Family members lurk behind most cases of child abuse

By Hong Chieu   May 26, 2022 | 06:00 am PT
Family members lurk behind most cases of child abuse
Bruises on the leg and hands of a 12-year-old girl who was beaten by her mother and the mother's boyfriend in Hanoi, 2021. Photo by VnExpress/Pham Du
Vietnam's national hotline for child protection confirmed the majority of violence perpetrated against children last year involved the close family members of victims.

The hotline 111, operated by the Child Affairs Department under the Ministry of Labor, Invalids and Social Affairs, received more than 600,000 calls last year, a representative told a conference on child protection in Hanoi on Wednesday.

Calls involved more than 30,000 cases of consultation and over 1,000 of direct intervention. Most cases involved violence against children, with 73 percent caused by direct family members.

Nguyen Thi Nga, deputy head of the department, said most cases of abuse against children derived from the old "spare the rod, spoil the child" mindset and the fact that not every parent had the necessary skills to communicate effectively with their kids.

In 2021, the pandemic had resulted in months of social distancing in most parts of Vietnam, during which both children and parents were locked down at home, fueling increased conflict.

In addition, many parents had lost their jobs during the pandemic, and the additional economic pressure contributed to domestic violence, Nga said.

Dang Hoa Nam, head of the Child Affairs Department, said child mental health should be taken into serious consideration in the post-pandemic period, and that parents should keep a close eye on their children to timely detect abnormal signs to avoid any unfortunate consequences, including suicide.

UNICEF said in a 2020 report that Covid-19 could result in a rise in poverty and therefore to an increase in child labor as households use every available means to survive.

"As the pandemic wreaks havoc on family incomes, without support, many could resort to child labor," said Guy Ryder, general director of International Labor Organization

"Social protection is vital in times of crisis, as it provides assistance to those who are most vulnerable. Integrating child labor concerns across broader policies for education, social protection, justice, labor markets, and international human and labor rights makes a critical difference," he said.

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