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Viet Nam & UN
Statement by Mr. Pham Hai Anh on agenda item 66: Promotion and protection of the rights of children
10-18-2007, 12:04 am

Statement by Mr. Pham Hai Anh

at the Third Committee of the Sixty-Second General Assembly

on agenda item 66: Promotion and protection of the rights of children

New York, 18 October 2007

Mr. Chairman,

At the outset, my delegation wishes to thank the Secretary-General, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children in Armed Conflict and the Independent Expert for the UN study on violence against children for the reports under the current agenda item.

Mr. Chairman,

The Government of Viet Nam reaffirms its commitments under the Declaration and Plan of Action of the Twenty-Seventh Special Session of the General Assembly (“A World Fit for Children”) and its obligations under the Convention on the Rights of the Child and its Optional Protocols.

Viet Nam is doing its utmost to ensure effective implementation of the ten principles and objectives of “A World Fit for Children”. Earlier this year, a national conference was held to comprehensively review the progress achieved and challenges remained in this respect. The review reaffirmed the importance of the implementation of the Document of the Twenty-Seventh Special Session to the exercise of the rights and the improvement of lives of children, as well as to Viet Nam’s achievement of the MDGs.

By developing and improving child-friendly legal framework, child-friendly environments, national programmes and plans of action for children, evaluation and partnership mechanisms, and increasing investments in children, promising progresses have been achieved in the major areas over the past 5 years.

Promoting healthy lives

From 2005 on, children under six years of age are entitled to free medical check-ups and, as of mid 2006, 96% of under-six children have been issued free medical check-up cards. The Extended Programme of Immunisation (EPI) provides coverage for children across the country against tuberculosis, pertussis, diphtheria, measles, polio and Hepatitis B and has achieved 90% vaccination rate.

Improved maternal care has led to healthier births. Maternal mortality rate dropped from 100 (per 100,000 live births) in 2002 to 80 in 2005. The under-one mortality rate fell from 26 (per one thousand) in 2002 to 17.8 in 2005 and the under-five mortality rate fell from 32.9 in 2002 to 27.5 in 2005. In addition, the under-five malnutrition rate also dropped from 29% in 2002 to 24% in 2006.

Considering the new structure of child deaths, injury prevention has become a top priority through improving the legal framework, raising awareness, changing behaviours, promoting models of safe home, safe community and safe school.

Providing quality education

A comprehensive national education system has already taken shape at all levels, including public, private and semi-public schools, and the quality of education is improving. Major efforts have been made to create safe, child-friendly environments in preschools and primary schools. Educational facilities, including those for early childhood education, have been built in every commune and ward across the country. The number of children receiving early childhood education increased by 2.29 percent annually between 2001 and 2005. In 2004, the enrollment rate reached 97.5% in primary school and 85% in secondary school. For the 2005-2006 school year, the completion rate of primary school was 95.97% and that of secondary school reached 94.87%. The Government is implementing various incentive programmes to promote education for ethnic minority children. Textbooks are compiled in several ethnic minority languages such as Khmer, Chinese, Ede, Cham, Jarai, Bana and H’Mong. At present, primary schools are present in almost every ethnic minority commune and hamlet, including boarding primary schools for ethnic minority children in all mountainous districts.

Alternative education, provided through mobile classes, integrated classes, Classrooms of Love (free lessons for poor children) and other models, is being offered to children of school age unable to attend school, as well as children at risk of dropping out, children with disabilities, street children, etc.

Education for children with disabilities has been incorporated into the regular preschool, primary and secondary education programmes. A steering committee on education for children with disabilities has been set up at both the district and provincial levels, and 70,000 children with disabilities enrolled in integrated education programmes during the 2002-2003 school year, rising to 230,000 for the 2004-2005 school year.

The quality of education is being improved through primary and secondary curriculum reforms, the enhancement of teachers’ qualifications and teaching facilities and the establishment of national learning benchmarks. By September 2006, over 9 percent of preschools, 25 percent of primary schools and 7.25 percent of lower secondary schools had met these national benchmarks.

Protecting children

The National Strategy on the Protection of Children and Adolescents for the period of 2007-2015 aims to build and enhance child protection systems at all levels, focusing on children at risk of abuse, exploitation and violence. The current socio-economic development plan contains the specific objective of ensuring that 90% of children in difficult circumstances are supported and cared for by 2010. New indicators for child protection are being finalised and will contribute to better monitoring, management and future orientation. Current inspection and monitoring of child protection activities has also been considerably strengthened, with inspection units set up in provinces and districts.

A child-friendly justice system based on the rights of the child is taking shape. The competence of judicial staff working with children has improved, and officials in courts and public security agencies have been trained on child-friendly skills. Several programmes to protect children from abuse, exploitation and violence are being designed and implemented. Progress has been made to enhance IEC and counselling services for children, particularly children in difficult circumstances. In 2004, a free hotline became operational to provide support and counselling on child protection issues.

Fighting HIV/AIDS

A solid legal and policy frame work has been formulated to facilitate the fight against HIV/AIDS among children. The 2006 Law on the Prevention of and Combat against HIV/AIDS provides for sensitised measures to prevent and address HIV/AIDS, including special measures for children. The 2004 amended Law on Education, Protection of and Care for Children devotes a chapter on the responsibilities of individuals, families, government and social organisations in the protection of and care for children with special circumstances, children living with and affected by HIV/AIDS, and also rules out discrimination against children living with HIV/AIDS.

Protection of children living with and affected by HIV/AIDS is one of the main objectives of the 2001-2010 National Programme of Action for Children. While the National Action Plan on the Prevention of Mother-to-Child HIV transmission for 2006-2010 aims to significantly reduce the rate of transmission. In practice, in 2004, among 600 under-five children infected with HIV, 257 children received antiretroviral treatment free of charge.

Mr. Chairman,

Regardless the progress achieved, there is still a long way to achieve a world truly fit for all children of our planet. We are convinced that, remaining firm in our stance and stride, persistent in our efforts, upscaled in resources, we will eventually get there.

Thank you for your attention.

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