HCM CITY — Children should be given early education about sexual abuse and equipped with skills to protect themselves, participants said at workshop yesterday.
The incidence of children abused sexually was increasing, said Huynh Cong Hung, head of the Cultural and Social Affairs Committee of the HCM City People's Council and Department of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs.
About 1,000 children are sexually abused nationwide each year, he added.
In HCM City alone, 16 cases of child sexual abuse were discovered in the first six months of this year, six more than the same period last year, according to a report submitted by city police at the conference. Most of the cases were found in the districts of Binh Chanh, Cu Chi and Binh Tan and 12.
Hung also said that children were being sexually abused at an earlier age. He said the upward trend in child abuse was happening despite strengthened propaganda and many regulations issued by the government.
Dinh Nguyen Thien Kim, deputy head of the forensic medicine centre, said that this was because children have not soon received awareness on sexual abuse and reproductive health.
The best way was to teach the issue at schools, she suggested.
A representative of the city police said that films, feature stories and plays relating to reproductive health and child sexual abuse should be aired on television.
Tricks commonly used in child abuse must be publicised, he said.
Dr Nguyen Trong An, deputy head of the Children's Protection and Care Department under the Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs said the budget allocated for child abuse prevention should also be increased. —VNS