Small shoulders: The children forced to work in Vietnam

Authorities struggle to eliminate child labour despite unprecedented economic growth

Nguyen Van Thanh worked 17-hour days in a garment factory. He was rescued after a year. Photograph: Adrien le Coärer

Nguyen Van Thanh worked 17-hour days in a garment factory. He was rescued after a year. Photograph: Adrien le Coärer

irishtimes_A female singer belts out a Vietnamese love song on the radio as a tear rolls down Tran Bao Ngoc’s cheek. Her voice falls to little more than a hush.

“I was lied to about my job. I wanted to leave but at some point, I realised I wasn’t allowed to go. Nobody had to tell me but I knew I was trapped,” says the 22-year-old. “I didn’t know where I was or how to go home.”

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