PANO - The International Labour Organisation (ILO) in Vietnam has launched the “Red Card to Child Labour” campaign sending out a message that children have a right to play, not work.

Accordingly, together with international footballers and celebrities, Vietnam national football team striker Le Cong Vinh will hold up the Red Card and join the campaign against child labour.

Vietnamese striker Le Cong Vinh

At present, most working children worldwide perform unpaid work on family farms and 85 million children aged 5-17 years are doing work on farms or in mines and sweatshops that greatly affect their health and safety, sometimes even their lives. Millions of child labourers are in domestic work. Others are victims of commercial sexual exploitation, or are exploited in the drugs trade or begging on the streets. Some 5.5 million children are in modern-day slavery, including victims of human trafficking.

In Vietnam, about 9.6 per cent of children aged 5-17, or 1.75 million Vietnamese children, are child labourers. The main findings from the first National Child Labour Survey launched in March showed that two in every five child workers are under 15 years old. Most child labourers live in the countryside, work in agriculture and are unpaid family workers. About one-third of the child workers, or nearly 569,000 children, have to work more than 42 hours per week, which affects their schooling.

Vietnamese famous footballer Cong Vinh said, “Child labour deprives children of their childhood, potential and dignity, and is harmful to physical and mental development.”

Chung Anh