Vietnam has achieved considerable progress in ensuring children’s rights since it participated in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, said UNICEF Representative in Vietnam Youssouf Abdel-Jelil.

Vietnam was the first country in Asia and the second in the world ratifying the convention one year after it was approved by the UN General Assembly in 1989, Abdel-Jelil addressed a ceremony held by the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) in Hanoi on December 4 to announce the “State of the World’s Children 2014” report.

The country saw a decrease of 75 percent in the fatality rate among under-five children, and completely eliminated paralysis in 2000 and tetanus in mothers and newborns in 2005 thanks to high vaccination. Almost all children gained access to school.

Deputy Minister of Labour, War Invalids and Social Affairs Doan Mau Diep thanked international organisations for their coordination with Vietnamese ministries and agencies in protecting, caring and educating children over the past time.

The report will serve as a tool to help Vietnam understand its position and the results it has gained in implementing children’s rights in comparison with other nations in the region and the world, he added.

He affirmed that his ministry will continue working with others to better policies and laws related to children and improve basic social welfare, particularly child protection services with the focus on poor children and those living in far-flung areas.

Diep also praised ideas and initiatives from children and youths to help ensure children’s rights.

On this occasion, UNICEF highlighted several initiatives Vietnam has carried out to improve the lives of children, including a programme to provide instant nutritious food for malnourished children, day boarding schools for ethnic students, and a programming contest on mobile phones targeting children.-VNA