The Hanoitimes - Minister of Labor, War Invalids and Social Affairs (MoLISA) Dao Ngoc Dung on June 5 answered many questions at the National Assembly sitting about the violence and child sexual abuses that have recently caused public angst.
According to the minister, about 2,000 cases of violence and abuse are reported each year. This is the data collected from three different channels, but this is only a reflection, while the actual number can higher.
Regarding the legal framework to deal with violence and child abuse, Minister Dao Ngoc Dung affirmed that there is a full complement, such as the Law on Children and Decree 61. When child sexual abuses increased, the Prime Minister instructed government agencies and localities to deal with the situation, added Minister Dung.
Minister of Labor, War Invalids and Social Affairs Dao Ngoc Dung
As the state management agency, the MoLISA has implemented a number of measures, including propaganda, the establishment of hotlines, strict handling of a number of cases. In addition, the ministry will continue to monitor and supervise the handling child abuse cases.
"Recently, there have been a number of cases that are more complex, causing a lot of troubles in society, and the whole society is condemning it. In the coming time, we will review the legal system to enhance the responsibility of the family and the school," said the Minister.
Child sexual abuse has been on the rise across the country, with most happenings remaining unreported, Vietnamese police have said.
Child abuse remains an unsolved problem in Vietnam
Between 2014 and 2017, more than 4,100 cases of sexual violence against children were reported, with girls accounting for more than 80 percent of the 4,140 child victims, according to a report from the Police Department of Criminal Investigation of Social Order under the Ministry of Public Security.
Most of the cases were reported by relatives of victims or local residents, but only six percent of the cases were discovered by public security officials, said Nhu Thi Minh Nguyet, Director of the Ministry of Public Security’s Police Political Bureau Department.
Most of the alleged sexual abusers were relatives or acquaintances of the victims, Nguyet said, adding that they took advantage of close relationships with naive children whose victims’ parents were at work.
Many recently reported cases involved sexual violence against children, of which the majority of alleged abusers were foreigners.
Nguyet attributed the number of rising child abuse cases to lack of parental care, lack of gender education and life skills at schools, and the explosion of the internet and social networks, as well as tourism development.
“Many incidents remain unreported as families of victims fear their children’s dignity and privacy will be affected for their entire lives if the incidents are made public,” she said.
"Children who experience sexual abuse are more likely to be depressed and experience other types of mental health problems and to engage in high-risk behaviours such as violence and social evils such as drug abuse," she warned.
A majority of victims are children of migrant workers who live in boarding houses and leave their children at home alone when they go to work, she said. In some cases, child victims have sex with lovers who are also young. Most families remain silent and fail to report the cases to authorities in a timely manner, she said.
Local public security and women’s unions should work with schools to offer life skills education for children, especially in disadvantaged localities with poor academic standards, she suggested.