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Going to school without fear

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one-1806Gender-based violence, bullying and discrimination are still too common in schools in Viet Nam. This is not only a barrier to learning, but also a fundamental violation of human rights. As well as limiting a young person's attendance, learning and completion, it impacts more widely on families and communities. School-related gender-based violence (SRGBV) and bullying is therefore a serious threat to the achievement of quality, inclusive and equitable education for all children in Viet Nam.

Combined with a lack of comprehensive sexuality education in schools and communities, the failure to adequately address these issues has resulted in high rates of adolescent birth, abortion and sexual transmission of HIV in the country. As a result, the National Strategy on HIV and AIDS Prevention and Control for the 2011-2020 and the Education Sector Action Plan for HIV and AIDS Prevention for 2012-2020 both highlight the importance of developing preventive healthcare. This aims to mitigate and reduce the risks of HIV/AIDS infections among communities through broader health education, which encompasses gender equality, sexual and reproductive health, and life skills training towards healthy behaviours and lifestyles.

Within this framework, over the past year the UN has supported national efforts to create safe learning environments free from gender stereotypes and all forms of violence and discrimination. Led by UNESCO, this comprehensive sexuality education initiative has involved collecting data on the nature, scope and consequences of SRGBV through a study carried out in six provinces across Viet Nam as well as developing tools to address major concerns in HIV and sexuality education, including an engaging 'Frequently Asked Questions and Answers (FAQs)' booklet series for young people.

Developed as part of the ground-breaking UN-supported "As We Grow Up" exhibition in 2013-2014, the FAQ booklets were developed with the approval of the Ministry of Education and Training (MOET) and support of the Ho Chi Minh Communist Youth Union and Clinton Health Access Initiative. UNICEF joined other UN agencies and MOET, provincial education officers, teachers and NGOs in workshops and dialogues, highlighting the importance of comprehensive sexuality education. The booklets comprise three volumes covering the main subject areas of puberty, relationships, and safe sex and HIV/AIDS. They provide a learning platform for young people to ask questions and express their concerns on sexual matters that they would have otherwise felt uncomfortable addressing among peers, teachers and even family. The Ministry's use of the FAQ booklets as a reference for developing teaching and learning tools for sexuality education establishes a more direct link between the current sexuality education in framework and the concerns and questions of young people.

Furthermore, in recognizing that gender inequality is one of the primary factors perpetuating poverty and impeding the country's sustainable development, the UN and MOET jointly developed and launched the UNESCO-led 'Gender Equality and Girls' Education Initiative in Viet Nam: Empowering girls and women for a more equal society' in 2015. This aims to strengthen the Education Sector's achievements on gender parity and to address gender inequality, from policy to practice, through targeted training and gender transformative approaches. UNFPA and UN Women are working together to provide technical assistance to fully integrate the specialized areas of reproductive healthcare, sex and safe-sex education, school-related gender-based violence, bullying and domestic violence prevention into the initiative.

The UN will continue its gender equality work in education as a powerful vehicle for challenging and transforming gender inequality and social norms during 2016. As a key element of the UN's new Sustainable Development Goals framework, this aims to achieve inclusive and equitable quality education and promoting lifelong learning opportunities for all in Viet Nam.

Spotlight

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WORLD AIDS DAY MESSAGE 2017

1 December 2017

Michel Sidibé
Executive Director of UNAIDS
Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations

This World AIDS Day, we are highlighting the importance of the right to health and the challenges that people living with and affected by HIV face in fulfilling that right.


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Community spaces design contest for an exciting hanoi

Ha Noi, October 17/10/2017 - Aiming at improving the living environment and bringing culture and art to the community towards a better urban future, United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat) successfully developed the project “Promote participatory, community-based and youth-led approach in safe, greening public spaces in Hoan Kiem district toward a pro-poor, inclusive and sustainable urban development” (hereinafter called Public Spaces project) under the Block by Block program with Mojang, the makers of the videogame Minecraft.

 

Deadline for round 1: From 17/10/2017 to 04/11/2017 Extended to 9 November 2017


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Harsh punishment for child offenders doesn’t prevent further criminality

The age at which a child, can be held criminally liable is a controversial issue around the world. Within Viet Nam, this issue is currently being grappled with in the Penal Code amendments. Some argue that a "get tough on crime" approach is necessary to punish children to prevent further criminality.

However, international research shows that because of their developmental stages, labelling and treating children as criminals at an early age can have serious negative impacts on their development and successful rehabilitation.


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New Year Greetings from the United Nations Resident Coordinator a.i. in Viet Nam

 

On the occasion of New Year 2017, on behalf of the United Nations family in Viet Nam I wish to reiterate our appreciation and express our warmest wishes to our partners and friends throughout the country. We wish our partners and their families in Viet Nam peace, prosperity, good health and happiness in the coming year.

As we enter the second year of the Sustainable Development Goals era, we look forward to continuing our close cooperation for the sake of Viet Nam’s future development; one which is inclusive, equitable and sustainable, with no one left behind.

Youssouf Abdel-Jelil
United Nations Resident Coordinator a.i. in Viet Nam


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UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s message for World AIDS Day, observed on 1 December

 

Thirty-five years since the emergence of AIDS, the international community can look back with some pride.  But we must also look ahead with resolve and commitment to reach our goal of ending the AIDS epidemic by 2030.

There has been real progress in tackling the disease. More people than ever are on treatment.  Since 2010, the number of children infected through mother to child transmission has dropped by half. Fewer people die of AIDS related causes each year.  And people living with HIV are living longer lives.

The number of people with access to life-saving medicines has doubled over the past five years, now topping 18 million. With the right investments, the world can get on the fast-track to achieve our target of 30 million people on treatment by 2030.  Access to HIV medicines to prevent mother to child transmission is now available to more than 75 per cent of those in need.