The National Children’s Forum was opened in Hanoi on August 8, providing a platform for children nationwide to voice opinions on the amendments to the Law on Protection, Care and Education for Children.

Opening the biennial forum, Deputy Minister of Labour, War Invalids and Social Affairs Doan Mau Diep said that in the past years, the protection and care of children have been carried out to enable the beneficiaries to enjoy equal chances to grow physically and mentally and bring into full play their role at home and in society.

He said he hopes that at this year’s forum, the participating children will proactively find out problems concerning the protection and care for children and put forward adequate proposals on the amendments to the Law on Protection, Care and Education for Children.

At the event, representatives from various ministries and sectors reviewed the implementation of children’s recommendations at the 2009 and 2011 forums.

Accordingly, the State has extended support policies for children in healthcare, education, culture and sports, and raised financial assistance for programmes targeting children.

In 2011, more than 11 trillion VND (524 million USD) were channeled to children-targeted programmes, a year-on-year increase of 19 percent. The figure rose to over 13 trillion VND (619 million USD) in 2012 and is estimated at 15 trillion VND (714 million USD) in 2013.

At the forum, 180 young representatives from 29 provinces and cities were divided into six groups to discuss life safety and entertainment for children; measures to prevent child abuse, child marriage and child labour; juvenile delinquents; and measures to ensure the rights to access education of children living with disabilities and HIV and prevent school dropout.

They will summarise the contents of the discussions and report them to Party, State, and ministry leaders during a meeting on August 9.-VNA