The discussion was part of a consultative workshop held by the National Assembly's Committee for Social Affairs in collaboration with the Centre for Studies and Applied Sciences in Gender – Family – Women and Adolescents (CSAGA) on September 12, to review the draft amended Domestic Violence Prevention and Control Law (DVPC Law).
|A consultative workshop on the draft domestic violence prevention and control law, attended by community organisations|
High on the agenda of the workshop, jointly supported by the UNFPA and the government of Australia, was a presentation by the National Assembly's Committee for Social Affairs on the latest revision of the draft DVPC Law, following National Assembly comments in June 2022.
Representatives from the Gender-based Violence Prevention Network in Vietnam and CSAGA shared their experiences and best practices in domestic violence prevention and control, especially innovative communications to raise public awareness.
The participants also heard about international experiences in a video message shared by ambassadors and heads of delegations in Hanoi, including Australia, Canada, the EU, Spain, Sweden, and the UN.
Addressing the forum, Nguyen Thi Kim Thuy, vice chairwoman of the National Assembly Committee for Social Affairs, said: "We acknowledged the information and experience shared at the workshop today, including international experience and best practices in addressing domestic violence, especially from Australia, highlighting engaging social organisations in delivering services as well as the development of specialist courts for domestic violence, and evidence-based policy developments."
The current DVPC Law was approved by the 12 th National Assembly in November 2007 and took effect in July 2008. However, the national study on violence against women in Vietnam in 2019 by Vietnam's General Statistical Office and Ministry of Labour, Invalids, and Social Affairs, with support from Australia and the UNFPA, showed little change in violence against women since the first study in 2010.
A total of 62.9 per cent of women in Vietnam have experienced at least one form of physical, economic, emotional, and/or sexual violence and controlling behaviour in their lifetime.
In addition, 90.4 per cent of survivors of violence did not seek help from authorities, while half never told anyone about the violence. Domestic violence is hidden in Vietnamese society.
It is high time to strengthen the 2007 DVPC Law. Since October 2021, when the first draft was released for feedback from the public, many technical meetings and consultative workshops were organised by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism to discuss options, share experiences from other countries, and debate the best option for Vietnam.
The amendment also focused on providing essential and integrated services for domestic violence survivors. It requested relevant stakeholders to pay further attention and provide financial and technical resources during the law’s implementation.
After the amended DVPC Law was elaborated during the 3 rd plenary session of the 15 th National Assembly in June, the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism and National Assembly Committee for Social Affairs incorporated all the feedback and finalised the latest draft with 56 articles.
As part of efforts to continue to get feedback from local authorities of the northern and central provinces in Vietnam, the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism in collaboration with the National Assembly Committee for Social Affairs, will organise two more consultative meetings in Vinh Phuc and Nha Trang in the coming weeks.
UNFPA has been working very closely with the MoCST during the revision process, providing technical and financial support to incorporate recommendations from different studies and ensure international standards and commitments on the prevention and response to domestic violence.
|“The survivor–centred approach has been applied to ensure the rights of domestic violence survivors, and their needs and voices have been taken into account seriously. This was important, especially in Vietnam where violence against women is mostly hidden," Kitahara said.|
In her opening remarks, Naomi Kitahara, UNFPA representative for Vietnam, stressed that the organisation was glad to see that the revised law was based on a human rights approach, incorporating international lessons and good practices.
“We have recommended strengthening the effectiveness of state institutions while creating favourable conditions for community-based and non-governmental organisations to contribute to implementing policies and programmatic interventions to tackle domestic violence in Vietnam,” Kitahara said. “The survivor–centred approach has been applied to ensure the rights of domestic violence survivors, and their needs and voices have been taken into account seriously. This was important, especially in Vietnam where violence against women is mostly hidden."
Nguyen Van Anh, founding chairwoman and director of the CSAGA, said: "In the past 15 years, social and non-governmental organisations made many positive contributions to government efforts to end domestic violence. With the revision of the current law, favourable conditions can be created for social and community-based organisations to fully engage in the government's programmes to prevent and control domestic violence.”
“We trust that our perspectives shared at this workshop will be considered and incorporated in the draft amended law to promote community-based activities in the coming years," she said.
The DVPC Law (amended) is expected to be approved by the 15 th National Assembly at its 4 th plenary session in October 2022.
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