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Vietnamese children demand a voice

Update: May, 10/2013 - 09:40
Children discuss ways to protect the environment at a workshop on climate change. A new survey conducted by the Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs found that 90 per cent of young Vietnamese people want to participate in national forums about child-related issues.—VNA/VNS Photo Duong Ngoc

HA NOI (VNS)— Vietnamese children want their voices to be heard by joining in national forums and other events targeting their rights, according to a national survey on amendments to the Law on Childcare, Education and Protection.

The survey, released in Ha Noi yesterday by the Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs, found that nearly 90 per cent of respondents, aged 6-18, want to participate in the National Children's Forum.

The forum, which has been held every two year since 2009, offers a chance for children to talk to State and Party leaders and officials from Government agencies about children-related issues.

In the biggest survey involving 34,500 children, about 60 per cent said they wanted to have the forum every year.

Truong Xuan Truong, from the Institute of Sociology, said that the survey was conducted between July 15 and September 15 last year in Ha Noi, HCM City, Dien Bien, Dong Thap, Kon Tum, Quang Nam and Thai Nguyen.

Ideas from children were collected on paper,from official website ykientreem.molisa.gov.vn, and call centre 1800.1567.

According to the survey, more than 50 per cent of children involved agreed with the ministry's proposal to lift the official age for children from 16 to 18.

At present, a person is considered a child from the age of six to 16 in Viet Nam. The country now has nearly 23 million children.

Funakoshi Mina, acting programme director of Plan International in Viet Nam said that conducting the first child polling initiative in Viet Nam symbolised a big commitment by the Government.

The survey results are expected to be submitted to the National Assembly at a session in 2014 to discuss revisions to the law on child care, education and protection, which has been in effect since 2004.

Viet Nam is the first Asian country and the second in the world to ratify the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.— VNS


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