A group of independent experts announced their research project on raising the age of majority to 18 at a seminar in Hanoi on July 31.

The research, commissioned by the Vietnam Association for Protection of Children’s Rights and Plan International, an international humanitarian organization, aims to provide scientific, legal and practical grounds for the change, explore its benefits and impacts while proposing solutions, roadmaps and strategies for the amendment.

Under the Law on Protection, Care and Education of Children issued in 2004, a person is considered a child in Vietnam if they are under 16 years old.

However, the UN’s International Convention on the Rights of the Child defines that a person aged under 18 is a child.

The researchers say that persons aged from 16-18 are undergoing a transitional period with extensive physical and mental changes, and a re not yet fully developed in terms of thinking and behaviour, thus vulnerable to abuse.

Therefore, they urged raising the legal threshold of adulthood to 18, noting that Vietnam is the only country in ASEAN, the fourth in Asia and the 11th in the world which have not adopted the age of majority at 18.

Dr. Hoang Van Nghia, Deputy Head of the Institute of Human Rights and head of the research team, said the amendment of the majority age will manifest Vietnam’s goodwill and commitments to ensuring and realising children’s rights, as well as its active and proactive role in regional and international integration.

The amendment will help increase the responsibility of families, schools and society as a whole in protecting, caring for and educating children, who make up 33 percent of the country’s population, Nghia said.-VNA