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Few punished for child abuse: seminar

Update: June, 11/2014 - 08:36
In HCM City, 355 children were abused between December 2010 and May 2013. Of those, six victims were children under six years old.

HCM CITY (VNS) —  Parental awareness of child sexual abuse and its consequences is very low, especially in rural areas, Ngo Thanh Thuan of the Can Tho Family Planning Association, said at a seminar yesterday in HCM City.

At the conference on child labour and sexual abuse, Thuan said that many parents were afraid to accuse offenders, who are often neighbours or relatives.

Young children were sometimes threatened by offenders, she said, adding that they did not understand the issue and were afraid to speak to the parents about abuse.

In rural areas, children in families with financial difficulties who leave for bigger cities to earn money are at a high risk of sexual abuse.

According to the Ministry of Public Security, there were 1,000 sexual abuse cases each year from 2006 to 2011, of which 65.9 per cent were rape cases.

In HCM City, 355 children were abused between December 2010 and May 2013. Of those, six victims were children under six years old.

Thuan said that sexually explicit videos on the internet and the profusion of smartphones contributed to child sexual abuse.

Pham Thi Kim Yen of Vinh Long Province's Department of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs said that many children make friends through the internet and social media like Facebook, and parents know little about their private online life.

The conference was part of a project to enhance the enforcement of children and teenagers' rights, carried out by the non-governmental organisation Tuong Lai Centre for Health Education and Community Development.

The NGO is sponsorsed by the Justice Initiatives Facilitation Fund, a joint programme between the governments of Viet Nam, Denmark, Sweden and the EU to support justice-sector reform in Viet Nam. — VNS

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