More concerted solutions needed to enhance protection of ethnic minority children

The Committee on Ethnic Minority Affairs plans to ramp up activities to prevent and respond to all forms of violence against ethnic minority girls and boys, including child marriage, which will be a priority in promoting gender equality in ethnic minority areas.

Ethnic students attend the new school year ceremony. Photo from the tourism ministry.

70 experts on gender equality and delegates from 15 Ethnic Committees across the country participated in the Workshop to review 5 years of the implementation of Decision 498 on "Reduction of child marriage and consanguineous marriage in ethnic minority areas during 2015-2025".

The workshop was organized by Committee on Ethnic Minority Affairs and UN Women Vietnam with support of Irish Aid.

The rate of child marriage among ethnic minorities in 2018 was 21.9 percent; 4.7 percentage points less than the 26.6 percent recorded in 2014, according to the results of a General Statistics Office survey on the socio-economic circumstances of Vietnam’s 53 ethnic minority groups.

However, this reduction is still low and has not yet achieved the national target of the Government. The ratio remains high in many provinces, such as Lam Dong and Lao Cai.

Speaking at the event, Vu Phuong Ly from UN Women said child marriage and inter-marriage are among the most obvious manifestations of gender inequality, which has persisted for generations in ethnic minority areas.

The problems require long-term systematic solutions in terms of socio-economic development, and these must correspond to the customs and cultures of each ethnic minority group. This, however, has not been given adequate attention, she noted.

Deputy Minister –Vice Chairwoman of the Committee on Ethnic Minority Affairs Hoang Thi Hanh said that, in the next five years, the issues of child marriage and inter-marriage should be placed in a broader and multi-dimensional context. She also highlighted the importance of promoting gender equality, the empowerment of women, women’s leadership, and their participation in household and community decision-making.

The committee plans to ramp up activities to prevent and respond to all forms of violence against ethnic minority girls and boys, including child marriage, which will be a priority in promoting gender equality in ethnic minority areas.

 

Phuong Minh