Friday, June 6, 2014

Viet Nam responds to UNICEF’s global call with a national campaign to end violence against children

In Viet Nam, the first day of summer, 1st June, traditionally marks the national Children’s Day and the start of the national Month of Action for Children.

This year, together with the start of the Month of Action for Children, the Government of Viet Nam launched a national campaign to end violence against children in response to UNICEF’s global call for action to #ENDviolence against children.

During the launching event in Hoa Binh on 31 May 2014, a high-profile PSA, adapted using the global spot, was premiered featuring UNICEF Viet Nam’s Goodwill Ambassador, Xuan Bac. In the video, the usually cheerful comedian Xuan Bac, makes a compelling call to join hands to speak out about violence against children and to make the invisible visible. The existing helpline for reporting or seeking counselling flashed at the end of the PSA provides a platform for children, families and communities to take action towards ending violence against children.

“As a father of two, it’s my responsibility to appealing to the public to speak out about and against all forms of violence against children.

Violence against children in Viet Nam, particularly in families, remains an issue behind closed doors,” says the Goodwill Ambassador. “Cultural norms under certain circumstances, give way to violence being tolerated, such as physical punishment.”

To increase the evidence of violence against children, Viet Nam has recently joined Zimbabwe and Peru in a multi-country study on the drivers of violence against children, steered by UNICEF’s Office of Research. The results of the first part of this study, the literature review will be presented as part of the campaign’s evidence-based advocacy activities in July. 
In addition to general awareness raising and attitude change towards violence against children among policy makers, local leaders, parents and caregivers, teachers and children, the national campaign also aims to stimulate policy dialogue and to link-up community and children’s voices to the on-going reform of the Law on Child Care, Education and Protection. The revised law aims to include a clear prohibition of violent discipline in all settings and all the other forms of child abuse and neglect in line with the definition provided for in Article 19 of the CRC.

During the coming three months, local authorities from the 63 provinces in Viet Nam will organize community-based communication activities focusing on how to prevent, report and seek support for violence against children, and parental training on positive-discipline. Following the first phase of the campaign, UNICEF will continue to support the Government’s efforts in public education, community outreach and school-based communication interventions aimed at changing behavior and social practices required to end violence against children. Together, the on-going policy and law reform and provision of services with long-term communication for development interventions is expected to result in holistic change toward ending violence against children across the Vietnamese society.

The launching event took place in Hoa Binh, a mountainous province south west of Hanoi.

By Nele Boston

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