While Vietnam has achieved significant economic expansion over the past decade, growth has come at a cost to workers. The emphasis on growth has pressured companies to squeeze wages, mandate excessive overtime hours and pay insufficient attention to workplace safety standards.
The Strengthening the Awareness and Practice of International Labor Standards in Vietnam project aims to improve working conditions in Vietnam’s manufacturing sector by helping workers understand proper standards and how this awareness can influence working conditions, while enabling workers to raise concerns about labor practices. Kenan Foundation Asia and CSAGA work with a variety of key actors, such as civil society leaders, trade union members and government staff, to increase knowledge about international labor standards among workers and enterprise management in Bac Ninh industrial zone.
The project will train key actors on the principles of international labor standards, enabling them to implement activities in the industrial zone that call attention to the importance of improving standards and encourage management to comply with these standards within factories. In addition, the project will develop a systematic mechanism to monitor and report on factories’ fidelity to international labor standards; the key actors will then use the mechanism to evaluate the conditions of factories.
By the conclusion of the project, 20 key actors will acquire the knowledge and tools needed to promote international labor standards, conduct monitoring and reporting in factories and lead constructive dialogues involving workers, civil society, enterprises and government. The key actors will apply their skills to directly reach more than 6,000 workers. Overall, the project will result in increased worker participation in the decision making processes within Bac Ninh industrial zone, ultimately contributing to a safer workplace, the realization of fair wages and improved employee-employer relationships.