Voluntary teams share experience in social work

Volunteers localities nationwide gathered at a seminar in Hanoi on January 27 to share their experience in operating communal-level voluntary social work teams. As part of the project "Asia Action on Harm Reduction", the event was jointly organised by the Department of Social Evils Prevention (DSEP) under the Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs and the Centre for Supporting Community Development (SCDI). There are 2,570 voluntary social work teams with over 17,000 volunteers operating in 36 provinces and cities across the country. They provide consultations and support for vulnerable groups such as drug addicts, people living with HIV/AIDS, prostitutes and victims of human trafficking. The network serves as a bridge connecting social organisations, authorities and communities. SCDI and DSEP have co-worked to design a training programme and manuals for volunteers, providing them with basic knowledge and skills in line with the State’s policies on prevention of … [Read more...]

Kon Tum province to implement Methadone maintenance treatment program

Photo for illustration (Source: vov.vn)

The first methadone treatment facility in Kon Tum province will officially be launched in early April 2015. The facility, which will be located in Ngo May ward, Kon Tum city, Kom Tum province, will receive and provide methadone for about 100 drug users. In addition, the province will carry out activities to raise awareness of drug users and people of the voluntary detoxification treatment with methadone. According to the Department of Social Evils Prevention, eight provinces have not implemented drug detoxification for drug users in centers and community, including Kon Tum, Hung Yen, Dien Bien, Quang Binh, Quang Tri, Phu Yen, Quang Ngai and Dak Nong. This will be a progress, contributing to raising awareness of drug users about drug detoxification, reducing crimes caused by drug users, reducing the danger of HIV infection and helping social order in the locality./. … [Read more...]

Drug addicts need post-detox therapy

The head of Ho Chi Minh City's Psychological Hospital has recommended that drug addicts be given mental-health therapy after they complete detoxification services. Dr. Trinh Tat Thang that addicts who are treated at ward and commune health centres are especially in need of such care. Ward and commune health centres currently are only responsible for identifying the level of addiction of each individual and suggesting a detox regimen. Addicts who have a more serious condition are treated with methadone. Thang told a recent meeting on drug treatment for addicts at community-based health facilities that 40-60 percent of addicts have mental health problems. Those who use amphetamine-type stimulants often become depressed after their detox regimen concludes. Dong Van Ngoc, a representative from the municipal Department of Health's Medical Affairs Division, said it is difficult to identify the severity of addiction because of the lack of qualified staff and facilities. For this … [Read more...]

Nearly VND6 billion to help prostitutes to access social services

Prostitutes in Quang Ninh, Ho Chi Minh city and Can Tho city will be helped to access social services thanks a project on building pilot models on strengthening people's ability to access social services, launched by the Ministry of Labour, War-Invalids and Social Affairs (MOLISA) and Care on November 17th. According to the MOLISA's Department of Social Evil Prevention and Control , during the 10 months of this year, prostitution prevention has been carried out strictly. However, the situation remains complicated. A survey conducted by the MOLISA shows that nearly 25% of reported prostitutes have given up their work but failed and over 48% of them want to leave the work because they are afraid of discrimination and being infected with contagious diseases, including HIV/AIDS. The main reason they want to continue their work is simply economics. In the last several years, the Government has issued policies to support prostitutes to get loans to build a stable life. However, many of … [Read more...]

Drug rehab programme draws few participants

HCM CITY (VNS) - HCM City's two-year-old community-based treatment for drug addicts has not proven very successful due to various reasons, including the fact that admission for treatment is voluntary. Since the programme began in 2012 only 204 people have been treated so far while authorities had hoped to treat 700 by next year, according to a report from the Counselling Centre for Drug Addiction Treatment in Thu Duc District released at a workshop to review the programme last Friday. The centre is in charge of the programme. Le Van Quy, its chief, said it fails to attract addicts because it is voluntary and they lack the resolve to go through with it. … [Read more...]

Rehab plans for drug addicts

HCM CITY (VNS) - Provinces and cities have been asked to create an action plan for community-based treatment for drug addicts in an aim to reduce the number of patients at rehabilitation centres from 63 per cent to 20 per cent by 2015, and 6 per cent by 2020. Deputy Minister of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs Nguyen Trong Dam has urged localities to set up counseling centres in their wards or communes for drug addicts. Speaking at a two-day conference that ended yesterday, he said counselors should urge drug addicts to voluntarily visit community-based treatment facilities. … [Read more...]

Poor people easy targets for human traffickers

by Van Dat AN GIANG — A full two years has passed since Thach Thi Sa Lal (not her real name) was rescued from a brothel in Cambodia and brought back to her hometown in An Giang Province in the Mekong Delta. Despite the passage of time, the memories of those dark days fill her with dread, and when asked during a recent interview to speak about the experience, she would only lower her head in silence. The 16-year-old Khmer-Vietnamese girl, who had to quit school after the sixth grade because of her family's poverty, said that she wanted to talk about the future, not the past. … [Read more...]

44 high-ranking officials named for position rotation

Deputy Minister of Construction Nguyen Thanh Nghi, alternate member of the Party Central Committee is appointed as Deputy Party Secretary of Kien Giang Province in the 2010-2015 term.

