Saturday , July 13 2024

Agencies urged fix shortcomings in child care, protection this year

Deputy Prime Minister Trần Hồng Hà chairs a regular meeting of the National Committee for Children on Thursday morning in Hà Nội. — Photo baochinhphu.vn

HÀ NỘI — Deputy Prime Minister Trần Hồng Hà told ministries and agencies to urgently deploy programmes and action plans on child care and protection in a comprehensive manner this year to fix shortcomings, ensuring children’s rights to comprehensive physical and mental development.

Hà, who chaired a regular meeting of the National Committee for Children on Thursday morning in Hà Nội, said it was imperative to fix the issues related to children such as child abuse, school violence, safety in cyberspace, psychological counselling and stimulant use.

“These are pressing issues that require us to take stronger and more effective actions,” he said.

He added that Việt Nam had quite synchronous laws, policies and programmes on child care and protection.

“However, the laws, policies and programmes are still unfit for real life,” he said.

According to Hà, agencies have to develop measurable assessment criteria when implementing the goals at the regional and local levels, and in many important sectors of health, education and labour, providing correct solutions.

Mechanisms and policies to protect children must be reviewed and have clear goals. The responsibilities of implementing the mechanisms and policies must be assigned to each level and sector. Human resources working on child care and protection must be standardised, especially at the grassroots level.

In addition, there should be assessments of impacts of national and local-level legal documents, programmes and economic and social development strategies on children.

He tasked the ministries and sectors to improve judicial work for minors; concretise the United Nations’ recommendations on improving groups of indicators related to children in sustainable development; assess the impact of online social platforms on children; as well as research the harmful effects of using electronic cigarettes or other stimulants on children’s physical and mental health.

Accomplishment

According to a report of the Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs, the system of legal documents on children continued to be supplemented and amended last year to better ensure children’s rights.

Ministries, agencies and localities have drastically carried out a range of solutions to prevent and combat child abuse, including training to improve child protection capacity at the grassroots level. Courts handled 98.5 per cent of cases related to abuse of people under 18 years old and many children, who were victims of human trafficking and violence, were given care, supported and protected.

President of the Việt Nam Association for Protection of Child’s Rights Nguyễn Thị Thanh Hòa said that communication work on child care and protection had many innovations which focused on the role of the family and guide parents on how to behave with their children.

The Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs, the Ministry of Education and Training, the Ministry of Public Security, and the Hồ Chí Minh Communist Youth Union coordinated with provinces and cities to deploy activities to raise awareness and equip children with skills to prevent injuries (drowning, fire prevention, firefighting and rescue).

The Ministry of Health has gradually operated a model of nutritional care for the first 1,000 days of a child’s life and built and completed a database on administrative procedures for birth and death registration and issuance of health insurance cards for children under six years old.

There were 31 provincial-level children’s forums and 212 district-level children’s forums, 673 commune-level children’s forums organised last year.

Also last year, the first “Children’s National Assembly” hypothetical session was held.

The work of protecting and giving care for ethnic children and children living in mountainous, and disadvantaged areas was given more attention. More than 6.4 million children received a total financial support of over VNĐ1.64 trillion (US$67.2 million).

The Việt Nam Association for Protection of Children’s Rights awarded scholarships and gifts to nearly 15,000 children with an amount worth VNĐ1.15 billion ($47,000).

The Ministry of Information and Communications strengthened online information scans, especially on social networks, including Facebook and TikTok, to detect and promptly prevent acts of posting images and content that negatively affected children.

Deputy Minister of Finance Nguyễn Thành Hưng said that the State budget allocated for the child sector (not including funds to buy health insurance for children under six years old) about VNĐ295 trillion ($12 billion) last year.

Additionally, the Central budget allocated about VNĐ500 billion ($20.4 million) to deploy many programmes and projects related to children. All localities across the country also allocated a budget for State management related to children.

Challenges

However, Deputy Minister of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs Nguyễn Thị Hà said the situation of child abuse was still complex.

Senior Lieutenant General Nguyễn Duy Ngọc, deputy minister of Public Security, the number of cases of children and minors violating the law, with aggressive and reckless methods and tricks, increased by 14 per cent last year.

The main causes leading to law violations by children and adolescents were that they were affected by acts of violence and abuse in the family and harmful content on online platforms, he said.

Ngọc proposed agencies review issued documents and policies to clarify the responsibilities of units that received and resolved cases of child violence and abuse.

Another problem is that online social platforms are constantly being developed, but there are not enough tools and measures to handle harmful content that is not suitable for children. — VNS

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