Saturday, June 13, 2009

Poor girls face exploitation, abuse: workshop

Homelessness, abuse and overwork among Vietnamese children, particularly girls, were discussed at a seminar in Hanoi Sunday.

Across the country more than 9,000 children work as laborers at poisonous and dangerous workplaces, nearly 10,600 wander the streets and 800 are working very far from home, said Dr. Nguyen Dinh Ton from the Vietnam Association for Protection of Children's Rights (VAPCR).

Speaking at the event titled “Give girls a chance – end child labor,” Ton said these children had to work very hard, suffer serious health problems and have close to no education. He also said that a majority of the worst-affected children were girls.

Nguyen Thi Xuan, another official from VAPCR, said lack of education, poor healthcare and the impacts of male chauvinism forced girls to become child laborers. She said these were also the reasons so much child abuse had been directed at girls.

More than 50 children from Hanoi, Bac Giang, Phu Tho and Hung Yen provinces attended the workshop. Most of them used to be homeless but are now students training with humanitarian agencies like KOTO and Hoa Sua.

The children shared their stories of living on the street as officials from child protection agencies listened.

Many solutions to help poor children, particularly girls, were discussed at the workshop, including making vocational training more available and implementing stricter punishments for individuals and organizations using child labor.

Source: VNA


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