Nguyen Thu Quynh In 2012, when I was doing research in Bo Trach District, Quang Binh Province, I asked kids 8-10 years old to write down the names of the people closest to them. Answers varied from parents and teachers to neighbors and police officers, as expected. But when asked who could protect them in a crisis, the children were perplexed. They started jotting down random names without being able to pinpoint exactly why those names were chosen. It seems that our children are clueless when it comes to seeking help on issues concerning their own safety. This fact gains added relevance at a time when increasing cases of child sexual abuse and harassment are being highlighted by local media. Earlier this month, a primary school teacher in Hanoi was accused of touching several 5th graders in "inappropriate places." However, it was stated at a press conference later that there were no signs that the teacher molested the students; that all he did was "pinching their ears and noses, … [Read more...] about Why Vietnamese students are easy prey
Major Vietnamese plastics firms are being taken over in a big way by foreign firms from Thailand, Japan and South Korea. In April, Thai business conglomerate Siam Cement Group (SCG) acquired over 50 percent of shares in Binh Minh Plastics (BMP), a big player in Vietnam’s plastics industry. Previously, SCG had already poured in $121 million to acquire seven other Vietnamese plastics firms, according to local media reports. Japan is also gearing up to conquer Vietnam’s plastics sector. Japan-based Sekisui Chemical has become a strategic partner in Tien Phong Plastics, acquiring 25 percent of the company’s shares last year, and Japan’s Meiwa Pax Group has paid $16.5 million to buy HCMC-based packaging firm Sapaco. South Korea firms have also jumped into the fray, with packaging firm Dongwon Systems acquiring over 97 percent of Tan Tien Plastics in 2016. Tan Tien is a frontrunner in Vietnam’s packaging industry, and a major partner for several big companies … [Read more...] about As plastic sector booms, Vietnamese firms are easy prey
Just after I signed up for hospital insurance the other week, I got a brutal reminder about why I need it. Just after I signed up for hospital insurance the other week, I got a brutal reminder about why I need it. One Saturday morning heading toward Da Nang on the coastal highway, I came across a gaggle of Vietnamese huddled around a fallen motorbike. Everyone was on the phone to someone. As I came closer, I realized there was a young, Western female holding her left arm and crying while sitting cross-kneed in the middle of the road. Now, it’s a terrible thing that you have to stop and think before intervening in accidents in Vietnam. I’ve heard countless stories of helpful Westerners eventually being blamed for accidents after they’ve only pulled over to assist. In most parts of the world, there is no legal requirement for someone to stop and help at the scene of an accident if they are not directly involved in it; however, most people will feel the instinct to … [Read more...] about In Vietnam, is it worth the risk?
Seventeen girls died after a fire swept through the dormitory of a school for children of hill tribes in northern Thailand, officials said Monday, with a survivor describing fleeing as flames engulfed the building. At least 17 girls have died in a fire at a school for children aged from six to 13 years old in northern Thailand The fire started late Sunday night, meaning many of the children at the school run by a Christian charity were asleep as flames spread through the two-storey wooden building. "The fire broke out at 11 pm on Sunday (1600 GMT). Seventeen girls were killed, with five injured," Colonel Prayad Singsin of the police in the town of Chiang Rai told AFP. Two of the injured are in a serious condition, he said, but initial fears that two more girls were missing had been discounted after rescuers picked through the charred debris. The school in Wiang Pa Pao disttrict is home to girls aged between six and 13. Those in the dormitory on Sunday night were drawn mainly … [Read more...] about 17 girls killed in fire at school dormitory in Thailand
At least 17 young girls died after a fire swept through the dormitory of a school for children of hill tribes in northern Thailand, officials said Monday, adding several others were either missing or injured. The fire started late at night, meaning many of the children were asleep and unable to escape as flames engulfed the two-storey building. "The fire broke out at 11pm on Sunday (1600 GMT). Seventeen girls were killed and two are still missing, with five injured," Colonel Prayad Singsin of the police in Chiang Rai told AFP. Two of the injured are in a serious condition, he added. "The fire is out, but the cause of the blaze is still under investigation," Prayad said, adding forensic officers were due to arrive on Monday. A Chiang Rai provincial official confirmed the death toll, adding that the privately-run school is home to girls aged between six and 13 years old, drawn mainly from the deprived local hill tribes. "There were 38 students inside the dormitory when the fire … [Read more...] about 17 girls dead in fire at school dormitory in Thailand