|Children beg for food and money in HCM City's Tan Binh District. Those who use children for exploitative purposes will receive stricter punishment. — Photo Courtesy of tuoitre.com.vn
HA NOI (VNS) — People who perpetrate violations against children by failing to offer them adequate care and protection or by using them for exploitative purposes are now to get stricter punishments, Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung announced this week.
Under Decree No 144, effective as of December 15, the fine for those forcing children to do things which undermine their dignity will jump from VND1-3 million (US$48-143) to VND5-10 million ($238-476).
According to vice head of the Department of Child Care and Protection, Nguyen Trong An, punishment levels given in the new decree are a better fit for those involved in child abuse.
"However, in general, they are administrative punishment so to some extent they are not strict enough to prevent further violations", An said.
An mentioned cases of parents or sponsors taking advantage of children by forcing them into begging.
The public was shocked by the recent story of a three-year-old boy in HCM City who was brutally beaten by his 15-year-old uncle.
His uncle admitted to the police to have forced the boy to beg for money and beat him each time he returned home without money.
According to local people, it was the boy's grandmother that left him hungry and banned him from coming back the house if he did not have sufficient money.
"According to this decree, violators will be fined from VND5-15 million ($238-714) but in my opinion, their child-bearing rights should be denied as well", he said.
In addition a maximum fine of VND40-50 million ($2,000-2,500) will be imposed on those who used images of children to create pornography, or other products involving violent content. They will also be required to destroy the offensive products.
Further to this fines of VND10-15 million ($238-714) will be levied on medical officers who refuse to provide children with medical examinations or treatment. In this case, their medical license will also be suspended for a period between three and six months.
Those committing similar violations were made to pay a fine of only VND5-10 million in the previous decree set two years ago. — VNS