Local authorities in Ho Chi Minh City on Wednesday asked the social affairs department to install surveillance cameras at every welfare center for children in the city, after a case of serious child abuse was exposed earlier this month.
Hua Ngoc Thuan, vice chairman of the HCMC People’s Committee, also ordered the department to review the operation of the Linh Xuan welfare center for children with HIV.
Three caregivers here were caught on video slapping children of between 3 and 6 years old, pulling their ears and hitting them with a slipper. The video, reportedly filmed between late January and early March, showed that the abuse occurred mostly during meals when the women tried to force the children to eat.
A total of five caregivers have been suspended since last week, together with their manager Nguyen Thi Kim Tien, as investigators look into the case.
An official from the social affairs department said the investigation aims to find out how long the abuse has been going on.
The center’s managers said that the caregivers have worked at the center for years and there have been no violations. They also said what happened in the video might be just them “being angry for a moment.”
Thuan asked the social affairs department to carefully inspect the operations of all welfare centers for children in the city and improve measures to prevent similar cases of child abuse. He added that caregivers must be carefully screened and well-trained before being allowed to work for children centers.