Blue Heart campaign: Vietnam is joining hands to protect children and women

Update: 09:44 | 05/06/2020
TGVN. UNICEF, UNFPA, UN WOMEN and MOLISA launch Blue Heart campaign in order to raise public attention on violence against children and women.
TIN LIÊN QUAN
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At the ceremony.

Violence against women and children is never acceptable is the message promoted by UN agencies, the Government of Vietnam and other partners today. Launching a campaign to raise public awareness of the risks of violence against children and women, including in emergency situations such as the COVID-19 pandemic, the partners joined their voices to call for action to protect all victims.

The campaign called Blue Heart is the latest effort by the Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs (MOLISA) and its long-term partners UNICEF, UNFPA and UN WOMEN along with international non-governmental organizations including Save the Children, Plan International, World Vision, ChildFund and others.

The campaign calls for action from the public, parents/caregivers/family members, women, men, girls boys, neighbors, teachers as well as local authorities to speak up against and report violence. It also provides knowledge and skills to women and children to prevent violence and abuse and improve the mental health and psychosocial wellbeing of all those affected.

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant impact across the world. While efforts to contain the virus were crucial to keeping the population healthy, they also exposed women and children to increased risks of violence, including maltreatment, gender-based violence and sexual abuse.

Recent reports from countries in COVID-19 emergency have shown that movement restrictions, social isolation and other containment measures coupled with existing or increased social and economic pressures on families contribute to an increase in violence, particularly against women and children. In many countries around the globe domestic violence has increased by at least 30 percent.

In Vietnam, the Peace House, a shelter for women and girl victims of domestic violence and abuse under the Vietnam Women’s Union, has reported receiving twice as many women seeking shelter during the COVID-19 period. Children and women are both the victims of and witnesses to domestic violence, which scars them physically as well as psychologically.

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“UNICEF, UNFPA and UN WOMEN join their voices in asking all citizens to report abuse and to help hold the perpetrators accountable. Violence occurs in rich and poor families and communities, in educated and less educated households. It is always about power over the victim and it is never acceptable. In uncertain times and periods of stress and anxiety, sadly the already high numbers worsen. Women are frightened to report and children rarely in a position to report such abject acts”, said Rana Flowers, UNICEF Representative, speaking on behalf of the participating UN agencies. “We urge the local authorities, communities, parents and the government to act to ensure the protection and safety of women and children”.

“No matter where violence happens, in what forms, and whom it impacts, it must be stopped. Strengthening services to respond effectively to violence against women and children during and after crisis, including COVID-19, will enhance the preparedness and response strategy of Vietnam” said Elisa Fernandez Saenz, UN WOMEN Representative in Vietnam.

School closure affected more than 21 million children in Vietnam. Children’s reliance on online plat­forms for distance learning has also increased their risk of exposure to inappropriate content and online predators. Growing digitalization magnifies children’s vulnerability to harm.

“The Government of Vietnam has paid attention to the negative impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the people and it has implemented emergency social protection measures to support those who are affected. Activities to protect children, to prevent violence, sexual abuse, online abuse, child injury have been carried out during the social distancing period when children stayed home or in quarantine centers. Vietnam has received great support from UNICEF and other international organizations working for children. We have learned valuable lessons on how to better protect children and women in an emergency situation”, stated Dang Hoa Nam, Director of the Children’s Affairs Department at MOLISA.

“From many conversations that members of Vietnam’s Child Rights Working Group (CRWG) have had with children, we know that ending violence, abuse and physical and humiliating punishment is among children’s top priorities, especially so in the situation of COVID 19 anxieties. We in the CRWG are committed to working with the Government of Vietnam, with parents and communities, and all the other partners and stakeholders, to ensure all children can live in a safe and friendly environment, and develop to their full potential”, stated by Dragana Strinic, Country Director of Save the Children.

blue heart campaign vietnam is joining hands to protect children and women
H'hen Niê, Miss Vietnam at the ceremony.

The Blue Heart campaign is part of the Month of Action for Children, which is celebrated in Vietnam in June every year.

Several celebrities and influencers including Bao Thanh, H’Hen Nie, Hoang Bach, Minh Trang, Trong Hieu, Kim Ly, Duy Khoa, Xuan Bac... are lending their voices to support the campaign by amplifying the messages to protect children and women.

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The campaign also features a title song, Under the Same Sky performed by singer Trong Hieu and a series of international artists to promote love, protection and equality. The song, written and composed by the singer himself during his “stay-at-home” COVID-19 period is released on the same day.

The launch of the Blue Heart campaign is live-streamed of UNICEF Vietnam’s Facebook page, UN WOMEN and MOLISA’s For the Children Programme in VTV1 at 9 am on June 4, from the Green One UN House in Ha Noi with the participation of ministries, UN agencies, children and influencers including H’Hen Nie, actress Bao Thanh, singer Duy Khoa, singer Trong Hieu and MC Minh Trang.

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(Source: UNICEF)