A UK charity dedicated to supporting child victims of online sexual abuse and their families is to share its expertise in Vietnam.
North Yorkshire-based Marie Collins Foundation, a charity that has previously worked collaboratively with the National Crime Agency to safeguard children, is to deliver training workshops in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City.
Experienced social worker and director of business development Vicki Green will run the workshops, supported by the charity’s Rachel Morris.
Aimed principally at teachers but also for staff from the Ministry of Education and Training, the Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs (MOLISA) and child legislation specialists, the training will centre on safeguarding children in schools, identifying the signs of abuse and how to support child victims, as well as safeguarding online.
The Vietnamese people are becoming more aware of child abuse following a marked increase in levels of reporting of the issue by the media.
Vicki said: “We already know the scale of the challenge around these issues in the UK and Europe and there is a lot of good work going on here to tackle the problem, including prevention, safeguarding education at home and in schools, tackling criminal behaviour and supporting victims.
“Other parts of the world are beginning to recognise the potential dangers of the internet for children. We are delighted that the government of Vietnam is taking a proactive approach to tackle the issues seriously and we are honoured to have been asked to help by sharing our expertise.
“It’s especially heartening to be able to deliver our training direct to the teachers who are responsible for the children in their care. Their daily contact and influence on young people mean we can have a greater impact on keeping children safe and help to prevent them from becoming victims in the first place.”
Drawing on her vast experience, Vicki will explain how the delegates can develop robust safeguarding policies and procedures, the signs to look out for and models of best practice that teachers can take back to their schools.
The visit is being organised by Gerry McGowan, International Liaison officer for Vietnam, Malaysia and Laos with the National Crime Agency, who has secured funding from the UK-Vietnam Fund for the initiative.
The visit will also help to widen the Global Protection Online Network, an international initiative established by Marie Collins Foundation that is enabling practitioners from across the world to share expertise and develop models of intervention to tackle online sexual abuse.
CEO Tink Palmer MBE added: “Our ground-breaking network is dedicated to building the capacity of all professionals worldwide to respond better when working with children who have been sexually abused or exploited online.
“We are committed to facilitating improved collaboration and learning from one another through the sharing of good practice and enabling professionals to access advice and guidance from a range of experts in the field.”