12 July 2018 – Vietnam took an important step toward better protecting its youth from online risks with the launch of the National Network for Child Online Safety.
The network launch event was supported by the SecDev Foundation and organized by our partners the Research Centre for Management and Sustainable Development (MSD) and the Vietnet Information Technology and Communication Centre (Vietnet-ICT).
The multistakeholder network will be led by the Child Protection Department of the Ministry of Labour, War Invalids and Social Affairs (MoLISA). The launch of the network comes after years of successful programming on digital safety initiatives by MSD, Vietnet-ICT and other NGO partners. The SecDev Foundation has been active in Vietnam since 2015 through our Digital Citizenship Vietnam initiative.
Speaking at the event, MSD director Ms Nguyen Phuong Linh said that most parents don’t give guidance to their children when they use smartphones, iPads or the Internet. “As a result, Vietnamese children’s skills on resolving problems on the internet are not good.”
“We call the internet a ‘virtual world’, but in fact, it’s not virtual. The risks it brings are real, and the harm to the children’s physical and psychological wellbeing is real,” said Linh.
Michael L. Gray, the SecDev Foundation’s program manager for Vietnam, also spoke at the network launch.
“A protective environment for children online is a holistic effort. It requires action from the government, civil society, and individuals such as parents and teachers. Most of all, youth themselves need to be empowered with the knowledge of how to recognize and solve the problems they face online,” Michael said.
The launch event saw Microsoft pledge over USD200,000 to support MoLISA and ChildFund Vietnam initiatives in support of the national network.