|Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc (front row, in white) participates in the campaign Safe Year for Women and Children in March. VNA/VNS Photo Thống Nhất|
HÀ NỘI – Safe spaces for women and children should be created to reduce violence and sexual abuse.
That was the message from a conference held in Hà Nội on Monday by the Việt Nam Women’s Union (VWU) and Việt Nam Academy of Social Sciences.
The seminar, Safe Space for Women and Children, aimed at providing a scientific and practical basis for proposing solutions to create more safe spaces for women and children.
“The seminar was organised in the context of many concerning issues on women's and children's safety,” said Nguyễn Thị Thu Hà, the VWU president.
“This was an opportunity for policy makers, state management agencies, researchers and social activists to discuss how to set up safe spaces for women and children.
“The seminar was also a venue for specialists and policy makers to identify issues so as to build up policies to effectively protect women and children,” Hà said.
Participants also presented reports on issues such as child sexual abuse, school violence, sexual harassment, domestic violence and protecting children in the digital world.
According to United Nations Population Fund, a safe space is a place in which women and children can feel physically and emotionally secure and enjoy the freedom to express themselves without the fear of judgement, trauma, violence or fear.
Statistics showed that last year, more than 8,000 women were victims of domestic violence in Việt Nam, accounting for 85 per cent of all domestic violence victims.
According to the United Nations Women, 34.4 per cent of Vietnamese women have suffered sexual violence, the second highest rate in Southeast Asia.
Last year, more than 1,500 children were sexually abused in Việt Nam and 2,000 cases of school violence were reported.
Although there have been many programmes and policies aimed at intervention and protection, they have proved insufficient to safeguard women and children.
The situation requires a thorough review of safe spaces for women and children in the context of the country's economic, political, cultural and social characteristics to ensure the rights of women and children are protected, said Hà. – VNS