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The National Children's Forum 2011

Representing their peers from all parts of the country, 180 girls and boys from 30 provinces in Viet Nam participating in a National Children’s Forum spent three days of August 8-10, 2011 in Ha Noi to discourse on key issues of concern that Vietnamese children and young people are confronting, including child abuse, child exploitation and child injury. The last day, participating girls and boys joined an open dialogue with policy makers from the National Assembly and Ministries. Over 1.6 million Vietnamese children currently live in special circumstances.

UNICEF Representative Lotta Sylwander (top left) and Minister of Labour, War Invalids and Social Affairs (MOLISA) Pham Thi Hai Chuyen delivered keynote speeches to open the Forum’s Dialogue on August 10, 2011. Organised by the National Assembly, MOLISA, national organisations, UNICEF and other international organisations, this is the second time such a Forum taking place at the national level to promote child participation. Similar forums were organised in different provinces preceding to the event in the capital.

Children voice their concerns and participate in documentation for broadcasting at the event.

Giang Thi Bau (13 years old) from northern mountainous province of Lao Cai participates at the Forum for the first time. She wishes to talk to policy makers on child labour as she represents her peers who drop out of school to work in corn fields or sell home-grown vegetables at local markets to help their families make ends meet.

A Lang Lai (15 years old) is happy that he’s made good friends at the three-day forum. Coming from the central province of Quang Nam, Lai represents young people of his generation who are challenged with the socio-economic side effects of the country’s rapid growth.

Artworks made by the children are on display at an exhibition. Various issues of child injury prevention and child abuse, labour were presented in different forms of creativity by the participating girls and boys.



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