Viet Nam News
ĐẮK LẮK – Lê Văn Hồng, a member of the H’Mông minority in Krông Bông District of the Central Highland province of Đắk Lắk, had decided to send his two sons, aged 10 and 15, to work for a garment factory in the south.
He accepted the fact that Lê Văn Cải and Lê Văn Khương would drop out of school so they could bring home a few million đồng and help ease the family’s hardship.
However, after two months Hồng had to borrow money to bring his kids home as they could not stand the harsh working conditions. The two have gone back to school in Hoà Phong Commune, but many other children aren’t as lucky.
Lê Văn Toả, another father from Krông Bông District’s Hoà Phong Commune told vov.vn that he was worried about his 13-year-old daughter working far from home. She called him several times, and spoke about the hard life she had to suffer.
“She told me that she worked from 6am to midnight, and had only two hours off for meals,” he said.
Nguyễn Văn Tâm, chairman of the Cư Pui Commune’s People’s Committee, said these ethnic minority students pay reduced school fees, but some parents let their children drop out of school to earn money.
Most of children have to work for a whole year to make VNĐ9 million (US$395), and only get the money once at the end of that year.
Trần Ngọc Hùng, deputy head of the district’s Division of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs, said that since 2014 students were being sent to work at industrial zones or restaurants in the south. This year, as many as 135 students aged 12 to 16 had quit school and 42 of them were reportedly sent to work in HCM City.
Hùng said the division, in co-operation with local authorities, has disseminated informaton about child labour law and penalties for dropping out of school to all households in the district, but the problem persists.
In 2014, more than 20 ethnic minority people in Cư Kuin District were found working in recruitment of child labourers for enterprises in the south. As many as 206 students from primary and secondary schools in Krông Bông, Lắk, Cư Kuin and Krông Pắc District, dropped out of school to work.
Từ Thị Khanh, head of the provincial Department of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs’s Children Protection and Caring Unit said that most of the children were between 13 and 15 and were vulnerable to social evils such as prostitution, abuse, drug use and human trafficking. – VNS