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Saigon to Launch Investigation Into Rampant Sexual Harassment on Buses

In response to many online accounts from young Saigoneers recounting their traumatic experiences on local buses, the city has announced that it would launch an investigation into the matter.

On March 21, Saigon officials held a press conference on COVID-19 pandemic prevention and efforts to restore the city’s economy, reports Tuổi Trẻ. Đỗ Ngọc Hải, head of the transportation management office of the HCMC Department of Transportation, acknowledged the sexual harassment complaints from bus riders, as reflected on social media and newspapers.

He shared that the office has sent a formal request to the HCMC Police Department to establish an investigation into the rampant harassment targeting bus patrons. According to Hải, most bus stops, stations, and electronic kiosks are equipped with CCTV cameras, and so are 100% of buses. A standard camera setup on vehicles includes one dashcam, one camera monitoring the driver, and two additional security cams covering passenger seats.

Hải explained that many bus passengers are still hesitant to call out offensive behavior, though commuters can dial the transportation department’s 1022 hotline to report sexual harassment or other criminal behavior while riding public buses. He stressed that victims should immediately inform bus attendants and drivers when the offense happens. 

Due to the University Village’s suburban location, Saigon’s bus ridership consists of many college students, who are frequent victims of unwelcome sexual advances on buses, especially female passengers. On March 11, a female student of the HCMC University of Social Sciences and Humanities shared her story as a victim of public harassment on Facebook. The account inspired many female netizens to recount their traumatic experience on local buses.

[Photo by Hoàng Triều via Người Lao Động]

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