Viet Nam News
HCM CITY — A national hotline that would provide legal consultation and assistance to victims of sexual abuse and violence will be launched in the near future, according to the Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs.
Speaking at a workshop on sexual abuse held in HCM City on Friday, Đặng Hoa Nam, director of the ministry’s Department of Child Care and Protection, said relatives and neighbours often did not know where to turn or whom to contact when a child was sexually abused.
The department is working with the Ministry of Information and Communications to set up a national easy-to-remember number. “We will also amend legal regulations regarding forensic examinations and prosecution and help agencies seek evidence, investigate and prosecute as soon as possible,” he added.
A Government decree that comes into effect in July offers a new special judicial process and regulations that call for support of all costs for physical and psychological treatment and rehabilitation for victims of sexual abuse.
Under the decree, every commune must have one employee specialising in child care and protection and prevention against sexual abuse and violence, he said.
“It will take a long time to reduce sexual abuse among children. In the next two or three years, the target will be difficult to achieve,” Nam said.
Trần Thị Ngọc Nữ, head of the lawyers’ panel of the HCM City Association for Child Rights Protection, said that specialists investigating sexual abuse among children should be trained.
Đoàn Thị Vũ Linh, deputy head of Thủ Đức District’s Division for Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs, said that many parents, especially migrant workers in wards Linh Xuân and Bình Chiểu, take their children to neighbours’ homes during the day when they are working.
These children are at a risk of sexual abuse, and the number of sexual abuse cases occurring in the two wards remains high.
Around 1,000 child sexual abuse cases occur every year in the country, according to the Ministry of Public Security and UNICEF. — VNS