Vietnam -- Age of Consent
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
to obtain further information on the situation in south-east Asia. May I also suggest that
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)
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
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
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
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. --
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
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