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Violence against children 'on the increase'

Government report says many cases are severe, more widespread

Nguyen Mui was arrested on February 14 Nguyen Mui was arrested on February 14
  • ucanews.com reporter, Ho Chi Minh City
  • Vietnam
  • February 17, 2012
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Child abuse in Vietnam is on the increase and becoming more widespread according to a government report released earlier this week.

The Ministry of Labor, Invalids and Social Affairs claimed on Tuesday that 3,422 cases recorded between 2008 and 2010 were significantly higher than in previous estimates, although previous figures were not available.

“Child abuse has been on the increase and is taking place in public places, the home, schools and children’s centers across the country,” the report said.

Victims have reportedly suffered serious sexual and physical abuses, emotional violence, or are being trafficked, kidnapped and forced to commit crimes, it continued.

The latest high-profile case was that of nine-year-old Nguyen Thuc Phi from Quang Ngai province who was badly beaten by her parents on Monday.

Phi had been accused of stealing some money from her parents, an accusation which she denied.

Not believing her, Phi’s parents slapped her face, smashed her head against a wall, used pieces of wire to whip her, and then chained her naked to a chicken coop.

Her ordeal ended on Tuesday when neighbors called security officials who rescued Phi and arrested her parents.

Phi, who is still recovering in hospital, was left covered in bruises and had lost 11 teeth when she was found.

“Child abuse is a hot issue and takes place over a long period of time. Many incidents leave children with serious injuries or are even fatal,” a local social worker said.

One reason for the rise in cases she noted could be a lack of awareness of a child’s rights and laws on children.

“They also do not know the severity of the law if they carry out child abuses,” she added.

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