Legitimate rights and interests of women and girls to be better protected in legal cases

On the afternoon of April 12, 2018 in Hanoi, the Vietnam Women’s Union (VWU) organized a consultative seminar on enhancing of support and protection of the legitimate rights and interests of women and girls with the participation of representatives of the Public Security, the People’s Procuracy, the People’s Court of different levels, related agencies and organizations and experts on gender and legal issues.

According to VWU Vice President Bui Thi Hoa, the violation of women and girls’ legitimate rights andinterests, especially the sexual abuse cases, have become increasingly complex and severe. Statistics by the Ministry of Public Security show that in 2016, 1,641 cases of child abuse were discovered of which 1.358(84%) cases with girl victims. Many cases were particularly serious, causing severe physical and emotional impairments to the victims and consequences to the family and society.

Vice President Bui Thi Hoa notes that in recent years, the VWU has implemented many practical activities to protect the legitimate rights andinterests of women and children such as discovering violation cases, receiving and participating in the handling, support and provision ofcouselling to many cases involving sexually abused children. During the implementation of these activities, the VWU has proactively cooperated with responsible agencies such as the Public Security, the People’s Procuracy and the People’s Court through specific legal cases, creating positive results of these initiatives. As such, the interventions have contributed to change the community awareness, attitudes and behaviors towards women and girls in a positive way.

However, there are still a number of constraints in supporting and protecting women and girls’ rights and interests, for example, ineffective counselling and assistance for some particular groups of women like migrants, victims of domestic violence, prisoners, etc.; untimely response to a number of cases and incomprehensive impacts due to the case-by-case collaboration with legal prosecution bodies.

Identifying that women and children, especiallygirl child, are vulnerable groups and need to be protected by laws and the whole society, participants have discussions o­n the collaboration mechanism among organizations and agencies and share experience in dealing with legal cases related to women and children’s rights and interests to achieve better protection for them. At the event, participants also suggest the importance of capacity building for responsible staffs of the VWU and other bodies to enhance their case dealing performance. Drawing o­n the ideas generated from the seminar, the VWU will consider and make proposalfor a joint program between VWU and responsible agencies/bodies to improve the effectiveness of women and girls’ right and interest protection and support.

Translated by VWU IRD