Int’l organisations work to protect Vietnamese women, children from violence hinh anh 1A conference on actions against child labour (Photo: VNA)
Hanoi (VNA) - A new project targeting the elimination of violence against women and children in Vietnam was launched on June 17, in response to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The project is sponsored by the Australian Government, the UN Population Fund (UNFPA), UNICEF, and UN Women, and is being carried out by the Ministry of Labour, War Invalids and Social Affairs, the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, the Ministry of Education and Training, the Vietnam Women’s Union, and the Centre for Studies and Applied Sciences in Gender, Family, Women and Adolescents (CSAGA).

UNFPA Chief Representative Naomi Kitahara said that putting an end to violence against women and children should be the top priority of all people.

Vietnam will not achieve all of the sustainable development goals (SDGs) by 2030 if it cannot eliminate this type of violence, she explained, and she hopes this new project will create a breakthrough that ends violence against women and children in the country.

Australian Ambassador to Vietnam Robyn Mudie said that domestic violence and gender-based violence tend to increase during crises and natural disasters.

Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, unemployment and home quarantine resulted in domestic violence surging in many countries around the world.

In Vietnam, the Australian Government will fund 2.5 million AUD (1.7 million USD) from its 10.5-million AUD budget package to support the project for one year.

The number of calls to the Vietnam Women’s Union hotline from women experiencing domestic violence during social distancing surged 50 percent, while the number of victims rescued or taken to its Peace House was up 80 percent year-on-year.

Meanwhile, a survey on the pandemic’s impact on children, conducted by the Vietnam Association for the Protection of Children’s Rights, revealed that 48 percent of respondent children said they felt vulnerable because of verbal abuse, while 8 percent were beaten and 32.5 percent said they were not properly cared for by their parents.

The project aims to raise community awareness about the risk of violence in families and in concentrated quarantine facilities. It targets Hanoi, northern Quang Ninh province, central Da Nang city, and HCM City, which have been most affected by the pandemic./.