Prevalence Estimate: Forced labor among apparel workers in Vietnam
September 22, 2021
Vietnam is a major global supplier of apparel, and the second largest source of garment and textile exports to the United States, accounting for (along with China) nearly half of all apparel entering the North America. For years, the apparel industry was also the largest source of export revenues to Vietnam’s economy only to be eclipsed in 2018 by electronics. The apparel industry in Vietnam also attracts large sums of foreign direct investment to shore up the production and export capacity. Because of the long hours and physically demanding nature of garment factory apparel work, concerns about forced labor have been raised by foreign governments and the international NGO community.
In 2012, the United States Department of Labor (USDOL) added garments from Vietnam to the list of products made with forced and child labor. In 2020, garments from Vietnam remained on USDOL’s List of Goods Produced by Child Labor or Forced Labor.
This study was commissioned by the Global Fund to End Modern Slavery (GFEMS) to estimate the prevalence of forced labor in Vietnam’s apparel industry. It surveyed over 5,000 apparel workers in Ho Chi Minh City, Da Nang, and Thai Binh in the Red River Delta, locations that are the three main apparel production regions in Vietnam. Respondents were surveyed about their work experiences to determine whether
there was evidence of forced labor in the apparel industry.