Over 100 participants attended a forum held yesterday in Hà Nội to discuss and gain a greater understanding of Việt Nam’s legal framework addressing child sexual exploitation, with a particular focus on child sex tourism.— Photo qdnd.com.vn
HÀ NỘI — Over 100 participants attended a forum held yesterday in Hà Nội to discuss and gain a greater understanding of Việt Nam’s legal framework addressing child sexual exploitation, with a particular focus on child sex tourism.
The consultation workshop on the finalisation of the “Child Sexual Exploitation in Travel and Tourism – An Analysis of Domestic Legal Framework” was held by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), the Japan International Co-operation Agency (JICA) in partnership with Việt Nam Ministry of Justice (MoJ).
On top of discussions, participants sought to formulate a productive and effective critique of and recommendations for the Vietnamese legal framework.
To examine the extent to which domestic legislation meets key international legal standards applicable to child sexual exploitation in travel and tourism, UNODC undertook legislative reviews in Việt Nam, Cambodia, Laos and Thailand in 2014.
The report brings the 2014 analysis up to date. It reviews the current domestic legal frameworks in Cambodia, Las and Việt Nam against key international treaties that set legal standards for an effective criminal justice response to child sex tourism – with a focus on criminalisation, protection of child victims and witnesses, and measures for cross border co-operation.
Speaking at the workshop, Christopher Batt, officer-in-charge of the UNODC in Việt Nam, said, “In addition to reflecting recent legal and policy developments in Việt Nam, this report includes concrete recommendations for ongoing reform work – building on the work undertaken since 2014.”
These recommendations serve as a constructive basis for the Government to progress with legal reforms to better address the fight against travelling child sex offenders, he said.
Nguyễn Thị Kim Thoa, director of the Criminal and Administrative Law Department under the MoJ emphasised that over the last few years in Việt Nam, child abuse and child sexual abuse in particular, has become more complex in its nature and seriousness.
“The Government has promulgated many programmes and policies, yet there remains much to be done for child protection and prevention of child abuse, including child sex tourism in Việt Nam,” she said.
Jun Yanagi, Deputy Chief of Mission, Embassy of Japan in Việt Nam, said, “This workshop approaches child sexual exploitation from the perspectives of a legal system and its implementation.”
“I hope this workshop sees fruitful discussions regarding the legal system and its implementation concerning child sexual exploitation, leads to the publication of a meaningful report in the future, and promotes the measures against this issue more effectively,” he said.
During the 2011-15 period, there were over 8,200 cases of child abuse, involving 9,920 victims, up by 258 children compared to the previous five years, according to the UNODC.
Up to 65 per cent of the victims were sexually assaulted.
The nature of child sex abuse cases have grown ever more complicated and serious. Police officers are finding it increasingly challenging to deal with child sex tourism cases. Offenders can be Vietnamese or foreign travelers, said the UNODC. — VNS