New Child Law maintains legal age of children at 16

The National Assembly passed the Child Law on the morning of April 5 with an 89.88% approval rate.  

NA deputies press the button to approve the Child Law (photo: VGP)
NA deputies press the button to approve the Child Law (photo: VGP)

The new law has 7 chapters and 106 articles, stipulating children’s rights and duties, principles and measures to ensure the enforcement of children’s rights, the responsibilities of State agencies, organisations, educational establishments, families and individuals to exercise children’s rights and duties.

Before voting on the draft law, the NA Standing Committee presented a report on the acquisition of NA deputies’ opinions on the draft. The report confirmed the majority of deputies agreed to change the name of the law to the Child Law.

Regarding the difference in opinion about the legal age of children, a poll conducted in the NA showed 340 out of 397 respondents, or 85.64% of the respondents and 69.25% of NA deputies, supported amending the age to 16, while just 50 out of 397 respondents believed the age should remain at 18.

Therefore, the NA Standing Committee retained the stipulation defining a child as an individual under the age of 16 in the Child Law.

Meanwhile, the scope of children with special circumstances stipulated in Clause 1 of Article 10 has been expanded to cover children from poor or near-poor families suffering from fatal diseases or diseases requiring long-term treatment (Point N Clause 1) and migrant children, refugee children whose parents are not known or who have no one to take care of them (Point O Clause 1).

The new Child Law will take effect on June 1, 2017, replacing the Law on Child Protection, Care and Education No. 25/2004/QH11.