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Join hands to improve essential services to support women and girls experiencing gender-based violence


 On June 21, in Vinh Phuc province, Ministry of Labour – Invalids and Social Affairs in coordination with UN Women held the Closing conference on essential services package for women and girls subject to violence (ESP) phase III in Vietnam (2021 – 2022). More than 80 delegates from United Nations agencies, line ministries, departments, representatives of several provinces and cities, national and international development organizations, CSOs gathered and shared experiences after the 5-year implementation of the United Nations Joint Program on Essential Services Package for Women and Girls Subject to Violence in Viet Nam. 

 According to Deputy Minister Nguyen Thi Ha, over the past time, the Ministry of Labour - Invalids and Social Affairs has cooperated with relevant agencies to focus on researching and developing standard guiding documents for social, health and judicial services. Moreover, the work of deploying and replicating models of one-stop service provision to support people experiencing gender-based violence have been implementing in localities.
In the coming time, the sectors will focus on researching and amending the Law on Gender Equality, building and operating a national hotline to support the prevention and response to gender-based violence; building a national database on gender-based violence in Vietnam.
On this occasion, the Deputy Minister hoped that UN agencies would continue to cooperate in providing technical assistance and resources to the relevant agencies, departments and localities of Vietnam.
On the side of ministries and sectors, the Deputy Minister suggested relevant state management agencies, political and social organizations, and service providers to closely and synchronously coordinate to declare the provisions of the law; improve the quality of support services for victims of violence.
Provide essential services to support victims of violence
At the conference, Ms. Le Thi Lan Phuong, Program Officer to End Violence Against Women (UN Women) said that victims of violence inneed of many essential support: safety, economic support, advice, psychological counseling, legal support…
“The package of essential services has been designed to enhance better access of women and girls experiencing gender-based violence to quality and coordinated multi-sectoral essential services" said Ms. Lan Phuong.
The results of the implementation of the Essential Services Package Program from 2017 to 2022 have shown practical effects. The highlights are: people's understanding of essential services has increased; Availability and accessibility of health, law enforcement, and judicial and social services have been markedly improved in the pilot locality, Ben Tre province.
“The rapid response teams to prevent and combat gender-based violence have been expanded to 89 communes and wards in Ben Tre city, Cho Lach, Binh Dai, Mo Cay Nam and Ba Tri districts. Members of the teams are provided with tools such as handbooks, checklists, trained in prevention and handling of gender-based violence, ensuring safety and supporting people experiencing violence to know how to handle the cases that arise in practice. The family violence prevention rapid response team of Ben Tre province has become a typical model in the whole country", said Ms. Nguyen Nguyet Minh - UNODC expert.
Replicate the victim support model in the community
At the Conference, the delegates shared practical experiences as well as challenges in implementing essential service packages in Vietnam.
Delegates proposed to evaluate the results to replicate the pilot model of victim support in the community such as: shelters, peaceful homes, one-stop centers, easy-to-remember, easy-to-access and effective hotlines.
UN Women's Chief Representative in Vietnam - Mrs. Elisa Fernandez Saenz suggested that the Government of Vietnam invest more resources in violence response services on the base of quality and meeting the demand of women, girls experiencing violence.
Delegates also pledged to join hands to continue to improve capacity and improve essential services to provide more practical and effective support for women and girls experiencing gender-based violence in the coming time.
Key results of the ESP Program from 2017-2022:
- 30 training courses with nearly 6,500 state management officers, service providers in different fields who were trained in knowledge and skills to support women and girls experiencing violence in adherence to the victim-centered principle.
- Nearly 60,000 documents, toolkits and leaflets guiding the contents related to the ESP were standardized, formulated and distributed nationwide.
- ESP were successfully developed and piloted in localities: 
• A rapid response team for domestic violence prevention and response including different service providers was established in the districts of Ben Tre Province, becoming a typical model nationwide.
• Guidelines for the Process of providing social services, minimum standards for shelters and guidelines for operating hotlines to support survivors of violence have been formulated and piloted.
• A plan for coordination and management of services in Ben Tre and improved social services in Hoa Binh has initially been piloted.
- A high consensus has been obtained among government agencies and the UN on the significance and effectiveness of the ESP. The effective delivery of the ESP will contribute to boosting the successful implementation of the Program on GBV Prevention and Response 2021-2025 in Viet Nam
This is a Global Joint Program between the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women), the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), the United Nations World Health Organization (WHO), United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC).
In Viet Nam, the Program embraces the close coordination and participation of 4 United Nations agencies - UN Women, UNFPA, WHO and UNODC in conjunction with 6 ministries and sectors including the Ministry of Labour - Invalids and Social Affairs (MOLISA), the Ministry of Health (MOH), the Ministry of Justice (MoJ), the Ministry of Public Security (MPS), the Supreme People's Court and the Supreme People's Procuracy.