[general_devel] Viet Nam’s human rights report posted on website
vern.weitzel at gmail.com
Sat Apr 25 15:23:14 BST 2009
The report is online at:
and in this message, below the article. Vern
Viet Nam’s human rights report posted on website
HA NOI — The Ministry of Foreign Affairs yesterday published on its website the
National Report to Review Implementation of Human Rights in Viet Nam.
The 22-page report will be represented at the United Nations’ Human Rights
Council in Geneva, Switzerland, on May 8.
The report covered basic information about Viet Nam, protection and boosting
human rights at the national level, including civil rights, political rights,
economic, social and cultural rights, and rights of vulnerable groups like
children, women, ethnic minorities and disabled people.
The report also included five points concerning human rights implementation in
Viet Nam. One stated that the public should be put at the centre of the
country’s development, and another said that implementation of human rights
should not be separated from national independence and national sovereignty.
The report said the State of Viet Nam considered humans the target and
motivation of all socio-economic development policies, and was always persistent
in assuring and boosting human rights.
According to the report, after more than 20 years of national renewal,
socio-economic development in Viet Nam had gained very important achievements.
Economic sectors had been encouraged to develop, and had contributed to economic
Regarding civil and political rights, the report indicated that from 1986 to
date, Viet Nam had issued and revised 13,000 legal documents and sub-documents,
of which civil and political rights regulated specifically and comprehensively.
Regarding the rights of freedom of speech, freedom of media and information of
Vietnamese people, the report indicated that by the end of last year, the
country had more than 700 press agencies, nearly 15,000 journalists, 68
television and radio stations, 80 online newspapers, thousands news websites and
blogs, and 55 publishing houses.
According to the report, Viet Nam now has about 20 million people following
different religions and 80 per cent of people have religious beliefs in lives.
The State of Viet Nam considers religions and beliefs a legitimate demand of
people, and continually strives to assure religions and beliefs for residents.
Viet Nam now has 12 religions, the most dominant of which are Buddhism,
Catholicism and Protestantism. Religious activities, especially annual
ceremonies, are held with the participation of hundreds of thousands of
followers. – VNS
NATIONAL REPORT OF THE SOCIALIST REPUBLIC OF VIET NAM UNDER THE UNIVERSAL
PERIODIC REVIEW OF THE UNITED NATIONS HUMAN RIGHTS COUNCIL
A. Drafting process.
1. This report is drafted in accordance with the guidelines of Resolution 5/1
dated 18 June 2007 of the Human Rights Council to review the implementation of
human rights in the territory of Viet Nam. A drafting committee was established
with the participation of institutions related to the protection, implementation
and promotion of human rights, namely the Office of the Government, Ministry of
Justice, Ministry of Public Security, Government Committee for Religious Affairs
(under the Ministry of Home Affairs), Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social
Affairs, Committee on the Advancement of Women, Ministry of Information and
Communications, Ministry of Planning and Investment, Committee on Ethnic
Minorities, People’s Supreme Court and Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The Ministry
of Foreign Affairs is the coordinating agency.
B. Consultation process.
2. In preparing the report, Viet Nam sent delegations abroad to study
international experience in drafting the Universal Periodic Review (UPR)
national report, and attended UN-organized training workshops and UPR sessions.
Viet Nam also hosted seminars with the participation of United Nations experts
and representatives from States that had been under review to introduce the UPR
mechanism and experience in making reports.
3. The report is drafted in a comprehensive manner thanks to the active
contributions of Government agencies, mass organisations and local authorities
through consultative meetings. The consultation process provided opportunities
for open and candid dialogues between the Drafting Committee and mass
organisations, including the Viet Nam Labour Confederation, Viet Nam Fatherland
Front, Viet Nam Youth Union, Viet Nam Women’s Union, Viet Nam Union of
Friendship Organisations, Viet Nam Lawyers’ Association, Viet Nam Journalists’
Association, Viet Nam Committee for Catholic Solidarity, Viet Nam Buddhist
Sangha, Viet Nam Association for the Protection of Children’s Rights, Veterans
Association of Viet Nam, Institute for Human Rights Studies, Farmers’
Association and Viet Nam Association for the Protection of Disabled People and
II. Country background.
4. With 64 provinces and cities, Viet Nam covers an area of 331,216.6 sq km
spreading from latitude 23o23’ North to 8o27’ North. The country is located on
the Indochinese peninsula in Southeast Asia and has a large number of islands
and archipelagos. Its geographical length and the diversity of its regions have
created the country’s uniqueness and cultural richness, but also challenges to
the protection and implementation of human rights for each and every individual
in Viet Nam.
