Nguyen Trong An, deputy director of the Research and Training Centre for Community Development, spoke with Hai Quan Cuoi Tuan newspaper (Customs Weekend) about the importance of providing proper care for children.
Violence against children has become a thorny problem in Viet Nam. As a doctor who has worked for more than 30 years caring and protecting children, will you tell us about the negative impacts on young victims?
Forms of violence against girls and boys happen round the clock every where, including at home, at school or in the wider community. Violators are sometimes found to be parents or care-takers.
Corporal and spiritual violence is reported on the rise and have caused anxiety to society as a whole. However, the impact of violence on children's health, education and socialisation remains largely invisible. Quite a few of them have traumatic stress disorder. And more seriously, if they cannot cope with their trauma, they sometimes attempt suicide or even kill some-one.
Vietnamese children receive special care and protection from society, yet domestic violence against them is still reported. What are the main causes of the problem?
The deep cause of the situation is the fast socio-economic changes in Viet Nam which is widening the gap between rich and poor. This has led to more children with special circumstances, an increase in child labour and even sexual exploitation.
In addition, some Vietnamese families no longer follow traditional values and lifestyles and believe in a society ruled by money. As a result, anarchism is on the rise. This is a key reason for the rise in violence and social vices in society.
However, the lack of a professional child protection system and the poor communication campaigns to educate people against violence against children are also to blame. This explains the shortage of professional public relations people and consultants.
What should parents do to protect their children from social vices, including violence?
Parents play a very important role in giving love to their children. They should be the first people to respond to their children's needs. It would be ideal if parents could co-operate closely with experts in giving material and spiritual care to their children.
Children are our future. Proper care should be given to all children from birth by their family members and society in general.
Meanwhile, we should also complete our child protection system, particularly amendments to the Law on Children Protection Care and Education, which is slated for discussion at the next National Assembly meeting in October. — VNS