NGOs urged to unite to protect kids

Nguyen Minh Giang, programme manager at anti-trafficking NGO Pacific Links Foundation, said Vietnam is a country with a high incidence of trafficking (Source: VNA)


HCM City (VNA) – Many public organisations and NGOs operate in the field of
children protection in HCM City but do not work closely with one another,
according to experts.

Speaking
at a workshop on the child abuse and trafficking situation and ways to combat
them held on June 16 by the HCM City Child Welfare Association, they said these
organisations should collaborate to develop a common strategy and action plan
to improve the effectiveness of measures to safeguard children from abuse and
trafficking.

Without
such cooperation, they could well duplicate each other’s work, leading to a
waste of human resources, they said.

Ly Thi To
Mai, a member of the HCM City Association for Child Rights Protection’s lawyers
panel, said not only girls but also boys face a grave risk of abuse and
trafficking.

“The
latest case, which I do not know how to resolve, involves a 12-year-old boy in
District 9 who was seduced by a 28-year-old man. The boy dropped out of school
to go and live with the man.”

When Mai
met the boy and asked him if he was seduced, he denied it.

“How to
protect such boys?”

Nguyen Van
Tinh, deputy head of the children protection and care division of the city
Department of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs, said many families with boys
are not aware of the risks and allow them to stay at others’ places overnight.

In the
city, there have been 100 cases of child sex abuse and violence in the last 18
months, he said.

But in
reality, many more are unreported by victims’ families for various reasons, he
added.

Nguyen
Minh Giang, programme manager at anti-trafficking NGO Pacific Links Foundation,
said Vietnam is a country with a high incidence of trafficking.

“Of the
victims aged less than 18 trafficked in the UK, the number of Vietnamese is the
highest.”

Colonel
Phan Van Tang of the HCM City Police’s criminal police division admitted the
police are yet to uncover a single child in the city trafficked to other
countries.

According
to Mai, social organisations in the city should have programmes to
propagate the skills and knowledge required to prevent children abuse and
trafficking.

More mock
courts should be held in schools, she added.

Pham Dinh
Nghinh, head of the Social Welfare Centre for Children, said such courts should
also be held in residential areas and industrial parks to warn people.-VNA



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