Child sexual abuse becomes more complicated hinh anh 1Child sexual abuse has become more complicated in recent years, according to the Ministry of Public Security (Photo: VietnamPlus)

Hanoi (VNA)
– Child sexual abuse has become more complicated in recent years, according to the Ministry of Public Security.

In the past, child sexual abuse mainly occurred in remote and areas with a low level of education, but now more cases have been reported in urban areas and big cities.

The victims are mainly girls aged between 9 and 16 years old. Recently, there has been sexual abuse against boys.

It is worthy to mention that in the environments that appear to be the safest for children such as families and schools, child sexual abuse behaviors are still evident.

According to the Ministry of Public Security, the country recorded 1,547 child abuse cases in 2018, including 1,293 sexual ones.

In the first quarter of this year, the country detected 253 child sexual abuse cases, prosecuted 234 cases along with 241 suspects. 

These figures are just the tip of the iceberg, the ministry said, adding that there are still a lot of potential risks and uncovered cases.

The most concerning is that the majority of sexual abuse cases are caused by people who are close to the victims. 

A series of such cases in the northern provinces of Lao Cai and Bac Giang, and the Central Highlands provinces of Gia Lai and Kon Tum were prosecuted in the first few months of 2019.

Nguyen Thi Nga, Deputy Director of the Department of Child Affairs under the Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs, said among the cases supported by Switchboard 111, most of the abusers are acquaintances of the victims such as neighbours (59.6 percent), teachers and school staff (6.03 percent), and others (13.79 percent). Particularly, the culprit being a relative in the family such as father, stepfather, and cousin make up 21.12 percent.

Deputy Minister of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs Nguyen Thi Ha recognised challenges in the prevention of child maltreatment and violence against children, noting that about 2,000 children are subject to violence and abuse each year.

Due to its complicated development, child sexual abuse has become a hot topic for discussion at the National Assembly.

Heads of the Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs, People’s Procuracy, Ministry of Public Security, and Supreme People’s Court Justice have to field questions raised by deputies related to the issue.

In Vietnam, the Child Law 2016 has created an important legal corridor for the protection, care and education of children, significantly contributing to the implementation of the children’s fundamental rights.

The law devotes a separate chapter on child protection and regulates child protection requirements as well as the establishment of child protection service facilities.

The Vietnamese Government has also promulgated a number of documents guiding the implementation of child care and protection, contributing to improving the quality of their life.

The Penal Code 2015 includes many provisions to better protect minors from sexual abuse and other forms of violence. However, some gaps are remaining on the way to further align national laws with the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) and Optional Protocol on the Sale of Children, Child Prostitution and Child Pornography (OPSC), both of which Vietnam has ratified.

At the United Nations (UN) General Assembly’s celebration for global actions on the 30th anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, Vietnam, together with 40 countries worldwide, aligned itself to the voluntary global pledge “For every child, every right” to ensure no one is left behind, and to support every child to reach their full potential.

The country also voiced its support for the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF)’s safe school environment programme, aiming to raise a voice to single out children’s education rights in all cases./.