Truck overturns in SE Asia’s largest underwater tunnel

Truck overturns in SE Asia’s largest underwater tunnel



thu thiem tunnel, ODA, clean water, rural area



A truck moving at high speed lost control and overturned in Saigon river tunnel, Ho Chi Minh City, at 1.40 pm on November 25.

The upturned truck was removed from the site at 2.30 pm, allowing traffic to continue. No casualties were reported.

This is the second similar incident to occur in Southeast Asia’s largest underwater tunnel since it was opened in November 2011.

The 1.49km tunnel is 33m wide and 9m high. It has six lanes and two emergency exit lanes on either side.-

Expressway work lags behind schedule

Deputy Prime Minister Hoang Trung Hai has called for drastic measures to accelerate the construction of the Ha Noi – Hai Phong Expressway to ensure its completion by mid-2014.

The construction of the 105-km expressway was kicked off in 2008 under a build-operate-transfer contract and should have been completed last year. It was expected to help reduce pressure on National Highway No 5.

However, to date, only half the work has been completed, said Dao Van Chien, chairman of the Viet Nam Infrastructure Development and Finance Investment Joint Stocks Company – the project investor.

The project has received a total investment of VND46.9 trillion (US$2.22 billion), but some VND18.4 trillion ($872 million) has already been disbursed so far.

The delays are partly attributable to the lack of capacity among the contractors, he said, explaining that some of them had failed to ensure they had enough staff and equipment for the project, so they hired sub-contractors, staff and machines at low prices.

Moreover, the contractors were unable to mobilise sufficient funding, so when payments to the sub-contractors became due, they were unable to honour those debts, and consequently, the sub-contractors delayed work on the project, he explained.

Contractors, in turn, blamed the delay on slow land clearance. At present, over 99 per cent of land clearance activities have been completed, with more than 1,400 hectares of land approved for construction.

Land clearance was not complete at 13 locations, including three locations in Ha Noi, two in Hung Yen, six in Hai Duong and two in Hai Phong.

Upon inspecting the work on the expressway late Saturday, Deputy Prime Minister Hai asked the relevant parties to review the progress of the project and mobilise their financial and human resources to ensure the completion of the work by the middle of next year.

He noted that National Highway No 5 was bearing the brunt of a serious overload, with over 60,000 trips across it being made each day.

So far, funding and land clearance have been properly arranged, so now is the time for the construction companies to finish the work, he said.

Transport Minister Dinh La Thang remarked that if any construction company failed to ensure the progress of their work as planned, they must supplement their staff and even have extra staff on hand.

Mild earthquake felt in Quang Nam Province

An earthquake measuring 2.0 on the Richter scale shook Song Tranh 2 Hydropower Plant in Bac Tra My District in Quang Nam Province at 1.55am on November 25, according to the Earthquake Information and Tsunami Warning Center.

The earthquake was located at 15.30 degrees latitude north and 114.1 degrees longitude east, causing tremors of level three at the epicenter. Luckily, the earthquake did not affect the local residents much.

On the afternoon of the same day, Le Van Tuan, Head of the People’s Committee of Bac Tra My District, said that he had not received any prior warning of the earthquake.

Talking to a reporter of SGGP Newspaper, Vu Duc Toan, Director of Song Tranh Hydropower Company, said he too had no information of the coming earthquake.

Currently, the water reservoir of Song Tranh 2 Hydropower Plant is at 161.2 meters, informed the authorities in Quang Nam Province.

Ghent University hosts Vietnam talks in Belgium

Vietnam and its development potential were the major theme of an exchange held at Belgium’s Ghent University on November 25 as part of activities to mark 40 years of diplomacy between Vietnam and Belgium.

The event attracted the participation of representatives of Belgian businesses that are developing cooperative ties with Vietnam, and Vietnamese and foreign students studying at the university.

