Viet Tri is located in Phu Tho province, and is approximately 80 km north-west of Hanoi and home to an estimated 410,000 people. The city of Viet Tri itself is an industrial centre, where many also work in the service industry. In spite of various government initiatives, many families in the northern Phu Tho province continue to live in poverty. Ethnic minorities and people living in rural areas are particularly affected. They often struggle to meet their basic needs in terms of food.
Since 1999, SOS Children’s Villages has been supporting children, young people and families and advocating for their rights in Viet Tri.
Many children in Vietnam receive harsh discipline from their caregivers, which can include psychological aggression and physical punishment.
In a 2021 survey by UNICEF, more than seven in every ten children aged 1-14 years had subjected to at least one form of punishment in the previous month.
This can be especially harmful at a young age, because there is an increased risk of physical injury and children cannot understand the reasons behind the abuse or adopt coping strategies. The consequences of violent discipline range from immediate effects to long-term damage that affect children through their childhood and into adulthood.
Human trafficking is a problem throughout Vietnam and the northern province of Phu Tho, where Viet Tri is located, is no exception. People are trafficked both internally to other cities in Vietnam, but also across the borders to China and further afield.
Women and girls are particularly vulnerable to commercial sexual exploitation. Often, they are promised lucrative jobs, for example in a factory in a city, but end up being forced to work in the sex trade. It is estimated that one third of sex workers in neigbouring Cambodia are Vietnamese. When parents migrate, or are victims of human trafficking, their children are often left in the care of relatives.