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Saigon Introduces New Buses With CCTV Cameras in Effort to Reduce Sexual Harassment

In an effort to raise awareness of sexual harassment on public transport in Saigon, the city’s transport department has launched a new fleet of buses with better surveillance equipment.

According to Kenh14, 26 new buses will serve Saigon's bus route No. 53, a popular line that links District 10’s Le Hong Phong Bus Terminal with the Vietnam National University’s Thu Duc campus. This is one of the most-used routes in the city, serving almost 400,000 passengers per month, most of whom are students at universities in Thu Duc’s college area.

The news source adds that each bus on the route will be equipped with three to four surveillance cameras and warning speakers to curb crimes like theft and sexual harassment, which have run rampant on long-distance bus trips in Saigon. Moreover, the new vehicles are painted orange in a nod to the United Nations’ ongoing campaign to promote activism against gender-based violence, titled “Orange the World: #HearMeToo.”

Photo via Kenh14.

While the cameras are a positive step, the new source didn’t go into detail on how victims can make full use of the new facilities; for example, it is unclear who will monitor the footage and what happens if a perpetrator is caught on tape.

Lao Dong quoted a June 2013 survey by Plan International Vietnam, an NGO that focuses on improving child welfare, which showed that harassment is an unaddressed problem on local buses. According to the study, 31% of 1,128 female respondents had been sexually harassed on buses. Alarmingly, 45% of interviewees shared that they don’t do anything in response to such public incidents and 20% don’t intervene when they see women being harassed in public.

[Top photo by An Huy via Zing]

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