Việt Nam launches book to prevent child abuse

May 24, 2017 | 08:49 AM GMT+7

A handbook titled “Respect! My Body!”, a guide for adults and teachers to talk to children about body boundaries and sexual abuse, was launched on Tuesday in Hà Nội.

Việt Nam launches book to prevent child abuse
Handbook titled "Respect! My Body!" launched. Photo: VNS

The event was organised jointly by the Swedish Embassy, Save the Children in Việt Nam and Việt Nam Programme for Internet and Society.

Released by Save the Children Sweden as part of an integrated child sexual abuse campaign, the handbook offers advice and tips to adults, especially parents, on how to teach children of different ages to protect themselves from sexual abuse and how to speak openly about sexuality, private body parts, safe and unsafe touching, and what is and is not permissible when adults touch children.

The handbook is already available in Swedish, English, Spanish and Arabic, and now, for the first time, it has been translated into Vietnamese.

Speaking at the launch, Swedish Ambassador Pereric Högberg explained the aim of the handbook, saying "In Việt Nam, like elsewhere, parents may feel confident dealing with concrete issues such as teaching children the values of right and wrong, but what happens when they want to talk to young children about their own bodies, sexuality and boundaries? How do they go about teaching children at an early age that their body is their own and that no one can touch it without permission, and how to respond if they feel threatened or uncomfortable?”

Högberg emphasised “Investing in children and protecting children against violence, exploitation and abuse is one of the priorities of the Swedish government. Making the rights of the child a reality for every child is at the heart of our work. Sexual violence and abuse against children are unacceptable in all settings and situations in Sweden, Việt Nam and elsewhere.”

Speaking at the event, Đặng Hoa Nam, director of the Department of Child Care and Protection under the Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs, said Việt Nam is the first country in the Asia and the second country in the world that ratified the Convention on the Rights of the Childs (CRC) in the early 1990s. The implementation of the CRC was formalised under the Law on Child Protection, Care and Education (LCPCE), which was approved by the National Assembly in 1991.

The handbook is a useful tool for teachers and parents in protecting their children against sexual abuse, and has long-term value in the context of child sexual abuse being a serious problem in the country, Nam said.