You are here

Blue Heart: Joining hands in Viet Nam to protect children and women

UNICEF, UNFPA, UN WOMEN and MOLISA launch a campaign to raise public attention on violence against children and women

Ha Noi, 4 June 2020 – Violence against women and children is never acceptable is the message being promoted by UN agencies, the Government of Viet Nam and other partners through Blue Heart, a nationwide campaign that is being launched today. The aim is to raise public awareness of the risks of violence against children and women, including in emergency situations such as the COVID-19 pandemic, leading to a call to action across society to protect all victims and survivors.

 

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 organisations including Save the Children, Plan International, World Vision, ChildFund and others.

The campaign calls for action from the public - including parents/caregivers/family members, women, men, girls boys, neighbours and teachers - as well as local authorities to speak up against and report violence. It also provides knowledge and skills to women and children to help prevent violence and abuse and support the mental heath 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 have been crucial to keep populations healthy, they have also inadvertently exposed women and children to increased risks of violence in domestic and other settings, including maltreatment, gender-based violence and sexual abuse.

 

Reports from countries amid the 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 have contributed to an increase in violence, particularly against women and children. In many countries domestic violence has increased by at least 30 per cent. In Viet Nam, the Peace House, a shelter under the Viet Nam Women’s Union for women and girls who have suffered domestic violence and abuse 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 physically as well as psychologically.

 

“UNICEF, UNFPA and UN WOMEN join our voices in asking all citizens to report abuse and to help hold the perpetrators accountable,” said Rana Flowers, UNICEF Representative in Viet Nam. 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. We urge 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 crises, including COVID-19, will enhance the preparedness and response strategy of Viet Nam when it comes to tackling various forms of violence,” noted Elisa Fernandez Saenz, UN Women Representative in Viet Nam.

 

School closures related to the pandemic affected more than 21 million children in Viet Nam. 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.

 

“From the many conversations that members of Viet Nam’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, including in the situation of COVID-19 anxieties,” said Dragana Strinic, Country Director of Save the Children. “We in the CRWG are committed to working with the Government of Viet Nam, with parents and communities, and all our other partners and stakeholders, to ensure all children can live in a safe and friendly environment, and develop to their full potential.”

 

“On average, one in three women globally experiences some form of violence during her lifetime,” said Naomi Kitahara, UNFPA Representative in Viet Nam. “We’ve long encouraged government and civil society to address this scourge seriously, and we’re gratified to see significant progress being made in Viet Nam in recent years, although significant challenges remain, as they do globally.”

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

#BlueHeart #SayNo2VIOLENCE #ProtectChildren #Safety4Women

 

 

For more information, please contact:

 

Louis Vigneault-Dubois, UNICEF Việt Nam +84-24-3850 0241; +84-966 539 673; email: lvigneault@unicef.org

Nguyễn Thị Thanh Hương, UNICEF Việt Nam, +84-24-3850 0225; +84-904 154 678; email: ntthuong@unicef.org

Thanh Nguyen, UNFPA Việt Nam, +84-913-093-363; email: tnguyen@unfpa.org 

Hoàng Bích Thảo, UN Women Việt Nam, +84-24-3850 0376;  email : hoang.thao@unwomen.org

Châu Minh Anh, MOLISA Children’s Department; + 84-984 527 266; email: chauminhanh@yahoo.com