About 1.75 million Vietnamese children are in child labor, equivalent to nearly 10 percent of children aged 5-17 in the country, according to a new report.
Three in every five of these working children are between 15 and 17, and nearly 85 of them live in the countryside, the International Labor Organization said in its report prepared for the World Day Against Child Labour on Friday.
According to the report, a majority of children in child labor are found in agriculture and they are often unpaid family workers.
The nation's heavy dependence on foreign labour leads to lower wage rates and the inability to escape the labour-intensive economy trap.
Finance economics expert Prof. Dr. Hoo Ke Ping said one could draw on Singapore as an example.
"In 1977, Singapore decided it would no longer be a labour-intensive economy.
As a result, this created an excess in jobless workers that required retraining," he said at a forum on Malaysia's economic outlook for the second half of 2015, Hoo said between 1977 to 1980, foreign investments in Singapore dropped.
"But by 1981 or 1982, their economy picked up and took off," he said.
"The annual RM50 billion remittance outflow by foreign workers means our own wages will never go up," said Hoo, referring to the findings by the National Professorial Council on the effects of foreign workers in Malaysia on Dec 15.
Trade unions met on 11-12 June in Petaling Jaya, Malaysia, for IndustriALL Global Union’s World Conference on ICT, Electrical & Electronics. Around 100 delegates from 32 organizations in 16 countries were present.
In their action plan for the next four years, participants at the World Conference on ICT, Electrical & Electronics affirmed their strong commitment to:
build union power to confront global capital;
fight for trade union rights;
fight against precarious work; and
promote industrial policy and sustainability.
In the opening speech, Shoji Arino, sector chair, insisted that the situation of precarious workers is getting worse while multinationals are accelerating to expand in this sector. “We must strengthen unity among unions to take wide-ranging solidarity action, especially in the emerging and developing countries,” he said.