NA Deputy Chairman Phùng Quốc Hiển speaks at the meeting. NA members stress upon the identification of children vulnerable to violence for the better adoption of preventative measures. — VNA/VNS Photo Trọng Đức
HÀ NỘI — Nearly 50 per cent of adults do not know what is governed by the Law on Children, according to a report released by the National Assembly’s supervision delegation on Monday.
A survey of over 9,000 people nationwide reveals that 9.8 per cent of adults say they have no idea of the existence of the Law on Children. Meanwhile, up to 47 per cent of children do not know the age group is protected by the law.
The lack of awareness creates loopholes for child abuse, said members of the delegation at the 44th session of NA Standing Committee on Monday morning.
“If people don’t know the law, how can the obey it?” said Đỗ Bá Tỵ, NA deputy chairman, stressing public awareness of the Law on Children as an essential tool to push back violence against children.
The supervision delegation reported on the elevated risks of child abuse. Hà Ngọc Chiến, NA’s Ethnic Council Chairman, said while preventative measures were critical in combating child maltreatment, there had been no reports on children at high risk which needed special attention and intervention.
From 2015 to 2019, there were 337 children killed, 418 pregnant and 198 suffering mental disorders as a consequence of child abuse, according to the delegation.
Nearly 8,500 cases of violence against children were reported in the same period with more than 8,700 child victims. Sexual abuse made up the largest portion of 75.4 per cent with 6,432 children assaulted. 857 children were beaten while 106 others were kidnapped.
In some localities, including Mekong Delta provinces of Cần Thơ, Hậu Giang and Kiên Giang, child sexual abuse accounted for up to 90 per cent of violence against children reported. 90 per cent of culprits were victims’ relatives or acquaintances.
“The delegation recognised that many child abuse cases have remained obscure, especially those leading to mental and physical damage. Reported cases could not fully reflect the status quo,” the report said.
Speaking at the meeting, NA deputy chairman Phùng Quốc Hiển said what had been exposed was just the tip of the iceberg.
“Our child protection system does not perform its roles very well,” said Hiển.
“While handling violence against children is important, it is critical to protect children and stop child abuse from happening,” he added.
“There are child assault cases kept hidden from schools and authorities. First and foremost, the responsibility of the grassroots-level government has to be upheld.”
On average, seven children are assaulted every day in Việt Nam.
NA’s General Secretary Nguyễn Hạnh Phúc tasked the delegation to analyse causes, State management responsibilities and relations among child abuse with the divorce rate, social media and internet use to reveal a more comprehensive overview of the issue and come up with effective solutions to protect children. — VNS