Vietnam -- Age of Consent
[Cool Teen Sites]


Fact book on sexual exploitation in Vietnam:

"Your page" contains no information at all about the situation in Vietnam, I write to suggest that you provide a
hyperlink there to the following URL, and that you take advantage of the resources at utopia-asia
to obtain further information on the situation in south-east Asia. May I also suggest that you amend
the text above the table to point out that the age-limit given for male/female sex typically corresponds to
the minimum age(s) for marriage, although in many territories the law explicitly provides for marriage at
earlier ages, subject to certain conditions, which then permits the partners to have sex with each other.

Alan (in Brussels)

Added 03-2002:
Read this from a german newspaper:

Kinderschänder in Vietnam verurteilt
rtr Hanoi - Ein Gericht im vietnamesischen Ho-Chi-Minh-Stadt hat einem Zeitungsbericht zufolge einen 30-jährigen US-Bürger vietnamesischer Abstimmung und zwei Vietnamesen wegen Pornographie und sexuellen Missbrauchs von Kindern zu Haftstrafen von bis zu sechs Jahren verurteilt. Die drei waren im ehemaligen Saigon festgenommen worden, weil sie Geschlechtsverkehr mit drei Jungen gehabt und diesen pornographische Videos gezeigt hätten.

A vietnamese court has sentenced, concerning an article, a 30y. old us-citizen and two vietnameses for pornographie and sexual abuse of childs up to 6 years prison. They have been arrested in Saigon because of intercourse with boys and showing them pornographic films.

Remarks: showing the films seems to be the most critical point. Such sentence are most propaganda cause of pressure of child organization. For intercourse with boys, same as Thailand, you can declare whole Vietnam as one prison.

Also added 03-2002:
Dear sir/madam, Last year in August I travelled to Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam and met a girl ( a fashion designer ) whom I met on the internet. Having already visited your site before leaving home, I was quite intent on finding out what the age of consent is in their country. I can tell you, that it is 18 for heterosexuals, but am not to sure if the gay side of things is legal at all. While there seem to be many male masseurs cycling the streets at night, shaking rattles made from bottle tops, I get the impression that things do happen 'under cover'!.  Also, the police do 'spot checks' at many hotels as it is frowned upon for a foreigner to have a Vietnamese lady in their room!. They do not like local girls to be seen to be fraternising with foreigners and will fine anyone having a VN lady in their hotel room. Another way to get money out of us eh?.   I also went back to HCMC for my Christmas holiday to see my girlfriend (who is 36)! and we travelled to Hanoi. I asked people there about the age of consent and it was confirmed that it IS 18.   I hope this is of use to your site as your site was to me. I do NOT want to be convicted of having under age sex with any girl, in any country, especially a foreign one.

Hi, I have just returned from Vietnam for the second time in the last 12 months and am as certain as I can be that the age of consent for heterosexual sex is 18 yrs old. Whilst this maybe so, I can also tell you that most girls will keep their virginity until they are married-(sadly)!.  I did have a girlfriend who was divorced, so I was O.K., so to speak!.

On the Legality of Homosexuality in Vietnam...    (a posting from the VN-GBLF E-mail forum)  
As far as I've been able to determine, homosexuality has never been explicitly illegal in Vietnam (neither identity nor behaviors). The ancient legal codes of the Le Dynasty (1428-1787) and the Nguyen Dynasty (1802-1945) detail the penalties for crimes such as heterosexual rape, assault, adultery, and incest, but leave homosexuality unmentioned (Nguyen Ngoc Huy and Ta Van Tai 1987; Philastre 1909). The only provisions in the codes that may refer to deviant sexuality are the prohibition against "men who wear weird or sorcerous garments" (Le Code, article 640; Huy and Tai 1987,1:269) and that prohibiting castration and autocastration (Le Code, article 305;  Huy and Tai 1987,1:183; Nguyen Code, article 344; Philastre 1909,2:552); Huy
and Tai note that both provisions are not found in earlier Chinese codes (1987,2:174; 326). On the few occasions when homosexual activities seem to have been punished, they were treated as adultery (disregarding the fact that both partners were the same sex, and concentrating instead on the fact that one or both were married to other partners) or rape (if the sex was