5. With a population of 86 million, 75% of which lives in rural areas, Viet Nam
is the 13th most populous country in the world. 54 ethnic groups, with the
majority Kinh making up 86% of the population, live in harmony and have their
own cultural identities, languages and beliefs. Religions like Buddhism,
Catholism, Protestantism and Islam have integrated with local beliefs to
mutually develop or joined to create new indigenous religions imbued with
Vietnamese characteristics such as Cao Daism, Hoa Hao Buddhism and Four Debts of
Gratitude (Tu An Hieu Nghia). As a result, Viet Nam has become a multi-ethnic
and multi-religious country and this has been the foundation for Viet Nam’s
national unity throughout the 2,000 years of national construction and defense
against foreign invasion. This particularity is also the basis for Viet Nam to
implement policies to improve the material and spiritual life of the people,
preserve cultural identity, and guarantee the right to development and equal
6. Having undergone 30 years of wars, Viet Nam embarked on nation building and
development in face of high rate of poverty, a shattered economy and inadequate
infrastructure, while having to deal with the aftermaths of war (e.g. victims of
Agent Orange, unexploded landmines and bombs). Thanks to its reform policy,
known as Doi moi, launched in 1986, Viet Nam has reached a turning point in
economic growth, thus creating a momentum for the country’s development and
significantly improving the material and spiritual well-being of the people. The
development of a market economy and the opening-up of the country also had
adverse impacts, notably the rich-poor gap, urban–rural disparity and the low
level of integration of vulnerable groups such as women, children, ethnic
minorities and people with disabilities. These are challenges to Viet Nam in its
efforts to strike a balance between increasing economic growth and ensuring
social security and the people’s full enjoyment of fundamental rights. It is in
this particular historical, national and social context that Viet Nam’s efforts
in human rights protection and promotion will be comprehensively reviewed.
B. System of government.
7. Throughout the history of struggles for national independence and freedom,
the people of Viet Nam have always treasured the sacred values of human rights,
notably the right to self-determination, the freedom to decide one’s own fate
and the right to live in dignity. The first Constitution in 1946, which gave
birth to the Democratic Republic of Viet Nam, the now Socialist Republic of Viet
Nam had all these rights inscribed. As they evolved to meet the new requirements
for national development, the Constitutions of 1959, 1980 and especially 1992
(as amended in 2001) have not only fully recognized and guaranteed human rights
and the rights of citizens in compliance with international law, but also
clearly affirmed that Viet Nam is a rule-of-law State of the people, by the
people and for the people, and is responsible for ensuring and promoting the
mastership of the people in all areas.
8. The 1992 Constitution defines the structure and functions of the system of
government. National Assembly is the supreme body of State authority
representing the will and desire of the people. It is elected by the people and
has constitutional, legislative, policy-planning for national development and
oversight functions. The operation of all State authorities, including the
Government, Court, Procuracy and the President are subject to National Assembly
oversight. Government is the executive and top administrative body of Viet Nam
responsible for the comprehensive management of all areas and implementation of
the Constitution and laws. People’s Councils are the local State authorities
responsible for the implementation of the Constitution and laws, and management
of all areas in their respective localities through the People’s Committees– the
executive bodies elected by the People’s Councils. Having judicial functions,
the People’s Courts and People’s Procuracies are entrusted with protecting the
legal rights and interests of the people.
