Concerns over ineffective juvenile justice policies are not exclusive to Vietnam. The Vietnamese context may however be reasonably chosen to indicate to what extent children`s human rights are implemented in a juvenile justice system that persistently set out to regulate, control and ultimately punish youth. This study investigates to what extent youth is seen as a threat to the social order and public security in Vietnam. It will look at the degree to which the state responds to what is commonly referred to as an alarming rise in youth crime. More specifically, it look closer at the Vietnamese interpretation and justification of social order in the context of limiting `the best interest of the child`. Whilst recognizing the international standards for juvenile justice, this study critically analyses the relations between Vietnam s juvenile justice reform and the promise of international rights discourse on the one hand, and the limitations of national implementation and compliance on the other.