VIETNAM: Worst Offender for Wildlife Crimes

VIETNAM (South East Asia)                                 

Population: 91.52 million

60 % of the population is under 30 years of age.

Fertility Rate:  7.4 children/woman (1970s) vs. 1.8 children/woman (2010)

Life Expectancy:  48 years (1970s) vs. 75 years (2010)

Infant mortality:  20.24 deaths / 1000 live births

Male/Female Ratio:  1.00 male  / female

Major Religions:  Buddhism, Taoism, Catholicism

– Vietnam is ranked as the worst country for wildlife crime.  The country’s tiger farms and its citizens’ voracious appetite for rhino horn as a supposed cure-all helped put it at the top of the list.  The country is the major destination for rhino horns trafficked from South Africa, where 448 rhinos were poached last year. 

– Vietnam has 11 registered tiger farms, which are alleged to be fronts for a thriving illegal market in animal parts.  Tiger bones are used in Vietnam to make a traditional painkiller that sells for several hundred dollars an ounce.

– Abortion on demand has been legal in the country since the 1960s.  It is available as part of the family planning services provided at various provincial, district and communal health facilities.

-Vietnam has long had one of the highest abortion rates in both Asia and the world and the number of abortions has been on the rise.  Two million abortions take place annually, which represents an abortion rate of 111 per 1,000 women, or a ratio of 58.2 abortions per 100 known pregnancies.  The total abortion rate indicates that the average woman would have 3.32 abortions during her lifetime.

– Contraceptive awareness is very high in the country, and the usage rate is estimated to be around 80%.  The predominant birth control used is the IUD.

– Last August 2012, the first-ever gay pride parade was held in the country.  The Justice Ministry made a recent proposal to formally recognize same-sex marriage, but this continues to be under study.

– The first HIV case was detected in 1990.  The estimated number of people living with HIV then rose drastically from 3,000 in 1992 to 220,000 in 2007, and is projected to be 280,000 in 2012, claiming 0.47% of the population. Among these, 5,670 are children.

–  The country is listed among the top ten countries with the worst air pollution in the world, according to the 2012 Environment Performance Index released this year.  It is estimated that transport activities account for 60-70 per cent of pollutant sources in Vietnam’s major cities.




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