Viet Nam News
HCM CITY — Many public organisations and NGOs operate in the field of children protection in HCM City but do not work closely with one another, according to experts.
Speaking at a workshop on the child abuse and trafficking situation and ways to combat them held yesterday by the HCM City Child Welfare Association, they said these organisations should collaborate to develop a common strategy and action plan to improve the effectiveness of measures to safeguard children from abuse and trafficking.
Without such co-operation, they could well duplicate each other’s work, leading to a waste of human resources, they said.
Lý Thị Tố Mai, a member of the HCM City Association for Child Rights Protection’s lawyers panel, said not only girls but also boys face a grave risk of abuse and trafficking.
“The latest case, which I do not know how to resolve, involves a 12-year-old boy in District 9 who was seduced by a 28-year-old man. The boy dropped out of school to go and live with the man.”
When Mai met the boy and asked him if he was seduced, he denied it.
“How to protect such boys?”
Nguyễn Văn Tính, deputy head of the children protection and care division of the city Department of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs, said many families with boys are not aware of the risks and allow them to stay at others’ places overnight.
In the city, there have been 100 cases of child sex abuse and violence in the last 18 months, he said.
But in reality, many more are unreported by victims’ families for various reasons, he added.
Nguyễn Minh Giang, programme manager at anti-trafficking NGO Pacific Links Foundation, said Việt Nam is a country with a high incidence of trafficking.
“Of the victims aged less than 18 trafficked in the UK, the number of Vietnamese is the highest.”
Colonel Phan Văn Tặng of the HCM City Police’s criminal police division admitted the police are yet to uncover a single child in the city trafficked to other countries.
According to Mai, social organisations in the city should have programmes to propagate the skills and knowledge required to prevent children abuse and trafficking.
More mock courts should be held in schools, she added.
Phạm Đình Nghinh, head of the Social Welfare Centre for Children, said such courts should also be held in residential areas and industrial parks to warn people. — VNS