Home Institution

Georgetown University

Publication Date

Fall 2006

Program Name

Viet Nam: Culture and Development


This paper studies the impact of doi moi on working children in Ho Chi Minh City. Doi moi, which was implemented in 1986, drastically changed Vietnamese society, economically, socially ad politically. These changes allowed a market economy to emerge, sparked remarkable economic growth, and reduced the overall level of poverty. The living standard of the entire population has improved as a result of these economic developments. Poverty reduction has not occurred equally across all regions of Vietnam. Since 1986, there has been a growing divide between rural and urban areas. Around 10 million children in Vietnam today, 30% of the population, are poor according to the international standard. Many children have migrated from countryside provinces to large cities in Vietnam to work on the streets; many have moved from the rural provinces because their families cannot afford to support them or send them to school. These children, some of whom have moved voluntarily or because of familial pressure, have been left out of doi moi economic growth. Since Vietnam’s economic opening in the mid-80s, the problem of working children in large cities such as Ho Chi Minh City has become increasingly visible to the international community. The number of working children has increased and the types of children included in the definition of working and street children are changing.


Public Policy | Social Welfare


Article Location