|People hold placards in front of a court hall to call for justice for an eight-year-old girl beaten to death by his father's girlfriend. — VNA/VNS Photo|
HÀ NỘI — Minister of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs Đào Ngọc Dung on Wednesday sent a document to local authorities across the country to strengthen the prevention and control of violence and abuse of children.
This came in the wake of a recent spike in cases of child violence and abuse, causing serious complications in their physical and social development, that shocked the public.
To minimise damage and ensure children’s rights and interests, the ministry has asked people’s committees in provinces and cities to implement a rigourous system to comprehensively prevent and combat violence and child abuse.
It has been proposed for communes to implement child protection measures, prioritising the allocation of resources to ensure timely intervention and support for children that are victims of violence and abuse, and assigning the local interdisciplinary organisations - particularly the child protection body - the responsibility of protecting children and looking out for signs of abuse.
The ministry has also requested commune-level child protection groups to be active participants in grasping a comprehensive understanding of familial situations or environments that show signs of possible risks of violence and abuse, especially amongst children living in families with divorced or separated parents, or parents who work far away or have criminal records.
Following the proposal, local authorities should push for further education and dissemination of morals, lifestyles and appropriate behaviours in families, as well as the responsibility taken by adults to set an example for children.
Efforts should be made to instruct families, educational institutions, and children on identifying and notifying authorities about violence and abuse, especially in situations where parents, relatives or caregivers infringe upon the life, spirit and dignity of the child.
The ministry also asked local authorities to be more prompt in retrieving and processing information or notifications of risks or acts of violence and child abuse, strengthen the inspection and examination of potential violence and child abuse cases in the local areas and lend further support to young victims.
Local authorities have the responsibility to detect and handle such cases of child maltreatment, and hold agencies, organisations and individuals accountable should they attempt to conceal, irresponsibly handle, fail to notify and denounce acts of violence and child abuse.
A number of child abuse cases have shocked the nation recently, especially those involving serious violence against children committed by their divorced parent’s partner. Late December 2021, an eight-year-old girl in HCM City was beaten to death by her father’s girlfriend. Police investigations later revealed that the girl had been violently abused by various vicious methods of punishment by her father and his girlfriend for a long time before her death.
In another case, a man in Hà Nội was arrested for brutalising a three-year-old girl, who is his unofficial wife’s daughter by hammering nails into her head. The girl later died after being treated in a hospital. — VNS