Illustrative image (Source: VNA)

Dong Thap (VNA) – The Provincial Child Friendly Programme (PCFP) funded by UNICEF has helped more than 3,600 vulnerable children in the Mekong Delta province of Dong Thap.

According to the Department of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs, Dong Thap province has a population of nearly 1.7 million people, with 374,000 children, accounting for 23.57 percent of the population. The province is one of the localities with the most juvenile offenders in Vietnam.

The PCFP was launched in Dong Thap province in 2012, aiming to protect and provide public services for vulnerable children, along with the provincial Children Protection plan in 2011-2016.

After four years, the programme has run several activities such as providing financial support, vocational training and health care for children and ensuring their basic rights. It also improved self-defence skills for about 2,800 children, lowering child abuse cases by 50 percent.

Bui Thanh Nhon, Director of provincial Department of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs said local authorities have focused on support and protection for children. To date, 82 out of 144 communes and wards have built a child protection system, aiming to create a safe environment and enhance children’s rights. However, child protection activities in the province still faces challenges, Nhon added.

The provincial People’s Committee has called for the expansion of the programme in 2017-2020, with functional agencies set to promote protection and education activities for children, raise capacity for public workers and enhance the child protection system in the province.

In 2017, Dong Thap aims to provide support for 92 percent of children with special circumstances.-VNA