|A contest on children’s rights held in HCM City last week. — VNS Photo Gia Lộc
HCM CITY — Children aged nine to 16 were invited to talk about issues affecting their life, including sexual and physical abuse, at a forum organised on August 4 by the Department of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs in HCM City.
Nguyễn Thị Liên, deputy head of the department, said the forum, attended by around 150 students, would help local authorities revise policies on children’s rights and build a healthy and safe environment for children.
Nguyễn Văn Gia Thụy, representative of the city’s Department of Education and Training, said the department was co-operating with the HCM City Bar Association to set up a sexual-abuse prevention programme at schools that will also include martial arts.
Student Trần Thị Hồng Thắm of the city’s District 12 told the forum that she was worried about her safety after reading media reports about sexual abuse cases at a school in the city.
Another student, Phạm Bích Xuyên of HCM City’s Nhà Bè District, complained that parents were forcing children to study too much.
Nguyễn Văn Tính, deputy head of the Children’s Protection and Care Division at the Department of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs, said that parents should spend more time caring for their children as too many of them were ignoring their children’s mental health and feelings.
He said the department would work with the Department of Education and Training to organise more mental health programmes for children.— VNS