Children in Viet Nam
In Viet Nam, UNICEF defends the rights of children, focusing on the poorest and most disadvantaged.
Viet Nam has made tremendous progress for its 26 million children in a remarkably short time. Rapid economic success and human development in just over two decades are also reflected in indicators of children’s well-being. Most children attend primary and secondary school, have access to adequate health care and can expect to live longer than their parents.
The country, as the first in Asia and the second globally to ratify the Convention on the Rights of the Child in 1990, has continued to demonstrate visible and forward-looking leadership in working to ensure every child is healthy, safe, educated and empowered to reach their full potential.
Today, many children in Viet Nam enjoy a quality of life never imagined by previous generations. Yet, segments of the country’s child and adolescent population have been left behind by this dynamic socio-economic development and continue to live in conditions of deprivation and exclusion.
These widening disparities are driven by ethnicity, gender, place of origin and disability. This means one-in-five children (approximately 5.5 million) experience at least two deprivations in education, health, nutrition, shelter, water and sanitation, or social inclusion. Climate vulnerability affects more than 74 per cent of the population, especially the poor who lack resilience to shocks, while urbanization has increased the vulnerabilities of migrant families who have limited access to social services.
Nearly 5.5 million children in Viet Nam experience at least two deprivations in education, health, nutrition, shelter, water and sanitation, or social inclusion.
This means many children still fail to get the best start to life and access to quality health care, with 100 children under-5 dying each day of preventable causes – a figure 3.5 times higher among ethnic minorities in northern mountainous areas. Although ethnic minorities account for 15 per cent of the total population, the rate of mortality of children under-5 among this group is 3.5 times higher than for the Kinh majority. Deprivations around health and nutrition have also left 1.9 million children under-5 suffering from stunting, leaving permanent physical and brain damage. Unsafe water and sanitation still account for a significant number of communicable diseases, with three million children deprived of clean water.
Deprivations around health and nutrition have also left 1.9 million children under-5 suffering from stunting, leaving permanent physical and brain damage.
Much work also remains to ensure education is accessible to all children with disparities persisting between rural and urban areas, gender and ethnicity, while just one-in-10 children with disabilities attend secondary school out of a population of 1.3 million.
One-in-10 children with disabilities attend secondary school out of a population of 1.3 million
Social exclusion and an inability to access services and support when they are needed most prevents vulnerable and disadvantaged children from living safe from harm and having the best start in life.
Today, more than two-in-three children aged one to 14 years experiences violent discipline and more than 170,000 children are without parental care, destitute or abandoned.