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Nearly ten thousand children sexually abused in the last 5 years

By Kim Thuy, Trung Hieu, Thanh Tuan   March 30, 2016 | 01:05 am PT
About 90 percent of child abusers are those supposed to take care of children, including teachers, neighbors, relatives, parents’ acquaintances, or even parents themselves, according to Ministry of Public Security.

On March 26, the public was shocked by the news of a school guard who sexually abused more than 30 girls aged five to ten, some for as long as two years.

The guard from the mountainous province of Lao Cai used candy to lure his victims into a classroom, where he abused them,


The 35-year-old guard has been arrest for child abuse. Photo by Thanh Tuan

Soon after, popular entertainer Minh Beo was arrested in the U.S. on charges of child sexual abuse. Ironically, Minh Beo is known for his charity programs that help disadvantaged children.

Child abuse cases were on the rise in the 2011-2015 period, with nearly 10,000 reported cases, among which sexual assault accounted for 65 percent (about 5,500 cases), according to Ministry of Public Security.

The above figure, however, reflects only a fraction of the actual scale of the problem as many cases are unreported.

“There are many cases of very young children consistently raped over a long period of time. They make up over 28 percent of the total number sexual abuse cases," said Ho Sy Tien, director of Criminal Investigation Department.

The problem has escalated with the rapid development of social media. Pedophiles have taken advantage of the platform to befriend and then abuse children to circulate child pornography.

According to a survey conducted by UNICEF in Vietnam, about 50 percent of respondents, aged between 10 and 18, have seen pornographic content on the internet by accident.

“With about 31 percent of Vietnam’s population using Facebook, the risk of abuse coming from parents sharing their children’s pictures on the site has been alarming,” the Ministry said.

Dao Hong Lan, deputy minister of labor, invalids and social affairs said that parents should be careful when posting their children’s pictures on social media or forums.

“Parents should only allow children to use phones with messaging and call functions (not the smart ones) to minimize the risk of abuse,” she added.

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