VietNamNet Bridge - The Politburo has assigned 44 high-ranking officials from central bodies to localities. Notably, two members of the Party Central Committee are assigned as the Deputy Party Secretaries of the southern provinces of Kien Giang and Soc Trang. Specifically, Deputy Minister of Construction Nguyen Thanh Nghi, alternate member of the Party Central Committee is appointed as Deputy Party Secretary of Kien Giang Province in the 2010-2015 term and Mr. Son Minh Thang, member of the Party Central Committee, is assigned Vice Chairman of the National Ethnic Affair Committee is assigned to be Deputy Party Secretary of Soc Trang Province. In addition, 19 deputy ministers, 25 heads of departments are also named in the list of position rotation. According to the decision of the Politburo and the Party Central Secretariat, 25 people hold the position of Deputy Party Secretary of and 19 people hold the vice chairmanship of provinces and cities. These officials are planned … [Read more...]

Free condoms for all hotels in Ho Chi Minh City

Photo for illustration.

VietNamNet Bridge - To prevent the spread of HIV/AIDS, Ho Chi Minh City authorities will provide free condoms in all hotel rooms in the city. According to Mr. Le Van Quy, Deputy Chief of the HCM City Social Evils Prevention Department, this program is suggested by the HCMC AIDS Prevention Committee in order to reduce the rate of HIV transmission through sexual contact in the city in 2013. The HCM City People's Committee has agreed to expand the "100% condom program" in all hotels to increase the availability of condoms and to prevent HIV transmission through sexual contact. Earlier, the HCM City Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism was committed to promoting the propaganda program on HIV/AIDS prevention and supply condoms to more than 1,500 hotels and motels that serve tourists, managed by the Department. However, representatives of these hotels and motels worried to be fined if they publicly provide its customers with condoms. In this regard, Mr. Quy said that the police … [Read more...]

5,861 businesses suspected with prostitution

Disguised restaurants in Quat Lam, Nam Dinh, where prostitution is rampant.

VietNamNet Bridge - On January 29, the Department of Social Evil Prevention of the Ministry of Labor, Invalids and Social Affairs said that there are about 30,000 prostitutes and 171,400 drug addicts in Vietnam. HCM City wants to gather sensitive services into one zone to prevent prostitutionMale and gay prostitution is increasing Prostitutes and drug addicts seem to be younger and the above social evils are increasingly complexly. In 2012, the country had to spend over VND70 billion ($3.5 million) for the prevention of prostitution. Mr. Le Duc Hien, Vice chief of the Department of Social Evil Prevention, said that in 2012, social evils still occurred very complexly in many provinces and cities, in the rural and mountainous areas. The modes of operation were very diverse. Information technology was used to form prostitution rings with large-scale. The number of drug addicts increased by 7.7% compared to 2011 (about 12,900 people), bringing the total to 171,400 addicts. The number … [Read more...]

Prostitution in Ho Chi Minh City develops complicated again


VietNamNet Bridge - "After the provision on not sending prostitutes to rehabilitation centers, prostitution in HCM City has become complex again," said Mr. Le Van Quy, Deputy Chief of the HCM City Bureau for Social Evils Prevention. At a recent workshop on prostitution management in the city, Quy said prostitution was complicated last year. Prostitution was disguised in many forms of business, using increasingly sophisticated tactics, making big concerns for the community. "The number of prostitutes who were sent to rehabilitation centers dropped by more than 36 percent compared with 2011. After the provision on not managing or sending prostitutes to rehabilitation centers was issued, prostitution in the city has become complex again," he said. The official said sex workers in HCM City mainly come from other provinces. They change their residence very often. According to statistics of the Phu Nghia Center for Education and Social Labour, of the 65 sex workers were admitted to the … [Read more...]

Social entrepreneurship – a new trend


The topic of social entrepreneurship was mentioned in at least three discussion panels at the 2013 Global Entrepreneurship Summit (GES) held in Kuala Lumpur. Many guest speakers predicted that this concept will become a trend in the near future. Melody Hossaini, a social entrepreneurship expert from England, defined "social entrepresurship" as the practice of adding value to society while performing as a successful corporation. This differs from the work of charity organizations in that they only accept donations without doing actual business. Social evils prevention The 2013 GES panel discussion welcomed Silverius Oscar Unggul, a 40 year-old Indonesian well known for his role in protecting forests in Indonesia and around the world. In 2005, two thirds of Indonesia's forests were in critical condition due to illegal logging. According to information issued by Ashoka, a global organization supporting social entrepreneurs, the forest will soon disappear completely. Silverius … [Read more...]

Hanoi’s biggest dance club shut down

Next Top Club

Hanoi authorities have just decided to shut down the Next Top Club, the biggest club in Hanoi, after uncovering various violations. According to Social Evil Prevention and Control Board of the Hanoi Department of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs, recently, a task force of the municipal police made an unannounced check on Next Top Club, discovered a number of violations. The club has not yet conducted periodical health examinations for the staff or provided social insurance for those who have been working for the club for over three months. Also, the club failed to show receipts for 76 imported wine bottles. Meanwhile, it advertises alcohol of over 30% alcohol and failed to submit the original document related to its conditioned business. According to the Hanoi Department of Planning and Investment, the business areas of Grand Plaza Hanoi Ltd. Co. do not include the lease of its space for entertainment and artistic performance. The club has not yet been granted a certificate … [Read more...]