Vietnamese legal codes were typically influenced by then-contemporary Chinese codes, but when in 1740 the Ching Dynasty in China elaborated, "for the first time in Chinese history, punishment for sodomy between consenting adults" (Ng 1989:76; cf. Meijer 1985), the Vietnamese did not follow suit, once again omitting any such prohibitions in the Nguyen Code that was
promulgated soon after. Nor did the French colonials institute explicit prohibitions against sodomy or pederasty in their colonies, since under the Napoleonic code they did not fall under the purview of the legal system (Sol and Haranger 1930,2).

Although homosexuality or sodomy is not specifically referred to anywhere in modern Vietnamese criminal law, "sex buying and selling in any form" are prohibited (Voice of Vietnam 1993), as are more general and diffuse crimes such as "undermining public morality." As Dao Xuan Dung and Le Thi Nham Tuyet point out in 1996, "The Vietnamese State has not yet had legal documents about homosexuality. Even in the latest Law on Marriage and Family (1986), there is not an article mentioning the State attitude or at least any guidelines for public opinion about this problem. The Penal Code doesn't mention homosexuality while it has articles on incest, rape, prostitution, sexual assault, child marriage" (Dung and Tuyet 1996:30).

The legal silence on homosexuality as such does not mean that Vietnamese authorities cannot find some legal basis for punishing homosexual behavior, since crimes such as "undermining public morality" can be used (as similar crimes of "public indecency" or "soliciting" are in the U.S.) to prosecute homosexuality. -- Frank.  ---


HANOI, June 11 (Reuters) - Child prostitution is beginning to appear in Vietnam, and underground foreign paedophile rings are starting to tout the
communist-ruled country as the next destination, an expert in the field said on Friday.    Christine Beddoe, tourism programme director for international group End Child Prostitution, Pornography and Trafficking (ECPAT) Australia, said there was credible evidence to suggest foreign child sex tourists were active in Vietnam.

``There is really strong anecdotal evidence coming from Hoi An where it appears foreign females are abusing underage boys,'' she said.  Hoi An is a charming old former trading port situated near Danang in central Vietnam.  Beddoe added that the northern mountain resort of Sapa was also being repeatedly mentioned from different sources who remark on child sex abuse mostly with young girls from the Hmong ethnic minority.

Beddoe is running a 12-week Australian government-funded project to educate and alert grassroots tourism workers in Vietnam, Cambodia and Thailand to
the dangers of child prostitution.  ``It is very difficult for people (in Vietnam) to talk about child sex tourism existing in their own communities,'' Beddoe said. ``They say they know it happens in neighbouring countries and that they do not want that to happen in Vietnam.''

The scheme aims to produce education material and raise awareness among staff working for travel firms and hotels, and others involved in end delivery of tourism related services.    ``There is recognition that if nothing is done (child sex tourism) will become a problem in Vietnam,'' Beddoe said.

Child prostitution in Thailand and Cambodia, which is much more widespread than in Vietnam, has been documented, and foreign paedophiles have been
prosecuted.  Beddoe said Australian Federal Police based in Bangkok were now certain that known Australian paedophiles had been travelling to and operating in
Vietnam.  Vietnam's illicit sex industry is booming and prostitutes are widely available throughout the country.

Nguyen Thi Hue, who heads campaigns to eradicate social ills in Vietnam, said recently the police had files on some 185,000 prostitutes nationwide,
and that at one point last year some 30 percent of all sex workers in this country of 79 million people were thought to be under the age of 16.  Hanoi was determined to stamp out the problem, Beddoe said. ``I have absolutely no doubt the Vietnam Administration of Tourism supports a wider national campaign on the prevention of sex tourism including child sex tourism,'' she said.

There are no reliable statistics on child prostitution in Vietnam, but the police say the number of sex crimes in general marked annual increases in
recent years. Some 19 countries operate extraterritorial laws that can be used to convict people of child sex crimes committed on foreign soil. Neither Hanoi nor
foreign courts have prosecuted foreign nationals for child sex crimes that occurred in Vietnam.

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