Project location: Vietnam
Funding: £67,495
Year / duration: 2012 / 18 Months
Partner: Save the Children

The textile industry in Vietnam is booming with many small family owned workshops supplying garments to larger factories for export. Despite legislation, thousands of children between the ages of 13 – 16, sometimes younger, work up to 17 hours per day sewing garments for around £10 per month. In these unregulated factories children are vulnerable to violence, sexual abuse and work place injuries.

TRAID funded Save the Children to build the capacity of local authorities to create a child friendly textile industry, to change attitudes to child labour, and to replicate this work across Vietnam.

The project took place in three districts in Ho Chi Minh City in partnership with the Department of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs (DOLISA). New standards were drafted banning children under the age of 15 from working in textile factories. With a child protection system currently being implemented in Vietnam this was the ideal time to address child labour.

Significantly, the project carried out the first ever assessment of child labour in textile workshops mapping the conditions of child workers and building a complete picture of the risks faced by children, as well as the opportunities for change.

Local authorities were trained to recognise, monitor and promote ‘free from child labour’ workshops. The project also worked with large factories to place orders with workshops not using child labour – a major incentive for workshops to change their working practices.

Save the Children and DOLISA worked directly with at least 500 child labourers to help them go to school, grow up healthy and understand their rights. This project took the first urgently needed steps towards developing child friendly standards in small workshop environments in Vietnam, and it is the first time that any authority has taken action to improve conditions in textile workshops.