9. Viet Nam has incessantly strengthened the check and oversight mechanism among
the organs within the system of government, especially the legislative and
oversight functions of the National Assembly in order to increase the
effectiveness, transparency and democracy of State institutions. Oversight has
been comprehensively strengthened in all legislative, executive and judicial
fields. Transparency and democracy within the system of government have been
intensified by the media and mass organisations. The media in Viet Nam has
become a forum for the expression of views by mass organisations and the people,
and is indeed an important force in the check and oversight over the
implementation of policies and laws by State authorities, thus making positive
contributions to the fight against corruption in Viet Nam. Viet Nam Fatherland
Front is an alliance of all ethnic and population groups, and plays an important
role in the oversight of the operation of State authorities and elected
representatives (Article 9, 1992 Constitution). The Front also engages in
consultations on the legal documents and policies introduced by the State before
their enactment. Direct participation by the people through institutions such as
election, self-nomination, question times at elected bodies, complaints and
petitions, and promotion of grassroots democracy is the most effective oversight
III. Protection and Promotion of Human Rights at National Level.
10. For Viet Nam, the people are both the ultimate objective and driving force
of any social and economic development policy, and protecting and promoting
human rights are always the Government’s consistent policy. The 1992
Constitution, the supreme law of the country, guarantees that all citizens enjoy
equal political, economic, cultural and social rights, and are equal before the
law. Every citizen has the right to participate in the management of the State
and the society, the freedoms of religion and belief, the right to free movement
and residence in the territory of Viet Nam, the right to complaints and
petitions, the right to employment, education and healthcare etc. regardless of
gender, race and religion. On that basis, Vietnamese laws enumerate the specific
rights in accordance with international human rights standards.
11. Through practice, Viet Nam has come to understand that human rights are
closely associated with independence, peace, democracy and development. The
maintenance of a peaceful and stable environment since national reunification in
1975 has been a major success and laid a firm foundation for the protection and
implementation of human rights in Viet Nam. In the course of Doi moi, Viet Nam
has focused on macro-adjustments and socio-economic development programmes in
order to sustain growth, better guarantee the material and spiritual well-being
of the people. These achievements have created the premises for the
implementation of human rights in all fields.
12. Viet Nam is recognized by the international community as one of the leading
countries in poverty reduction. Indeed, poverty reduction has been the top
priority of the Government in its effort to promote human rights as it suits the
country’s circumstances and the United Nations Millennium Development Goals
(MDGs). Thanks to the implementation of the “Comprehensive Poverty Reduction and
Growth Strategy” approved by the Government in May 2002 on the basis of the
2001-2010 Social and Economic Development Strategy, poverty (according to
national poverty line) has been cut from 58.1% in 1993 to 14.82% in 2007, making
Viet Nam one of the first countries to fulfill the MDG in poverty reduction.
13. The Government has also taken strong and comprehensive measures to implement
the Strategy on Judicial Reform until 2020, Strategy on the Development of the
Legal System until 2010 (vision 2020) and Social and Economic Development
Strategy until 2010 (with the MDGs incorporated). Together with accelerated
administrative reform, intensified implementation of democratic regulations and
strengthened justice and social security, these measures are to promote
simultaneously and harmoniously all civil, political, economic, social and
cultural rights of the people in accordance with national and community
interests and the particular circumstances of the country.
14. The Government pays special attention to vulnerable groups such as women,
children, ethnic minorities and people with disabilities, including victims of
war, and people living with HIV/AIDS. For each group, the Government has put in
place concrete priority policies to protect support and provide them with
development opportunities and facilitate their social integration. The 2006 Law
on HIV/AIDS Prevention and Control, the 2006 Law on Gender Equality and the 2007
Law on the Prevention and Control of Domestic Violence are illustrations of the
country’s efforts in this area. The Government is currently working on a draft
law on people with disabilities.
