest and detention for political activities; and denial of the right to a fair and expeditious trial... The government limited freedoms of speech and press and suppressed dissent; increasingly restricted internet freedom; reportedly continued to be involved in attacks against websites containing criticism; maintained surveillance of dissidents; and continued to limit privacy rights and freedoms of assembly, association, and movement. Although authorities allowed more than 100 new places of worship to register, hundreds of others remained unable to register, and citizens who tried to exercise their right to freedom of religion continued to be subject to harassment, differing interpretations and applications of the law, and inconsistent legal protection, especially at provincial and village levels. Police corruption persisted. The government maintained its prohibition of independent human rights organizations. Violence and discrimination against women as well as trafficking in persons of men, women, and children continued, as did gender-based sex selection and sexual exploitation of children. The government maintained limits on workers’ rights to form and join independent unions and did not enforce safe and healthy working conditions adequately. Child labor persisted.

The U.S. is currently negotiating a free trade agreement, the Trans-Pacific Partnership, with Vietnam

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