Labor ministry report says 572 Vietnamese children sexually abused in first five months of 2018.
Parents and immediate relatives have to take greater responsibility in preventing child abuse, Vietnam’s labor minister says.
Dao Ngoc Dung was responding to lawmakers’ comments and questions about a report that said 572 children in Vietnam were sexually abused in the first five months of this year.
The report, tabled in the ongoing National Assembly session by the Ministry of Labor, Invalids and Social Affairs, noted that the figure means that almost four children are molested each day.
Most of the molestation is perpetrated by a family member, a neighbor or a school employee, adults that the children are familiar with, the report said.
Expressing concern that around 1,500 child molestations are recorded each year in the country, Le Thi Nga, head of the legislative National Assembly’s Judiciary Committee, asked the labor minister “to speak in more detail as it is a matter of public concern.”
The report said 59.9 percent of sexual abuse cases involved a neighbor or an acquaintance, 21.3 percent involved family member.
So families need to pay more attention to their children, Minister Dung said.
“Fathers, mothers, brothers and sisters need to take more responsibility in this matter,” he added.
He said Vietnam currently has a hotline for people to report sexual abuse, and the labor ministry will review the national Law on Children to specify responsibilities of departments to increase collaboration between families and schools in preventing sexual abuse.
One sexual abuse case that got public attention recently was that of Nguyen Khac Thuy, 78, who was sentenced to three years jail last November for committing “obscenities” on two girls in Ba Ria-Vung Tau province.
Thuy was found guilty for his behavior with the two girls, although as many as seven families had filed formal complaints about this molestations.
Thuy, who insisted that he was not guilty during the first trial, approached the appeals court for a lighter sentence, and was given an 18-month suspended sentence.
The decision sparked widespread public outrage and an online petition for it to be reviewed got more than 45,000 signatures in a very short time.
The Supreme Court overturned the appeals court’s verdict last Friday and confirmed the original sentence.
More than 8,200 cases of child abuse came to light between 2011 and 2015 in Vietnam, including 5,300 cases of sexual abuse, according to official figures.
Experts have said that legal loopholes in the country have prolonged sexual abuse cases and even allowed them to be buried. – VNExpress
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