The Law on Child Care, Protection and Education lacked a clear definition of child abuse, experts from social organisations said at a conference in Ha Noi on December 13.

Nguyen Duc Manh, director of the Institute for Population, Family and Children, said the lack of such a definition created many obstacles in implementing the law, as violators found loopholes to deny responsibility.

"This is one of the main reasons why sexual abuse of children is increasing," he said.

The number of rape cases where the victim was a child has been steadily rising, with 550 cases in 2011, 603 last year and 704 this year, according to the Supreme People's Court.

The court judged more than 1,100 cases of child sexual abuse in 2011, 1,400 last year and 1,800 this year.

Manh said the law also failed to specify what organisations should do to prevent child sexual abuse and help the victims.

"Without such regulations, organisations cannot legally join hands with state managing agencies and non-governmental organisations in the field," he stressed.

Nguyen Dinh Ton, an expert from the Viet Nam Association for Protection of Children's Rights, suggested that the law should state that social organisations had the right to conduct dissemination activities and protect, care for and educate children, as well as contribute ideas to local authorities about protecting them.

"With such rights, organisations can call on all of society to participate in the struggle against child sexual abuse," Ton said.-VNA