Prevention of Violence against Children at Private Nurseries
Child Rights in Da Nang City, Vietnam
Vietnam was the first Asian state and the second in the world to ratify the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child in 1990. In addition, the Law on child protection, care and education was ratified by the National Assembly in 1991; this Law was then amended in 2004. Since then, Vietnam has issued 22 laws and legislative documents regarding the rights of children. The Prime Minister approved two important national programs in 2011, including the National Program on Child Protection and the National Plan of Actions for Children. Despite this fact, there are increasingly serious cases of violence against children. Over the last three years, 4,000 cases of violence against children in Vietnam were reported each year, according to a statistic of the Ministry of Labor, Invalids and Social Affairs. This number, however, does not reflect the real situation. Recently, cases of violence against children at private nurseries, which damage children physically and mentally, are increasingly reported and are causing public outrage. These cases of violence mainly happen in major cities such as Dong Nai, Ho Chi Minh City, Ha Noi, and Binh Duong. The majority of victims in the cases are poor, immigrant children living whose families work in the industrial parks.
As an economic center of the Central and Highland region, along with ongoing urbanization and industrialization, Da Nang city has a dramatic increase in immigrants in recent years. The number of immigrants into Da Nang during 2000 to 2004 was 35.6 thousand people, and increased nearly 2.5 times to 81.4 thousand people from 2005 to 2009. The city has six industrial parks mainly located in three districts including Lien Chien, Son Tra and Cam Le, which attract roughly 70 percent of immigrant workers. One of the major challenges of the rapid urbanization process facing the city is providing the early childhood education for children of the poor, immigrant workers. The parents cannot approach state-owned kindergartens due to barriers in household registration and cannot afford high quality private kindergartens due to high school fees. To solve this problem, private nurseries were established with advantages such as a simple entrance process, low school fee, flexible time, etc. However, the lack of necessary equipment and untrained staff with poor legal knowledge in child care institutions, along with less monitoring of local authorities (wards and communes), has caused the widespread use of violence against children.
The project to enhance the prevention of violence against children at private nurseries in Danang city, Vietnam aims to enhance awareness and responsive capability, and to strengthen the monitoring capacity of violence against children. Eventually, the result derived from this project will facilitate the revision of the Law on Child Protection, Care and Education.
The project will entail the following steps:
- Evaluate the real operations of private nurseries in places where there are many poor immigrant workers in industrial parks: Collaborate with the local government to do a survey of selected 150/528 private nurseries for children of these workers. The survey will examine the quality of these nurseries based on the criteria such as operating certificate, scale of operation, quality of equipment, the number of trained childcare assistants, children/teacher ratio, etc. Meanwhile, the survey will also examine the private nurseries’ managers and child care assistants about their knowledge of the Law on Child Protection, Care and Education. At the same time, an in-depth interview will be carried out to 43 civil servants and the heads of residential clusters aiming to learn about the current monitoring process of violence against children at the nurseries in these areas.
- Enhance awareness and build a responsive capacity to violence against children: Hold three meetings with poor immigrant workers who send their children to private nurseries. Led by lawyers, psychologists, local educational managers, state-owned kindergarten principals and representatives of other social organisations in the project areas. These meetings will discuss how to recognize when children are being violently abused and how to approach legal support. Three training courses will be provided for the nurseries’ managers and childcare assistants. These courses will focus on: (i) knowledge of children (child psychology), (ii) childcare skills (bathing, feeding, and caring for children skills, first aid, communication with children, etc.), (iii) legal regulations regarding child protection and care, and (iv) professional ethics.
- Strengthen the capacity to monitor violence against children at private nurseries of authority agencies (local governments, state-owned kindergartens in the project areas) and other civil society groups through: A dialogue on “Prevention of violence against children at private nurseries” that includes authority agencies, parents and locals; programs broadcast weekly in public media (Districts and Wards’ Radio Stations) and a volunteer network including locals, parents and civil servants to timely report the cases of violence against children via hotline and mailboxes run by the local governments.
- Petition for amendment of the Law on Child Protection, Care and Education: Using results derived from the project, the project team will carry on an exchange forum with 30 participants including consultative experts, administrative agencies, civil society organisations, lawyers, private nurseries’ managers, and poor immigrant parents. The interviews will cover issues regarding the Law on Child Protection, Care and Education, and a completed report will eventually be sent to relevant authority agencies.
The final beneficiaries are children at private nurseries who are less violently abused.
The intermediate beneficiaries include:
- Volunteer groups and local civil servants who are trained to enhance their monitoring capacity.
- Managers and child care assistants of child care groups who are trained to improve: (i) knowledge of children, (ii) childcare skills, (iii) knowledge of legal regulations regarding child protection and care, (iv) professional ethics.
- Poor immigrant workers who send their children to private nurseries will be supported by acquiring the knowledge to recognize signs of violence against children and the ability to react to violence against children using legal systems.
- Local governments, community, and law related agencies will benefit from this project by impacts on the amendment of the Law on Child Protection, Care and Education.
- Staff of the Danang Institute for Socio-Economic Development involved in the project will enhance their research capacity and experiences.
- Local governments, state-owned kindergartens and private nurseries in project areas
- Civil society organisations
- Lawyers Association of Da Nang City
- College of Education, Da Nang University
Region:East Asia & Pacific
Rule of Law Index Factors: Fundamental Rights (Factor 4), Regulatory Enforcement (Factor 6), Civil Justice (Factor 7), and Criminal Justice (Factor 8).
Issue Areas: Education, Human Rights, Military and Public Safety, Security and Law Enforcement, and Youth.