Police in Binh Duong province on November 25 arrested a local woman for cruelty and abuse of a three-year-old girl she was being paid to care for.
The cruel actions of the woman towards young Ho Thi Thuy Ngan, were released in a video clip on the Internet November 23.
Mrs Phung bathed the girl in a violent way for nearly one year
Clip exposes abuse
The police immediately began an investigation after the video clip was posted. The babysitter in the clip was identified as Tran Thi Phung, 52 years old, in Thuan Giao Commune, Thuan An District.
Phung was filmed by a worker, while pulling the little girl's hair and continuously splashing cold water in her face and up her nose. She also stomped down on the girl who was on the concrete floor and constantly yelled at her.
Phung said Ngan often refused to have a bath, so she was harsh with her. But, finally, the child sitter admitted that she had been doing this for nearly a year.
After learning of the abuse from police, the girl's parents took her to the hospital for a check-up and she was diagnosed with bronchitis. The infection could have been caused by so much cold water hitting her face.
Ngan’s parents said they found many bruises on their daughter’s body but thought that they were due to her friends’pinches. Since being looked after by Phung, the girl often had unusual symptoms. Sometimes, she sat down, but could not stand up and also usually had a cough and fever.
The couple, however, simply thought that these are normal symptoms of children and particularly everyday, when picking up Ngan, Mrs Phung said in an opened-hearted manner that the girl is very obedient and eats and sleeps very well. When seeing the clip, they were shocked at the frightening scene.
Phung, unlicencesed, has worked as a caretaker for ten years. At present, Phung takes care of six babies, aged from 1-3, for prices of VND300,000 (USD15) to VND350,000 (USD17.5) a month for each, including food expenses.
An official from the People's Procuracy of Thuan An District said the agency will prosecute Phung after all evidences are gathered. Le Quang Vinh, Vice Chairman of the People’s Committee of Thuan An District, said the police are investigating the case and other local day care centres.
Thuan Giao Commune now has about 20 unlicensed child care facilities. The commune has around 9,000 people, but the number of immigrants is ten folds higher than that. At present, the locality is home to just one public and two private pre-schools, just able to accommodate 600-700 of the total of 2,000 children below the age of five.
Child care centres need guidelines and oversight
Chairwoman of the National Assembly Committee on Social Affairs Truong Thi Mai said that currently Binh Duong and Dong Nai provinces have hundreds of thousands of labourers from other cities and provinces working at industrial parks.
However, most investors of local industrial parks only focus on building factories, not centres for children. A number of industrial parks have centres, but workers whose salary range between VND2 million (USD100) and VND2.5 million (USD125) per month cannot afford to send their workers here, without financial support from their factories.
Mai analysed that with the limited financial capacity, the couple in Binh Duong had to accept to send their daughter to Phung’s centre, which only costs them VND300,000 (USD15) per month.
According to the chairwoman, the upcoming revision of Labour Codes must pay attention to building centres at industrial parks and export processing zones and particularly proposed the state offer financial support to workers to have their children cared for.
The People's Procuracy of Thuan An District approved a decision to arrest Phung
Where Ngan was bathed
Ngan and her mother
Many mothers feel frightened to see Phung’s abuse
Little Ngan happy again at home