Project promoting rights of disadvantaged children in HCM City

The Ho Chi Minh City Child Welfare Association (HCWA) and the Justice Initiatives Facilitation Fund of the EU Legal and Judicial Empowerment Programme in Vietnam (EU JULE JIEF) jointly kick-started a project to support disadvantaged children.

At the launching ceremony. Photo: VNA

Under this project, children in social sponsoring centres who are in special circumstances and may fall into special situations will receive support to access and exercise their rights.

Pham Dinh Nghinh, Vice President of the HCWA, said the project will also review proposals of competent agencies regarding education and employment for children, thus making the best preparations for them before they leave the social sponsoring centres. 

The project, therefore, focuses on connecting these centres with concerned organisations and agencies in this issue. 

Members of the project will make video clips, carry out communications activities at the social sponsoring facilities, compile relevant documents, and conduct surveys to explore children’s demand and strength. 

According to the HCWA, the city has given priorities to disadvantaged children, as reflected through a wide range of activities aiming to promote their all-round development organised over the past years.

According to official statistics, Vietnam has 24.7 million children as of June last year, accounting for 25.7 percent of its total population of 96 million.

Vietnam has cut its child labor rate by two thirds since 2000 to 9 percent. Its progress in tackling poverty has improved living conditions for many families and reduced their need to send children to work.

The country has been implementing a national campaign to prevent child labor since 2016.

KidsRights Index 2020 released by KidsRights Foundation, an international aid and advocacy organization, placed Vietnam at 57th out of 182 economies, third best in Southeast Asia following Thailand and Malaysia.

The Netherlands-based organization ranked 182 countries and territories around the world based on five metrics including the right to life, right to health, right to education, right to protection and the enabling environment for child rights, using data and evidence collected from the United Nations' Committee on the Rights of the Child.

The index is not an absolute ranking of countries where children have the best life but scores nations relative to their capacity in implementing child rights.

Vietnam has done better than Asian peers like China (109th), India (113rd) and Australia (135th) in terms of protecting its children.

In Southeast Asia, Vietnam stood above Singapore (65), Brunei (70), the Philippines (80th), Indonesia (110), Laos (117th), Cambodia (128th) and Myanmar (131st).

Of all categories, Vietnam performed better in promoting the right to life, securing 84th place with a score of 0.835, and performed worst in the health indicator, ranking 109th with a score of 0.839.

The country fared poorly in the education category, ranking 92nd while it came in 87th in ensuring child protection.

Today, many children in Vietnam enjoy a quality of life never imagined by previous generations. Yet, segments of the country’s child and adolescent population have been left behind by this dynamic socio-economic development and continue to live in conditions of deprivation and exclusion. These widening disparities are driven by ethnicity, gender, place of origin and disability. 

Much work remains to ensure education is accessible to all children with disparities persisting between rural and urban areas, gender and ethnicity, children with disabilities as well.

Social exclusion and an inability to access services and support when they are needed most prevents vulnerable and disadvantaged children from living safe from harm and having the best start in life.

Mai Nguyen