Making news

National conference seeks ways to protect children from violence, abuse

Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc chaired a national online conference on August 6 on the protection of children against violence, abuse and risks to their health and life.

The conference, connected with 675 districts and communes across the nation, drew about 18,000 delegates.

A report by the Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs (MOLISA) showed that every year, about 2,000 cases of children falling victims to violence and abuse were reported and handled by functional agencies, with over 60 percent involving sexual abuse.

However, the figure is only the tip of the iceberg, as only cases serious enough to be subject to criminal investigation were reported.

In the first five months of 2018, 682 violations against children were reported. Particularly, as many as 21.3 percent of sexually abused children were victims of their family members, 59.9 percent were attacked by neighbours and relatives, and only 12.6 percent by strangers.

Deputy PM Vu Duc Dam held that the figure reported by the MOLISA does not reflect the reality. He said the unreported cases are much higher, as many harassing behaviours are still thought to be “normal” in society.

Participants at the conference gave their evaluation on violence and abuse against children, analysed the reason behind the problem and recommended solutions to it. Many pointed to the need for closer coordination among ministries, sectors, social organisations and local community, as well as the formation of preventive and settlement mechanisms for violation cases.

Addressing the event, PM Phuc said that violence, especially sexual abuse against children is unacceptable and intolerable both legally and morally.

He also mentioned other threats to children’s health and life, such as drowning and traffic accidents, which claim the life of thousands of children each year.

The Government leader stressed that it is a strategic and major task for the sustainable development of the country and the responsibility of the whole political system, localities and each family to care for and protect children as well as creating a healthy and favourable living environment for them.

He agreed with orientations and solutions stated in the MOLISA’s report to fight child abuse.

In order to mobilise resources of the whole political system for the enforcement of children’s rights, especially the rights to protection and safety, Party organisations, the government, specialised agencies and social organisations, especially at local level, should be fully and thoroughly aware of the significance of child protection, he stated.

He stressed the vitality of strict and full implementation of laws and policies related to the protection of children from violence and abuse, thus make sure children are safe.

“The training and providing of legal knowledge to the entire society on the caring, protection and support to children is crucial,” said the PM.

He asked the heads of People’s Committees at communes to appoint officials in charge of children protection, as so far, only 590 out of the total 11,162 communes, or about 5 percent, have appointed such a position.

The PM also required that research be conducted on the organisation and operation of a specialised team for children protection to be led by the Chair of the communal People’s Committee, while localities must pay more attention to enhancing the law enforcement capacity and skills for officials charged with children protection work and allocate sufficient resource for the work.

The Ministry of Education and Training was asked to design programmes to train children in protecting themselves, while National Assembly agencies, deputies and People’s Councils should tighten supervision of the enforcement of law and policies related to children protection as well as the allocation of resources for the work.

He also called on the whole society, from all-level administrations, socio-political organisations, mass organisations to communities and families to engage in preventing and fighting violence and abuse targeting children, and in creating a safe environment for children.

On the occasion, the PM also requested the MOLISA to coordinate with other relevant agencies to promptly submit a proposal on mobilizing social resources for the caring of children from ethnic minority groups and mountainous regions.

The PM asked the Vietnam Fatherland Front’s Central Committee to launch a campaign to support this group of children on the occasion of the Day for the Poor of Vietnam on October 17, 2018.