Strengthening Enforcement of Vietnam's Child Labour Laws
|Nguyen Phuong Linh, executive director of Research Center for Management and Sustainable Development (MSD) gave the opening speech at the workshop|
With the complicated developments of the Covid-19 pandemic, many localities across the country had to implement social distancing regulations. Many offices and businesses have suspended operations, rotated work, or downsized production, resulting in workers being forced to suspend work, or even lose their jobs.
This causes economic losses for not only the country but also each individual, each family. Therefore, the workshop "Decent work in the context of the Covid-19" was conducted with the desire to share methods for businesses to well implement children's rights in business, support and ensure work for young workers and parents in Covid-19. The workshop is part of the annual series "Creating trends - leading change" in 2021 with the theme of "The imprint of responsible businesses during the Covid-19 pandemic" conducted by Research Center for Management and Sustainable Development (MSD) and its partners.
Speaking at the opening of the workshop, Nguyen Phuong Linh, executive director of MSD said: “In the context of the Covid-19 pandemic, when unemployment is high, many people may think that creating job opportunities for workers, especially vulnerable groups are precious. In my opinion, that is a misconception. The assurance of decent work by enterprises includes training opportunities and quality careers for young workers, ensuring payment conditions, benefits, working hours, and working conditions. In addition, creating a safe, and happy working environment for employees is not only about complying with the law, meeting the criteria for doing business and exporting, but also being responsible. Investing in the people who work for the business is investing in the sustainability of the business.”
Mattias Forsberg, senior advisor, Child Rights and Business, Save the Children Sweden presents principle 3 (Provide decent work for young workers, parents and caregivers) in the Children's Rights and Business Principles. He said: “Young workers are also vulnerable and need a lot of attention from employers. They are also the group most at risk when employers are often hesitant. We have worked to promote children's rights, and to increase the impact on children and businesses in the enforcement of children's rights in business activities. Governments of countries have also made efforts to contribute to solving the problem of employment for young workers. However, I always look forward to the efforts of all of us.”
|Mattias Forsberg, senior advisor, Child Rights and Business, Save the Children Sweden spoke at the workshop|
Sharing about jobs for young people, Le Minh Thao, Children's Rights and Business Consultant, UNICEF Vietnam said: “We are living in an era of strong economic development and digital technology, traditional skills can be replaced by artificial intelligence. Currently, the forms of employment are also gradually changing as the way of working, the global linkage changes. This creates a shift in employment and recruitment trends, and young people may have skills shortages. Investing in the young generation is a smart investment and brings benefits to businesses. Young people also need to seize opportunities, know what they need to be able to access opportunities from businesses.”
According to Nguyen Ngoc Hang, REACH Northern Training Manager, the issue of employment for young workers, especially young people with disabilities in the context of the pandemic, is a big challenge. She said: “Not only in the South, the North is also greatly affected by the pandemic. When we reach out to disadvantaged youth groups, we find that young people working in the service sector have almost no jobs, those in the technology sector face little difficulty but are still affected in general. The REACH Center focuses on both orienting and supporting alternative jobs for young people. We work directly with businesses to recruit, support and ensure decent employment benefits for disadvantaged youth."
Commenting on the coordination between businesses and social organizations, Chau Hoang Man, director of Center for Social Work and Community Development Research and Consultancy said: “In my many years of working with labor groups, I have noticed that businesses mostly care about children or young workers through charity, temporary support, not based on children's rights such as creating jobs, opportunities for children to exercise their rights. We need to have a different view. In addition, the connection between businesses and social organizations has not been a long-term connection. When businesses coordinate with social organizations to carry out social responsibility activities not only in the context of Covid, businesses have a higher ability to "retain" employees. They can maintain a sustainable human resource, when employees realize that the values from the business are necessary for themselves, and their families.”
The workshop closed with in-depth and positive discussions on how to strengthen cooperation between state management agencies, businesses and social organizations, in the development of strategies to promote decent work for workers, especially vulnerable groups in Covid-19. Le Minh Thao said: “Decent work is a labor right that businesses need to meet. However, businesses also face many difficulties in ways and methods of implementation. I believe that it will be useful for businesses to connect with experts, social organizations, and programs to promote labor support."
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