Illustrative image (Source: VNA)

HCM City (VNA) – A cooperation mechanism among stakeholders to effectively implement the child friendly city initiative in Ho Chi Minh City was the focus of discussion at a workshop in the city on July 18.

The event was jointly organised by the municipal People’s Committee and the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF).

Nguyen Thi Thu, Vice Chairwoman of the municipal People’s Committee said the city is home to over 1.5 million children, including over 16,000 disadvantaged ones and over 35,000 at risk of falling into disadvantaged situation. These figures demonstrate that great challenges are facing the city in caring for and protecting children. 

The initiative, to be carried out from 2017 to 2021, will help the city better implement the Law on Children 2016 and ensure the rights of local children, Thu said.

Youssouf Abdel – Jelil, UNICEF Representative in Vietnam said children in general and children in cities in particular have to face numerous problems related to health, education and abusing and exploitation risks.

The initiative aims to reduce the gap in accessing social services and protect children from violence, while promoting a safe and sustainable urban environment for them.

It will link urban planning with budget allocation for children and enhance needy children’s participation in child-related issues.

Youssouf Abdel – Jelil underlined the need for the involvement of authorities, business community, social organisations and children’s organisations in order for the initiative to be implemented effectively.

Participants said administrative formalities should be reduced for the cooperation mechanism among stakeholders to reduce time and expense spent on preparations, allowing more resources for main activities under the initiative.

They added that as a large number of children in HCM City (400,000) are from immigrant families, the initiative should look to improve those children’s access to social, health and educational services.

Many pointed to the need to mobilise financial and human resources from social organisations to ensure the outcomes of the initiative will be maintained and multiplied across the nation.-VNA