Violence against children remains a family affair in Vietnam: UNICEF

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Children dance at a ceremony to launch Vietnam's campaign against child violence in Hoa Binh Province outside Hanoi May 31. Photo credit: UNICEF Children dance at a ceremony to launch Vietnam's campaign against child violence in Hoa Binh Province outside Hanoi May 31. Photo credit: UNICEF

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Many mothers of children under 15 in Vietnam claim they consistently witness paternal violence as public intervention remains rare, a survey found.
A 2011 survey conducted by the General Statistics Office with help from the United Nations Childcare Fund (UNICEF) found that nearly one quarter of mothers of children below 15 say they've had witnessed chronic abuse from fathers and husbands.
The abuse included punches, kicks, slaps, shoves, thrown objects and threats.
Around 5,600 child sexual abuse cases were reported to the police between 2006 and 2011, according to the survey released during the launch of a campaign to end child violence in Hoa Binh Province, which borders Hanoi, on Saturday, ahead of International Children’s Day (June 1).
The campaign aims to raise public awareness of child protection and encourage witnesses to speak up against violence, making it a public rather than a domestic affair. The campaign is part of a global UNICEF initiative represented, locally, by the Hanoi comedian Xuan Bac.
UNICEF officials said child abuse is a global issue due to its long-term impacts on the children’s study and social competence.
Jesper Moller, representative of UNICEF in Vietnam, said that violence against children is usually kept inside the family and hidden from public view.
He said it can only be prevented when people join together to publicly denounce it, so it can no longer be hidden.
Vietnam's legislature is still amending its laws and regulations to better comply with international child protection policies.
Minister of Social Affairs Pham Thi Hai Chuyen said education and healthcare services in Vietnam also need improving to better protect children.

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