Child protection

  • Theme: Child Protection
  • Key donors: IKEA Foundation
  • Local Partners: People’s Committees of Go Vap, Cu Chi, Thu Duc and Binh Tan Districts, Ho Chi Minh City
  • Locations: Ho Chi Minh City
  • Key beneficiaries: Migrant and deprived children

Despite impressive socio-economic developments between the late 1990s and 2000s, Vietnam still faces with serious challenges due to the growing disparities and inequities in the society. The growing disparities defies the implementation of the Rights of the Children, including the lack of effective mechanism for law enforcement, inadequate public awareness of child rights and practical implementation in schools and communities. That is to said, nearly three fourths of all children aged 2-14 years in Vietnam have experienced violent discipline which accounts for 73.9%. Child protection system remains weak. 4.3 million children were living in special circumstances (18% of Vietnamese boys and girls) and 13,600 juveniles are in conflict with the law.

In the education sector, the marginalised group of migrant children often have limited access to education and social services. In regards to quality education and protection, there remains key challenges such as the lack of child friendly learning environments, frequent use of corporal punishment and no mechanism for children to report abuse, discrimination and bullying, as well as inadequate policies and anti-corporal punishment legislation. Physical and humiliating punishment (PHP) in Vietnam is still rampant at school and home. Of 500 children surveyed, 94% experienced PHP at home and 93% experienced PHP at school.

Meanwhile, child poverty remains at high rate. 28.9% of children under the age of 16 can be identified as poor. These children are out of school and many face problems with health risks, including drug use and HIV and they are at risk of exploitation.

In Ho Chi Minh City, according to its Statistic Department (2014), the number of migrant people is more than 5.3 million. Most of them are from the provinces of the Central and North Regions moving to the city to find jobs. A large part of the migrant population are children and adolescents, and many of them are working on the street or in the private sector.


  1. Deprived children attend good quality inclusive basic education.
  2. Corporal punishment is eliminated in the project schools and communities through establishment of a mechanism for reporting abuse, discrimination and bullying with the participation of children and parents in schools and communities
  3. Improve the quality of community based child protection networks and mechanisms including strengthening capacity and participation of Civil society, communities and government stakeholders in monitoring the implementation of child rights to create a friendly, violence free and participatory learning environment


An integrated approach has been applied to achieve the aforementioned ambitious objectives, including building capacity and raising awareness for relevant stakeholders, piloting child protection models, implementing behavior change communications, engaging civil society organisations, etc. Key interventions include:

  • Building capacity of teachers, government officers and children on child rights, child protection, child-centred teaching method, positive discipline.
  • Raising awareness of parents and local people on child protection.
  • Setting up mechanism on psychosocial support, child-led mechanism for reporting harassment, bullying and other physical and humiliating punishment (PHP) and promoting child participation through the models of core children groups, child forum, child-led school improvement plans.
  • Strengthening community-based Child Protection System.
  • Developing the Minimum Standards to prevent corporal punishment and PHP in child-care institutions.
  • Strengthening coordination mechanisms among members of Child Protection Board and promoted the role of Civil Society Organizations in Child Protection system.


  • Minimum Standards of Care and Protection (MSCP) have been developed in coordination with the Buddhist Association and its implementation strategies is being developed. Save the Children is advocating for institutionalising the minimum standards of care and protection for all private and state run institutions in Ho Chi Minh City.
  • Child Protection Systemshave been strengthened through capacity support on child rights and protection for CSOs as well as on raising awareness on the risks and vulnerabilities that children face in the community.
  • Quality Learning Environment (QLE) is the main tool to assess and monitor the learning environment in schools.
  • An inter-agency action plan between Department of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs and Department of Education and Training to support migrant children to be enrolled was promulgated in Cu Chi district.
  • The development of a written plan on the instruction of roles between Cu Chi Department of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs and Department of Education and Training, issued by Cu Chi authority. The plan was signed by the child protection and education sectors with a commitment to maintain and strengthen a close cooperation between both sectors