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Speech by Ms. Astrid Bant, UNFPA Representative in Viet Nam at the Launching Ceremony of the new collaboration between UNFPA and MOLISA

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Date: Friday, 15 December 2017

Event: Launching Ceremony of the new collaboration between UNFPA and MOLISA

Venue: Fortuna Hotel, 6b Lang Ha street, Ha Noi

  • Your Excellency Ms. Dao Hong Lan, Vice Minister of the MOLISA;
  • Your Excellency Mme Nienke Trooster, Ambassador of the Kingdom of the Netherlands;
  • Representatives of the MOLISA, MOCST, VNFU and other line ministries;
  • Representatives of DFAT, KOICA, International Organizations, CSO, fellow UN colleagues and media;
  • Good morning ladies and gentlemen;

It is indeed a pleasure to be here today, for the launching of the project on "Supporting Viet Nam in the development and implementation of evidence and human rights-based policies and programmes on prevention and response to gender-based violence and addressing sex work-related issues" implemented by the Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs (MOLISA); the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism (MOCST); and Viet Nam’s Famer Union (VNFU) with technical assistance from the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) in Viet Nam.

We very much value and greatly appreciate the partnership and commitment of the leaders of MOLISA, particularly the leaders and technical staff of Gender Equality Department for their efforts and effective collaboration with MPI and its CIPs including MOCST and VNFU in the development of PIP and project document. I would like to thank KOICA and DFAT for contributing funding to this important project. We look forward to working closely with all of you for the implementation of the project we are launching today to contribute to the achievement of the new Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and ensure to “leave no one behind”.

Distinguished guests,

Everyone has a right to live free of violence. It’s a fundamental right – a right enshrined in international human rights law. Yet gender based violence against women and girls is still a global concern problem.  Violence knows no borders. It affects women and girls of all ages, all income levels, all races, and all faiths and cultures. The vast majority of cases still go unreported and unacknowledged. Survivors are left wounded, invisible and suffering in silence.

Globally, one in every three women is subjected to violation by men, often close to her – father, husband, boyfriend, uncle, and supervisor, colleague at workplace, etc.

In Viet Nam, many people are familiar with the National Survey on Domestic Violence against Women which indicates:

58% of ever-married women said that they had experienced at least one form of physical, sexual and emotional violence from someone close, at some point in their lives. But 87% of victims did not seek help due to the lack of available services. Many were also afraid to speak up due to the fear of stigma, discrimination and further harassment.

Under the frame work of this project, UNFPA will work in collaboration with MOLISA and GSO to collect an updated national data on VAWG. The data from this national survey provide critical evidence to inform further action to end VAWG. .

Ladies and gentlemen,

The positive news is that many actions have been taken by the Government of Viet Nam to address the issue.  However, more still needs to be done to effectively implement and reinforce the existing laws and policies to end violence against women. In this context, let me highlight some key issues we need to address:

First, improve the legislative system on gender equality, prevention of gender-based violence/ domestic violence (GBV/DV) and sex work-related issues on the basis of human rights to ensure conformity with Vietnam’s Constitution 2013, international regulations to which Vietnam is a member, and the socio-economic development conditions of the country.

Second, develop standards for GBV prevention and control services to ensure the accessibility and availability of the services to increase socialization in providing services for GBV victims and perpetrators.

Third, carry out a national survey on violence against women and girls across the country to provide evidence for policy advocacy, programmes and raise awareness of related agencies and stakeholders at various levels and sectors.

Fourth, develop a GBV database as the basis for helping the state authorities to monitor the GBV prevention and control on a national scale.

Fifth, change the perceptions and behaviours of policy makers and the public, especially men and boys about GBV through behaviour change communication campaigns and advocacy activities.

Sixth, support the evidence on the impact of gender inequality on child marriage and sex ratio at birth imbalance as basis for developing effective intervention programmes.

Distinguished guests,

I very much appreciate the cooperation and commitment of MOLISA,  MOCST and VNFU in carrying out activities to promote gender equality and prevent violence against women and girls over the past years. I  hope this project, based on evidence and outcomes achieve from the previous phase, will continue addressing the challenges ahead in the prevention and response to gender-based violence/domestic violence, towards a prosperous, sustainable and safe Viet Nam for all.

Thank you very much for your attention and participation. I wish you all good health, happiness and success.