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Conference looks at efforts to reduce juvenile crime

Update: April, 18/2013 - 10:04

HA NOI (VNS)— Viet Nam is considering appointing judges with special knowledge of juvenile crime and ways of combating it.

Steps to prevent juvenile delinquency and re-integrate offenders into society have already proved highly effective, said the deputy head of the Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs Ministry's Child Protection and Care Department, Dang Nam, at a conference in HCM City.

The conference, run by the department and UNICEF, was told that about 13,300 Vietnamese juveniles were involved in 8,800 crimes last year, about 230 more than in 2011. More than 61 per cent of the cases were conducted by those aged from 16-18.

Viet Nam is considering appointing judges with special knowledge of juvenile crime and ways of combating it.— VNA/VNS Photo

Participants at the conference agreed that juvenile offenders should be strictly punished for crimes, but these should be in accordance with international regulations on human rights for children.

Nam said the non-custodial measures of reducing custody and increasing family mediation were highly recommended.

Accordingly, juvenile offenders may have to apologise, compensate, do public-service work instead of being remanded in custody.

"In future, it's necessary to set up model courts to deal with juvenile crimes, including judges trained to deal with juvenile crimes," Nam said.

Participants also suggested that inspectors responsible for investigating juvenile crimes be trained to do their jobs in a friendly manner.

The conference follows reports that juvenile crimes are getting out of hand. Juvenile crime rings using weapons to fight each other, steal property and resist police have appeared in Ha Noi, HCM City, Thai Binh and Vinh Phuc provinces, said Colonel Pham Van Sy, from the Public Security Ministry's Criminal Police Department.

According to the HCM City People's Committee, more than 1,200 juveniles were arrested for crimes last year, about 11 per cent higher than in 2011.— VNS

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