Dang Hoa Nam, Director of Child Affairs Department (Ministry of Labor, Invalids and Social Affairs). (Photo: Vietnam +)

Hanoi (VNA) - Director of Department of Child Affairs under the Ministry of Labor, Invalids and Social Affairs Dang Hoa Nam has said the ranking results on child sexual abuse in Vietnam are not transparent, regarding research methods, numbers and dubious criteria.

The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), an Economist Group research firm from the UK announced that Vietnam ranked next to last among 40 countries on child sexual abuse. The Child Affairs Department's leader said that this ranking result was not transparent in terms of research methods, indicators and time of data collection. Some indicators and criteria were not evaluated correctly.

He made the statement at a meeting on child sexual abuse prevention and control held by the Department of Children (Ministry of Labor, Invalids and Social Affairs) on January 21 in Hanoi.

The EIU recently released a report titled "Out of the shadows: Shining light on the response to child sexual abuse" assessing child sexual abuse prevention activities in 40 countries, including Vietnam.

The study is ranked countries on a scale of 100 and based on four criteria: environment, legal framework, commitments and capabilities of the government, and participation of professions, civil society organisations and media.

According to the report, Vietnam achieved 42.9 points on a 100-point scale and ranked 37 out of 40. The last three countries were Mozambique, Egypt and Pakistan, while the top three countries were Britain, Sweden and Canada.

Vietnam's environmental criteria scored 59, the legal framework got 56 points, the government's commitment and capacity got 38 points while the participation of professions, civil society and communication reached 17 points.

In response to this assessment, Dang Hoa Nam, Director of the Department of Child Affairs, said the department has not yet received any official notice of the EIU research results but learnt about the report.

Nam welcomed studies and evaluations on the prevention of child sexual abuse in Vietnam, but he said the EIU research results did not properly assess the prevention of child sexual abuse in Vietnam.

“The research report has not been transparent to the specific criteria, methods and time of data collection. Therefore, I have concerns about the research results,” Nam said.

For some criteria such as data collection, child protection on the internet and the participation of media Vietnam was scored 0/100 by experts, and Nam said these indexes were not accurate.

Nam said the collection of data on child sexual abuse cases is being carried out through many information channels, including the Ministry of Public Security, the People’s Procuracy, the National Call Centre for child protection, localities and mass media. Therefore, Vietnam scoring zero on collecting data on child sexual abuse cases is incorrect.

He further said all the data were updated until 2018 for evaluation. Added to this, over the years, Vietnam has made efforts in child sexual abuse prevention.

This is expressed through the National Assembly approval of Child Law in 2016 recognising all citizen and human rights of the children stipulated in the 2013 Constitution.

In 2017, when the Law took effects, a national committee on children’s rights was set up. The government and the Prime Minister are responsible for directly coordinating child related issues which need the participation of ministries, branches and organisations.

Up to now, no civil society or non-governmental organisation in Vietnam has spoken about this ranking result and confirmed that it has provided information to EIU for evaluation.

We are considering whether to send an official response to the EIU. If yes, we demand them clarify source of information and calculation method to find out limitation,” Hoa Nam said.

“I think that research needs access to mainstream sources, not from the Vietnamese Government, but from non-governmental and civilian organisations operating in Vietnam to get accurate assessments," he added. /.