ASEAN discusses occurrence of domestic violence during pandemic

The ASEAN Commission on the Promotion and Protection of the Rights of Women and Children (ACWC) on June 5 organised a consultation and special online meeting on protective and preventive measures for women and children at risk of domestic violence during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Deputy Head of the Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs’ International Cooperation Department Ha Thi Minh Duc speaks at the event (Photo: VNA)

Many delegates emphasised that the pandemic not only affected health in the community as a whole but also had a negative effect on children and women. The incidence of domestic violence increased in many places around the world.

In Vietnam, the number of calls to the Vietnam Women’s Union hotline from women experiencing domestic violence during the period of social distancing surged 50 %, and that of victims rescued or taken to the union’s Peace House was up 80 % year-on-year.

Meanwhile, a survey on the pandemic’s impact on children, conducted by the Vietnam Association for the Protection of Children’s Rights, revealed that 48 % of respondent children said they felt vulnerable because of verbal abuse, while 8 % were beaten and 32.5 % said they were not properly cared for by their parents.

To curb domestic violence, Deputy Head of the Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs’ International Cooperation Department Ha Thi Minh Duc said the ministry has worked with international organisations in issuing regulations on safety and child protection at quarantine facilities and distributed pertinent information.

The ministry will coordinate with the Ministry of Information and Communications and related agencies to organise courses to train children on the safe use of the internet and educational apps.

ASEAN nations will complete legal frameworks to better protect children in cyberspace and prevent violence against women, Duc said.

Participants also recommended that ASEAN members increase communications to improve public awareness, boost the quality of facilities caring for domestic violence victims, and consider the founding of a fund to support women in the region affected by violence.

VNA

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