See also:

UNODC provides equipment to help
Viet Nam Police combat traveling child sex offenders

Hanoi (Viet Nam), 21 October 2013
- With over 32 million domestic tourists and nearly 7 million foreign tourists expected to visit Viet Nam this year, authorities expect the number of child sexual abuse cases in travel and tourism to increase. However, due to a lack of training and modern equipment, detecting and successfully prosecuting sexual offenders remains a significant challenge.

To enhance capacity and support activities related to the investigation of child sexual exploitation crimes, UNODC, with technical support from INTERPOL, recently handed over office and investigative equipment to Vietnamese law enforcement authorities in Hanoi, Khanh Hoa and Ba Ria-Vung Tau provinces.

The equipment will improve Vietnamese authorities' technical ability to more effectively detect and respond to child sexual exploitation crimes and, ultimately, better protect children at risk of sexual exploitation by traveling sex offenders. The handover was part of Project Childhood, an Australian aid initiative implemented by UNODC, INTERPOL and World Vision to combat the sexual exploitation of children mainly in the travel and tourism sectors in the Greater Mekong Sub-region.

"We welcome UNODC's support for law enforcement authorities to combat traveling child sex offenders. Our officers will use this investigative equipment to ensure that offenders are arrested and children are protected," said Senior Lt. Col. Tran Van Toan, Deputy Director of the Criminal Investigation Police Department and Vice Chair of the Project Management Board.

Project Childhood is a $7.5 million Australian AID (AusAID) funded initiative to combat the sexual exploitation of children - mainly in the travel and tourism sectors - in the Greater Mekong sub-region. The project focuses on Cambodia, Lao PDR, Thailand and Viet Nam and builds on Australia's long-term support for programs that better protect children and prevent their abuse. Project Childhood is being implemented in two complementary pillars - the Protection Pillar, a partnership between UNODC and INTERPOL, and the Prevention Pillar, implemented by World Vision.

Project Childhood (Protection Pillar) aims to enhance law enforcement capacity to identify, arrest, and prosecute traveling child-sex offenders in the Mekong region. To achieve these objectives, Project Childhood works closely with police, justice officials, and other stakeholders in the four project countries.