Vietnamese ambassador to Belgium and Luxembourg Pham Sanh Chau briefed participants on the Vietnam-Belgium potential for strengthening bilateral cooperation, especially in tertiary education and decentralised cooperation between Vietnamese localities and those in East Flanders.

Piet Sanders, regional director for Eastern Europe and Asia Pacific at Puratos Group specialising in bread, cake, and chocolate, spoke of his group’s plan to develop a Cacao growing area in the Mekong Delta for producing chocolate.

Rene Denis, director of Denis Plants company, introduced a flower variety breeding project in the Central Highland province of Lam Dong to supply varieties back to Belgium and other European countries.

Professor Guido Van Huylenbroeck, head of the Bioscience Engineering Faculty of Ghent University, said the university has developed cooperative ties with Vietnam over the years. Every year dozens of Vietnamese students do MA or PhD courses at Ghent’s partners.  

Nearly 100 Vietnamese students are currently studying at Ghent University.

Vietnamese, Japanese lawyers strengthen cooperation

The Vietnam Lawyers' Association (VLA) and Japan Federation of Bar Associations (JFBA) signed a memorandum of understanding in Hanoi on November 25 to strengthen ties of friendship and cooperation.

Under the MoU, the two associations will boost cooperation to raise the role of law and lawyers on the basis of friendship and cooperation.

They will accelerate exchanges of documents, publications and legal information as well as visits.

The VLA is a partner of the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) in the framework of the Technical Assistance Project for Legal and Judicial System Reform.

Through JICA, VLA has established cooperative ties with JFBA.

Japan increases medical services in Mekong Delta

The Japanese government is planning to set up a taskforce to promote the export of medical technologies and services to five Mekong basin countries in Southeast Asia.

The entity involving both public and private sectors will be tasked with accelerating the export of Japan's advanced medical facilities and insurance system to Cambodia, Thailand, Vietnam, Myanmar and Laos, Kyodo news agency reported on November 25.

This is part of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's economic growth strategy, it said.

Tokyo aims to sign a memorandum of understanding on expanding cooperation in the medical sector with the five Mekong countries when it hosts a special summit between Japan and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in Tokyo from December 13-15, marking the 40th anniversary of their diplomatic ties.

ASEAN groups the five Mekong nations plus Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines and Singapore.

The taskforce will consist of officials from Japan's foreign and economy, trade and industry ministries, as well as hospital managers and representatives from insurance companies and medical equipment manufacturers, according to Kyodo.

During his visit to Phnom Penh earlier this month, Abe told Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen that Japan will launch a hospital providing emergency care in the country in March 2015.

The Japanese government will supply medicines and medical equipment to the Mekong nations, he added.

Japan is also set to support the training of medical workers and provide know-how on hospital management in Laos, and help establish hospitals in Myanmar.

It will later consider how to boost cooperation in the medical sector with Thailand and Vietnam.

Under the growth strategy, Japan will expand medical service exports and set up 10 medical institutions in emerging nations by 2020.

Workshop promotes human rights education in Vietnam

Research and education on human rights in Vietnam was the primary subject discussed at a workshop held in Hanoi on November 25.

Organised by the Vietnam Academy of Social Sciences, the event attracted many researchers and lecturers from universities and institutes nationwide.

At the workshop, participants said that the teaching of human rights in Vietnam still has limitations. There are only five official educational establishments in the fields nationwide.

Documentation and training materials on human rights have not been systematised or designed especially for specific groups, while researchers and lecturers’ ability has not met the demand of actual education in the country.

Moreover, the study of human rights has not delved into the details of theory, regional and international law and mechanisms. Urgent issues such as security, terrorism in relation with human rights; freedom of information and press and human rights; climate change and human rights; development, poverty and human rights have not been studied deeply.

Therefore, delegates stressed that it is necessary to pay more attention to promoting education on human rights at all education levels in Vietnam. The education sector needs to build training curricula in the field for educational institutions of law, penal science, security, management and administration.

