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Shopowner in trouble after uploading video of 5-year-old girl taking 41-cent bracelet

By Tran Hoa   December 2, 2022 | 05:52 pm PT
Shopowner in trouble after uploading video of 5-year-old girl taking 41-cent bracelet
The Facebook logo is displayed on a mobile phone in this picture illustration taken December 2, 2019. Illustration photo by Reuters/Johanna Geron
A shopowner in the Central Highlands’ Dak Lak Province could face punitive action after she uploaded on Facebook the video of a 5-year-old girl taking a bracelet worth VND10,000 (41 cents).

The Dak Lak Department of Labor, Invalids and Social Affairs on Friday requested the Buon Me Thuot administration to verify the incident and protect the legal rights and interests of the girl, as also punish violations by relevant parties.

The incident happened four days earlier. The girl entered a clothes and accessory shop on Y Ngong Street and took a rubber bracelet worth VND10,000. The shopowner, 29, saw it and stopped the girl. She asked the girl where her house was and who her parents were, but the girl did not answer.

The owner then took photos and videos of the girl and posted them on Facebook, saying "I'm looking for relatives of this girl who stole a bracelet from the shop. The evidence is in her hands. Whoever her relatives are, please come to the shop and discuss with me."

About 40 minutes after the post was published, the girl's family came to get her.

When authorities came to verify the matter, the shopowner apologized for her "rash actions" to the girl’s family, explaining that she’d only uploaded the post for the girl’s family to find her and teach her not to steal.

Nguyen Tien Cuong, deputy head of the Buon Ma Thuot labor department, said authorities were cooperating with the girl’s family to monitor her psychological health.

"If approved by the family, authorities would take her for a health assessment," he said.

Nguyen Xuan Phung with the Dak Lak Bar Association, said the fact that the shopowner publicized the girl’s information already constitutes child abuse under the Children Law.

If a health assessment reveals that the girl has suffered physical trauma, the shop owner could either be fined or criminally charged depending on the severity of the injuries, Phung said.

 
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