Vietnamese legislators dismissed a proposal to raise the age of majority from 16 to 18 during a National Assembly session on Tuesday, news website Zing.vn reported.
With a majority of votes, legislators agreed to keep the current adulthood threshold when revising the Child Law, formerly known as the Child Protection, Care and Education Law.
Previously, the National Assembly discussed amendments to the law, and some lawmakers said that the age of majority defined by Vietnam should be raised to 18 to match the global trend.
The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child defines a child as any human being under the age of 18. Most countries set the majority age at 18.
But most lawmakers said it is a fact that children are "maturing faster" today, thus 16 is the suitable age of majority.
They feared that if the age is raised to 18, it will be more likely that juveniles will be used for criminal activities because they will not have to suffer the highest penalty.
They said the government probably will not be able to solve issues related to juvenile crimes and force them to be responsible for their acts.
The age of criminal responsibility in Vietnam is 14, but children under the age of majority can only be prosecuted on a case-by-case basis if they deliberately commit "very serious" crimes.
The age of consent is also 16 in Vietnam. This has an important legal implication in sexual abuse cases.
Meanwhile, the voting age is 18, but one has to be at least 21 to run for office.
Teenagers are allowed to drive small scooters when they reach 16, but they can only apply for a full driving license at 18.
The smoking and drinking ages are both 18, but this is not rigorously policed in some parts of the country.