Participants suggested Vietnam build a network between domestic and foreign scientists and researchers in the field of human rights study and education. They also called for more information sharing among education and research institutions, state agencies, socio-political organisations and communities of scientists operating in the field.

Workers at industrial parks in need of daycare

Thousands of workers at industrial parks and exports processing zones in Can Tho City have expressed concerns after hearing that some children were mistreated at childcare centres, but no centres are officially set up for these facilities.

The southern city of Can Tho has six industrial parks (IPs) and export processing zones (EPZs) with around 32,000 workers, however, these parks and zones do not have any pre-schools for the workers children.

Among around 32,000 people are working at these IPs and EPZs, 70% are female who are at the childbearing age.

One worker for a tra fish processing company said that she and her husband are from Ben Tre Province. They have been working there for two years and have just had a girl.

Their grandparents are too old to take care of their child for them, so they have to take her to a nearby baby sitter. However, they do not feel secured about this.

Mrs.T and her husband from Hau Giang Province were in the same situation when they had to send their child to an unlicensed pre-school class. T said he had to go back to work six months after the birth, however, many public pre-schools only receive children aged from 18 months.

The recent incident in which a baby sitter in HCM City beat a child to death has raised more worry for workers in Can Tho City’s IPs and EPZs. Therefore, all of them expect there will be a pre-school at IPs and EPZs where they work to be built.

The owner of a hostel for workers in Tra Noc Ward, Can Tho City, said through mass media, she knows that the central districts of Can Tho City such as Ninh Kieu and Cai Rang allow to open massive pre-schools.  However, there is no pre-school at local IPs and EPZs.

Huynh Huu Thong, Chairman of Trade Union of Can Tho IPs and EPZs, said, “To date, the municipal People’s Committee has planned to build a pre-school for 200 children.

After this work is completed, the committee will consider other pre-schools.”

Tra Noc Industrial Park 1 and 2 have more than 20,000 workers, and most of them have to take their children to babysitters.

He added that the Trade Union of Zone 4, Tra Noc Ward, will persuade some local potential companies to open some nursery classes for workers’ children.

Phạm Thi Dao, Headmaster of Yen Linh Private Pre-school in Zone 4, said that each year, after Tet Holiday, local private pre-schools face an overload, mostly for classes for children aged between 12 and 16 months. She predicted that this year the situation would be worse after scams related to unlicensed child care groups are dealt with.

Workshop seeks ways to tackle prostitution

Foreign and domestic delegates gathered in Quang Ninh province on November 25 to seek ways to fight against prostitution, which has been getting more sophisticated in this booming hi-tech era.

The Department for Social Vices Prevention under the Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs admitted that more professional prostitution rings are capitalising on the development of the Internet, mobile phones and other modern devices to market themselves both at home and abroad, making it difficult for law enforcement officials to control.

Some rings even ply their trade openly in specific areas, resulting in social insecurity and serious public concern.

A representative from the Quang Ninh provincial Department of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs said sex services are emerging at karaoke parlours, and dance halls, and even cruise services in Ha Long Bay.

To eliminate this, concerned local agencies have actively launched awareness campaigns, keeping the public mindful of laws and discipline. They have combined

socio-economic development and social welfare policies with vocational training projects in a bid to help former sex workers integrate into the community.

Simultaneously, they have conducted thorough probes and imposed harsh punishment if violations are found.

Meanwhile, Hanoi is actively investigating and putting criminals involved in prostitution on trial, focusing on hotspots across the city.

In a joint effort with the Department of Information and Communications, the city’s police are cracking down on those using modern technology to traffic, cheat and force women into prostitution.

Thanks to foreign funding, the city is opening vocational training and health centres for sex workers. An inter-sectoral network to track down their profiles will be up and running soon.

Participants also talked about policymaking in the fight against sex for sale and learnt about the practical experience of the Netherlands.

Context-awareness conference held in Kien Giang

Over 70 local and foreign IT experts are participating in the second International Conference on Context-Aware Systems and Applications from November 25-26.