Former drug users turn their lives around

Former drug users are trained in embroidery at a workshop at the Phu Van Rehabilitation Centre in HCM City. Thousands of former drug users like No have been helped to reintegrate with society through the city's rehab programmes. — VNA/VNS Photo The Anh

by Gia Loc HCM CITY (VNS)— Nguyen Thi No was once a drug addict with little reason to live except for her next hit. But with the help of a local rehab programme, the 36-year-old is now working as a painter and stenciller for house interiors. "I feel very satisfied with my life now," she said. As an addict, No said she often couldn't think clearly. "Everyone around me, including my relatives, thought that my life would end with drugs, and there would be no hope for me," she said. "It can be difficult to give up the drug habit." In 2002, No was sent to the Bo La Rehabilitation Centre in Binh Duong Province, and two years later, she began taking vocational training courses at the Phuoc Binh Centre for Education, Labour and Social Affairs in Dong Nai Province. She sees this time as a milestone in her life, not only for the job training she received but also for the life skills she learned. No said she began "to live with more responsibility". But reintegrating with society … [Read more...]

Experts warn rabies outbreak possible


Experts warn rabies outbreak possible The risk of a possible rabies outbreak will remain high if measures are not taken to control the disease, said experts from the Ministry of Health. According to the ministry, the disease had spread throughout Ha Noi and many northern provinces in the region. By Thursday of last week, more than 300 people in Ha Noi's Soc Son District had been bitten by infectious dogs and cats. In the district's Bac Son Commune, nearly 100 people had been bitten. The district's Medical Station has set up four teams of inspectors to monitor the disease, while the National Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology (NIHE) confirmed that four samples from captured dogs had tested positive for the virus. Meanwhile, bite victims in the district were not believed to have contracted the virus from the animals. In the northern province of Thai Nguyen, more than 80 people were bitten by animals suspected to be carrying the virus in the past two months, while in Yen Bai … [Read more...]

Child Protection Law changes to strengthen child justice

HAI PHONG (VNS)—The revised law on Child Protection, Care and Education needs to make clear what the responsibilities of ministries and agencies are when it comes to implementing child-friendly justice, said director of Department for Child Protection and Care Nguyen Hai Huu at a workshop in Hai Phong last week. The law has been in effect for eight years but has significant shortcomings. The department, under the Ministry of Labour, Invalid and Social Affairs in partnership with other relevant agencies, is drafting several amendments to fix these issues. Nguyen Van Tung, an official from the Institute of Judicial Science under the Supreme People's Court, said that the current law on criminal procedure focused on children's obligations rather than their rights. "In many cases, witnesses don't come to court because they feel their safety, health or assets are threatened. They don't want to get into trouble because of something they're not directly involved in," he said. The absence … [Read more...]

Forced rehabilitation not sexy anymore

Vo Thi My Xuan, a Mekong Delta beauty pageant winner, seen in this file photo, was arrested in June for allegedly running a high-priced prostitution ring.

Experts welcome scrapping of old regulation, say time to legalize prostitution Phong used to hang around a café in Tan Binh District well known as a hub for MSM (men who have sex with men). He would meet customers there, negotiate a deal and drive to a nearby hotel. "The café is an intermediate place to avoid police raids that always end up with sex workers being sent to rehabilitation centers," said the 37-year-old man, who had migrated to the city from the Mekong Delta and got involved in prostitution through a friend who was also a sex worker. Many sex workers like Phong are afraid of being sent to compulsory rehabilitation centers that offer them little help in quitting the profession and finding a new job. But such centers might not be open for long. On June 21, the National Assembly, Vietnam's legislature, passed a law overturning a regulation under which people found guilty of prostitution are sent to rehabilitation centers. The new law will take effect in July, next … [Read more...]

Hanoi, HCM City see spike in HIV-infected male sex workers

The average HIV infection rate among the gay population last year was reported at 2.3% with HCM City and Hanoi witnessing the sharpest rise

Hanoi and HCM City have been witnessing a boom in the number of male sex workers, and now have the highest rate of HIV-infected male sex workers in the country. By the end of May this year, the number of new HIV carriers in Vietnam reached 213,400. Of the total cases of HIV-AIDS in the country, 63,400 are still living, while there have been around 65,000 AIDS-related deaths so far, according to the latest report from the Ministry of Health. The HIV/AIDS epidemic has spread to 63 cities and provinces, with men accounting for more than 66% of the total. More young people have also been infected with HIV/AIDS. Between January and May this year, up to 78.6% of reported HIV/AIDS patients were between between the ages of 20 and 39. The of transmission of the disease via sex has also been on the rise. The average HIV infection rate among the gay population last year was reported at 2.3%. HCM City and Hanoi have seen the sharpest rise, with 7.3% and 6.5% respectively. According to … [Read more...]