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UNICEF congratulates the people and Government of Viet Nam for impressive progress on children’s rights since the end of the war

Hanoi, 30 April 2005 – Today, as Viet Nam’s celebrates the 30th anniversary of the unification of the country, UNICEF congratulates the Vietnamese people and Government for the enormous progress they have made in improving the lives of children since the end of the war.

In the past three decades the chances for children to survive and develop into healthy adults have improved significantly due to the enormous progress in reduction of vaccine preventable diseases and better nutrition. For example, polio has been eradicated, neonatal tetanus and measles were drastically reduced and under–five mortality rates fell to less than one-third of the 1960s levels. Furthermore the number of boys and girls going to school has doubled since 1976/7 and female literacy has increased from 72 per cent in 1970 to currently over 90 per cent.

"We at UNICEF would like to commend Viet Nam for its commitment to children over the past three decades. The Vietnamese people have managed to transform the country from a place devastated by a war which left millions of children suffering from hunger and disease into a nation where more children than ever are growing up healthy, well-educated and bound towards a bright future,” said Christian Salazar, Officer-in-Charge of UNICEF Viet Nam. “On the commemoration of this important anniversary we should also remind ourselves about the importance of peace for children everywhere in the world.” UNICEF estimates that worldwide 1.6 million children were killed in conflicts since 1990 and around 20 million more were forced to leave their homes.

Viet Nam has successfully navigated the challenges of war and reconstruction of the nation.  As it now stands on the threshold of becoming a developed country, today's challenge is as great as the challenges of the past: to come through a period of rapid and dramatic change in a way that continues to improve the lives and guarantee the rights of all Viet Nam's children. Although the number of people lifted out of poverty has dramatically dropped over the last decade, falling from 58 to 24 per cent, disparity especially amongst the rural poor and ethnic minorities is on the increase.  This along with the emergence of new social pressures on children and families including homelessness, drug abuse, sexual and economic exploitation, trafficking, child injuries and HIV/AIDS require special attention, especially now children that under the age of 18 constitute 41 per cent of the population.

UNICEF has supported Viet Nam for more than 30 years and is committed to continue to work with the Government, development partners, communities and children themselves to ensure the rights of Vietnamese children.

For further information, please contact

- Sue Spencer (Ms),  Communication Section, UNICEF Viet Nam, Tel. 844 942 5706, ext 210 or

- Trịnh Anh Tuấn (Mr), Communication Section, UNICEF Viet Nam, Tel. 844 942 5706, ext 234 or




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