The two-day event is taking place in Phu Quoc island district of the southern province of Kien Giang .

Organised by the local Nguyen Tat Thanh University , the Department of Information and Communication, and the European Alliance for Innovation (EAI), the event creates an opportunity for participants to share knowledge in the field.

The conference manifests local efforts in promoting global cooperation in IT research and application in Vietnam , said Vice Chairman of the provincial People’s Committee Mai Van Huynh.

The ultimate goal of context-aware systems is to allow computer systems to sense the changes in the environment and adapt their behaviours accordingly.

Studying the systems is of enormous significance to the advancement of science-technology in general and computing science in particular, heard participants.-

Workshop discusses nuclear research reactor safety

The Regional Advisory Safety Committee for Research Reactors in Asia and the Pacific (RASCAP) on November 25 held a workshop on the safety of nuclear research reactors, in Da Lat city, the central Highland Province of Lam Dong.

Representatives from RASCAP member countries shared information, knowledge and experience in the field, with the ultimate goal of promoting nuclear energy use for peaceful purpose as well as preventing nuclear proliferation.

This is the first joint activity of the committee, which was established in March this year, and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). Vietnam is serving as Chairman of the IAEA’s Board of Governors in the 2013-2014 term.

RASCAP has 14 member countries in the Asia Pacific, including Vietnam.

Speaking at the workshop, Dr. Nguyen Nhi Dien, Deputy Director of the Vietnam Atomic Energy Commission and Director of the Da Lat Nuclear Research Institute,

underlined the significance of the workshop, saying that it helped the countries take the right measures to ensure safety of nuclear research reactors.-

Dialogue talks draft revised Marriage, Family Law

The Vietnamese Government respects and offers a full legal mechanism to better ensure human and citizens’ rights to marriage and family.

The Government has also given importance to gender equality, the protection of mothers and children and other disadvantaged groups, the rights and interests of relevant individuals and organisations and the interests of families.

Deputy Minister of Justice Hoang The Lien affirmed Vietnam’s viewpoints during the process of drafting the revised Law on Marriage and Family at the second legal policy dialogue in Hanoi on November 25.

The event was co-organised by the Vietnamese Ministry of Justice and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) within the framework of the project “Strengthening Access to Justice and Protection of Rights in Vietnam” jointly implemented by Vietnam and the UNDP.

It enables Vietnam to learn from international experience in marriage and family in accordance with the country’s cultural, legal, social and economic conditions as well as international treaties in which Vietnam is a member, Lien noted.

Louise Chamberlain, UNDP Country Director in Vietnam, suggested making clear the contents regarding gender and gender identification, reasoning that lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people have the right to get married and have children.

The draft law will amend and supplement fundamental principles of marriage and family in Vietnam such as prohibited behaviours, rights and obligations between parents and children and other family members, pregnancy and divorce.

The draft revised law is scheduled to be discussed by National Assembly deputies on November 26 and submitted to the legislature for approval at its seventh session

Foot-and-mouth disease strikes livestock in northern provinces

The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development has instructed localities to take measures to prevent and handle foot-and-mouth disease which has reappeared in five northern central provinces.

The disease has affected more than 1,300 domestic animals, mainly cattle, buffalo and pigs, in the provinces of Ha Tinh, Quang Tri, Thanh Hoa, Nghe An and Quang Nam.

Ha Tinh has been the hardest hit, with nearly 800 animals in 31 communes infected since August this year.

Deputy chairman of the provincial People's Committee Le Dinh Son said recent floods were to blame for the rapid spread of the disease.

Poor management and slow response to the disease by local authorities as well as the lack of public awareness have also led to the outbreak, he added.

Authorities in communes such as Cam Hung, Cam Thinh and Cam Son were criticised for being ignorant and hiding fresh outbreaks.

