Dang Hoa Nam, director of the Child Care and Protection Department, spoke to the Viet Nam Economic Times newspaper about the draft law on child care, protection and education.
What do you think about the increase of violence against children, particular at private child care centres recently?
Cases of violence against children, particular at private kindergartens have been increasing. Many surveys have found that most localities are less interested in social infrastructure than economic development. This leads to a shortage of health centres, playgrounds, and child care centres.
In cities, land for development of social infrastructure is being used for other purposes, leading to overloaded public schools and kindergartens.
Private child care centres without proper licensing have also been opening. The poor quality of these centres has also caused the rise of child abuse.
Who is responsible for this situation?
The local education sector and authorities are firstly responsible.
The department's responsibility is to co-ordinate with the education sector to prevent and deal with child abuse and co-ordinate with the Ministry of Health to heal children's injures.
MoLISA will help children who suffer mental abuse reintegrate into the community. However, abuses of children's rights has happened a lot recently in child care centres, even in families. This shows a lack of awareness of children's rights and child care skills. The risk of violence to children is very high because they have not yet attained full brain capacity or physical development and, therefore, need protection and care from their families as well as society and the State.
What should we do to reduce child abuse?
To decrease the cases of child abuse we need to have staff to help children in the community, but we still lack the human resources to do this job in localities.
The State should urgently add and amend the law on children's rights and child protection.
Child care centre staff need to be trained on child care skills and the law.
We need a child care and protection system that correlates with the education system.
The State, society and families would be responsible for protecting children from violence and taking measures to prevent and combat all forms of violence against children in families, schools, and communities.
MoLISA is setting up the Law on Children to submit to the National Assembly.
Child care and protection will be better when the law comes into effect.
MoLISA also has a hotline with number of 18001567 to record, counsel and handle with relevant issues to children.
This hotline receives about 300,000 calls each year. — VNS