The Government needs more support from non-government social organisations in protecting street children and providing them with education and healthcare services, officials said at a workshop on July 23.

At a workshop on protecting street children from abuse and violence organised by the Ho Chi Minh City Child Welfare Foundation, Dang Nam, deputy head of the Department for Child Protection, said that social organisations have played an important role in helping and protecting children, especially street children, from sexual abuse and violence.

State agencies will not be able to provide basic services for children without assistance from social organisations, Nam added.

He said acting together will provide more street children with ways out of their predicament, but currently, the links between the organisations and concerned city agencies are weak.

Nam promised that the Government will effect legislative change to facilitate the establishment and work of social organisations.

He said there has been no reduction in sexual abuse of children in recent years, with about 800 cases recorded on average each year.

Of these, 11.6 percent are street children who are very exposed and vulnerable, he said.

The Government has earmarked 1.8 trillion VND (85.7 million USD) for protecting children and reinforcing the network of social workers working on related issues for the 2011-2015 period, Nam said.

There are 40,000 social workers assigned to work on child protection issues in the country at present, he added.

He said the Government plans to set up a communication system between the State's agencies and the public in order to make timely intervention, protect children from violence and sexual abuse and provide prompt assistance.

The workshop is part of a child protection project carried out with help from Wallonie-Bruxelles International and the Belgium Dynamo International Organisation.

Besides the workshop, the foundation will organise a camp for 250 street children and social workers in Binh Thuan Province 's Phan Thiet City on July 26 and 27.

It will also train social workers in handling street children.-VNA