Agriculture Deputy Minister Le Van Tam said the outbreak in Ha Tinh can spread to surrounding localities unless proper measures are taken to control it.

The virus can travel rapidly and cause great damage, he warned.

Ha Tinh has vaccinated animals in affected areas and set up checkpoints to prevent infected animals from being transported.

The ministry plans to send 200,000 doses of vaccine to Ha Tinh, Quang Tri, Danang, Nghe An and Thua Thien-Hue.

HAGL Group supports US$30 million in Laos social welfare

Hoang Anh Gia Lai (HAGL) group has granted US$30 million to help Laos’ Attapeu province ensure social welfare, and improve the quality of life for those living in one of the poorest localities in the country.

The first phase of the US$15 million social welfare programme helped build a 200-bed hospital, resettlement areas, and road, bridge and power supply systems in Xaysetha and Phouvong districts.

The remaining US$15 million for the second phase is being used to build an administrative centre, schools, clinics, power supplies, roads and houses for displaced residents in Phu Vong district.

In addition, Hoang Anh Attapeu Company, owned by HAGL Group,distributed gifts totaling US$29,000 to local people living in 23 villages of Attapeu’s five districts.

The group also donated more than US$100,000 for a programme to help Vietnamese engineers, doctors and volunteers provide free medical checkups and farming expertise to local people, as well as funding tuition fees for Laos students in Vietnam.

Amended family law protects citizens' rights

Amendments to the Law on Marriage and Family had been drafted to ensure all citizens' rights are legally upheld within the union of marriage and family, said Deputy Minister of Justice Hoang The Lien.

Citizen's rights would be ensured with special regards to gender equality, the protection of children, mothers and disadvantaged members of society, he told a legal policy dialogue on the assessment of the draft amendments yesterday.

"At the same time, the Government would like to study international examples to ensure any amendments are appropriate in the context of Viet Nam's unique cultural, legal and socio-economic characteristics, while being compatible with its domestic laws and any international conventions that Viet Nam is a party to," he said.

At the workshop, participants heard an overall assessment of the draft amendments to the Law on Marriage and Family 2000 from a human rights-based perspective and, proposed and outlined amendments.

UNDP Country Director in Viet Nam Louise Chamberlain tabled several issues from a human rights-based perspective, saying that the gender division of labour at home, with women traditionally sharing a significantly larger burden of unpaid household work, made women and children vulnerable, especially in cases of separation and divorce.

"Other forms of discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity also need to be addressed as part of this law, as same sex couples, transgender and bisexual people are forming families and having children. According to international human rights law, they have a right to equality just like anybody else in the community," she added.

The law will be revised or supplemented with a focus on issues customary to marriage and families, including the permitted age for marriage, living as husband and wife without marriage registration, same sex couples living together, and the personal rights of a husband and wife, including their assets.

Identification of birth parents and children, surrogacy for humanitarian purposes, divorce and separation; and marital and familial relationships between Vietnamese people and other nationalities will also be revised.

Meanwhile, another workshop on research and education on human rights in Viet Nam yesterday said that human rights awareness in Viet Nam was limited, and there were only five official educational establishments in the field nationwide.

The study of human rights has not delved into the details of theory involved in regional and international laws and mechanisms. Urgent issues such as security, terrorism, freedom of information, climate change, development and poverty had not been addressed.

Delegates stressed that it was necessary to pay more attention to promoting education of human rights at all educational levels in Viet Nam.

Lang Son gives 1 billion VND to disadvantaged people

The northern province of Lang Son raised nearly one billion VND (47,600 USD) for Agent Orange/Dioxin (AO) victims and poor people on the occasion of launching the humanitarian fund, “Tet for the poor and AO victims” on November 25.

Chairwomen of the local Red Cross chapter Luong Thi My An said since the beginning of this year, the province has collected approximately seven billion VND to support the poor and AO victims, helping them overcome difficulties in their daily lives as well as prepare for a warm and happy Lunar New Year (Tet).

During the fund’s launch, many meaningful gifts such as clothes and blankets were awarded to students at the provincial boarding school and in border districts.

Vietnam Red Cross also donated 210 cows to 21 communes and towns in Lang Son’s five border districts.

Women’s Union discusses ethnic, religious affairs

The Vietnam Women’s Union (VWU) in coordination with the Central Highlands Steering Committee (CHSC) have held a conference reviewing their joint programme on reaching out to ethnic minority and religious women in the Central Highlands.

The November 25 meeting not only discussed this year’s coordination between the two organisations, but also signed a plan for 2014.

According to the programme next year, the two organisations will continue to step up communications activities to educate local women on the laws and policies of the Party and State on ethnic groups, religion, as well as guiding them to drop outdated habits and practices, and build happy families.

Furthermore, they will conduct a survey on the daily life of ethnic religious women to serve the building of a project on increasing the women’s involvement in economic development and poverty reduction in the Central Highlands.

In 2013, the propagation mission has been fostered via suitable and diverse forms, thus reaching millions of ethnic minority women in the Central Highlands.

In addition, women’s unions at all levels have organised dozens of training courses on ethnic and religious affairs for their officials.

During the same year, Women’s Union chapters in the region have admitted nearly 2,400 new ethnic members.

President Ho Chi Minh honoured in Sri Lanka

A statue of President Ho Chi Minh was inaugurated in the Sri Lankan capital city, Colombo, on November 25.

Prominent among the guests at the ceremony were Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa, Colombo city’s Mayor A. J. M. Muzammil, Vietnamese Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh, Deputy Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism Vuong Duy Bien and Vietnamese Ambassador to Sri Lanka Ton Sinh Thanh.

Addressing the event, President Mahinda Rajapaksa praised President Ho Chi Minh’s life and revolutionary cause, affirming that his statue in Colombo will be an eternal symbol of the traditional friendship and fruitful relationship between the two countries.

Sharing the President’s views, Deputy PM Minh thanked the Sri Lankan Government and people for their deep sentiments towards the land and people of Vietnam, especially President Ho Chi Minh, a UNESCO-recognised cultural figure.

He highlighted the close ties between the beloved President and Sri Lankan people, saying he visited the island country in 1911, 1928 and 1946.

The statue will remind the two countries’ generations to preserve and uphold the relationship, for the interests of the two countries’ people, and for peace and development in the region and the world at large, he said.

At the ceremony, Vietnamese and Sri Lankan artists staged performances praising President Ho Chi Minh.-

Family values required to perfect personalities

The promotion of fine traditional family values will contribute to the betterment of Vietnamese people’s personalities amid the nation’s international integration.

At a November 25 workshop in Vung Tau city, the southern province of Ba Ria – Vung Tau, participants said that the market mechanism’s strong cultural exchange have greatly impacted Vietnamese people’s lifestyles, particularly the youth, and this has led to the deterioration of many traditional marriages and family values.

They shared measures regarding the roles of men and women, traditional family values, and domestic violence prevention in building an equal, progressive and happy family model.

Participants also stressed that it is necessary to create a strong connection among families, schools and society in forming each individual’s personality.

Localities also need to include family building plans in their socio-economic development programmes, improve women’s lives and gender equality, and help them fulfil their role in families and society, they added.-

Activities planned for People with Disability Day

Many activities such as meetings, a fair, job exchange and art performance for people with disabilities will be held on November 30 on the occasion of the International Day of People with Disability.

The activities, to be organised by the Vietnam Federation on Disability (VFD) in coordination with the Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs (MOLISA), will call for support from local and international organisations and individuals to facilitate the equal participation of people with disabilities in socio-economic activities.

The fair and job exchange, with the participation of about 30 recruitment agencies, will introduce products and services for disabled people.

The activities are expected to receive 2,000 people with disabilities. The VFD will award campaign medals for international and non-governmental organisations actively supporting Vietnamese people with disabilities.

The VFD, which was established in October 2012, is implementing several comprehensive projects and programmes to support organisations working with disabled people as well as creating favourable conditions for them to integrate into the community.

Young Vietnamese people busy in China

Representatives from the Ho Chi Minh Communist Youth Union Central Committee on November 25 paid a floral tribute to President Ho Chi Minh at his relic site in Liuzhou city, Guangxi province, China.

This is part of the young Vietnamese delegation’s activities at the four-day second Vietnam-China Youth Festival which kicked off on November 24.

Open to the public since 2000, the relic site, which is seen as a vivid manifestation of the Vietnam-China friendship, displays many photos, documents and objects of the beloved President.

The young Vietnamese people also engaged in exchanges with their peers from Dongfeng Liuzhou Motor Co., Ltd and LiuGong Group to talk about the role young people play in industrial development.

They visited Liuzhou Industry Museum, the Liuzhou steel plant and SGMW motor factory, and participated in a range of artistic and cultural activities with young people from the Guangxi University of Technology.

As many as 3,000 young Vietnamese people who formed the delegation are joining 5,900 young Chinese people from 31 cities, provinces and autonomous regions at the festival.

The Vietnamese representatives are divided into seven groups who will travel to seven Chinese cities to attend various activities. They will then gather in Nanning city for the main part of the festival with participation from the two countries’ Party and State leaders.

The festival’s major activities will take place in the eight cities of Liuzhou, Beihai, Qinzhou, Guigang, Yulin, Fangchenggang, Chongzuo and Nanning.-

Workshop seeks ways to tackle prostitution

Foreign and domestic delegates met at a workshop in the northern province of Quang Ninh on November 25 to seek ways to fight against prostitution, which has been getting more sophisticated in this booming hi-tech era.

The Department for Social Vices Prevention of the Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs admitted that more professional prostitution rings are capitalising on the development of the Internet, mobile phones and other modern devices to market themselves both at home and abroad, making it difficult for law enforcement officials to control.

Some rings even ply their trade openly in specific areas, resulting in social insecurity and serious public concern.

A representative from the Quang Ninh provincial Department of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs said sex services are emerging at karaoke parlours, and dance halls, and even cruise services in Ha Long Bay.

To eliminate this, concerned local agencies have actively launched awareness campaigns, keeping the public mindful of laws and discipline. They have combined socio-economic development and social welfare policies with vocational training projects in a bid to help former sex workers integrate into the community.

Simultaneously, they have conducted thorough probes and imposed harsh punishment if violations are found.

Meanwhile, Hanoi is actively investigating and putting criminals involved in prostitution on trial, focusing on hotspots across the city.

In a joint effort with the Department of Information and Communications, the city’s police are cracking down on those using modern technology to traffic, cheat and force women into prostitution.

Thanks to foreign funding, the city is opening vocational training and health centres for sex workers. An inter-sectoral network to track down their profiles will be up and running soon.

Participants at the event, hosted by the Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs, also talked about policymaking in the fight against sex for sale and learnt about the practical experience of the Netherlands.

Role of cultural heritage in education, peace

An international seminar highlighting the role and value of cultural heritage in education and peace development has attracted 150 local and foreign scientists.

The event, which is taking place in the southern province of Dong Nai from November 25-27, is part of activities to welcome Vietnam’s election to the World Heritage Council.

It aims to seek measures to raise public awareness of preserving and upholding cultural heritage values.

Dr. Grada Abdel Monem El Gemaie from Egypt ’s Cairo University stressed that culture is the base and the soul of a civilised society that helps ensure peace.

Chairman of the Vietnam Academy of Social Sciences Prof. Dr. Nguyen Xuan Thang said culture gives people opportunities to promote their mutual understanding, adding that the community should value various cultures to build an equal society.

Source: VOV/Nhandan/VNS/SGT/SGGP/VNA
thu thiem tunnel, ODA, clean water, rural area
 
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