15. Viet Nam is a party to almost all core international human rights treaties,
including the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR),
International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, Convention on
the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination and the Convention on the
Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women. Viet Nam is the second
country in the world and the first in Asia to sign the Convention on the Rights
of the Child. The country has also ratified 17 conventions of the International
Labour Organisation. Viet Nam signed the Convention on the Rights of Persons
with Disabilities on 22 October 2007 and is seriously considering signing the
Convention against Torture. Domestic legal documents are promulgated or amended
to incorporate Viet Nam’s obligations under international treaties to which it
is a party and not to hinder their implementation (Articles 3 and 82 of the 2008
Law on the Promulgation of Legal Normative Documents).
16. Viet Nam always supports the work of the United Nations Human Rights Council
and cooperates fully with United Nations human rights mechanisms. In 1998, Viet
Nam received the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention and Special Rapporteur on
Freedom of Religion or Belief, and is undertaking procedures related to inviting
the Special Rapporteurs on the Right to Education and the Right to Healthcare
and the Independent Expert on the question of human rights and extreme poverty.
Viet Nam is actively engaged in the discussions to establish the ASEAN Human
Rights Body and participates in various regional and international conferences
on human rights. Willing to foster human rights dialogues and cooperation, Viet
Nam has established dialogue mechanisms with a number of countries and partners,
namely the United States, the European Union, Australia, Norway and Switzerland,
and positive results have come out of these dialogues.
In practice, Viet Nam has recorded many achievements in its efforts to promote
human rights. They are as follows:
A. Civil and political rights.
17. The right to live in independence and freedom, the right to
self-determination and the right to vote and self-nomination are the most
fundamental human rights. However, it was not until 1945 when President Ho Chi
Minh delivered the Declaration of Independence proclaiming to the world that
Viet Nam “is an independent country” that the Vietnamese people started to enjoy
such fundamental rights. And since then, despite decades of wars, the enjoyment
by every Vietnamese of human rights, including civil and political rights, has
been guaranteed in an increasingly comprehensive manner.
18. The development and strengthening of the legal system is essential to the
protection and promotion of human rights. With that understanding, in the brief
time span since 1986, Viet Nam has promulgated and amended around 13,000 laws
and by-law documents, in which civil and political rights are elaborated. The
1992 Constitution recognizes fully all human rights (Articles 2 and 50). These
rights are present throughout the chapters and sections of the Constitution and
are enumerated in many important legal documents, particularly in relation to
civil and political rights, including the Law on the Organisation of the
National Assembly, Law on the Election of National Assembly Deputies, Law on the
Organisation of the Government, Law on the Election of the People’s Council
Members, the Law on the Organisation of the People’s Councils and People’s
Committees, Law on the Organisation of the People’s Court, Law on the
Organisation of the People’s Procuracy, the Civil Code, Civil Procedures Code,
Penal Code, Criminal Procedures Code, the Press Law, the Law on Publication, Law
on Complaints and Petitions, Law on Amnesty and the Ordinance on Religion and
Belief. Equality and non-discrimination (Article 52 of the Constitution) are the
guiding principles for all legal documents and an important premise for the
guarantee and promotion of people’s rights in specific areas. Viet Nam’s legal
documents have incorporated in full the civil and political rights recognized in
the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and other international human rights
treaties, especially the ICCPR.
19. Viet Nam endeavors to establish and strengthen institutions to ensure human
rights in practice. Steps have been taken to strengthen the capacity of State
authorities to better enforce the law and ensure the rights and interests of all
citizens. Most prominent are the role of the National Assembly in overseeing the
operation of State authorities, the independence of the judicial system, the
efficacy of the State investigation agencies and the increasingly enhanced role
of such specialized organisations as bar associations and lawyers’ societies,
notary agencies and legal aid offices. Greater importance has been attached to
the role played by mass organisations like the Viet Nam Red Cross, the Labour
Confederation, Women’s Union, Youth Union, and the Elderly Association in all
aspects of the social life.
20. Viet Nam pays special attention to ensuring the right of every citizen to
participate directly or through their elected representatives in the management
of the state and society. The high turn-out of over 99% at the May 2007 election
of the 12th National Assembly is evidence of the people’s increasing awareness
of their own rights and the role of the National Assembly in helping them
exercise these rights. During each National Assembly session, the question time
is televised live and has become an increasingly important forum for the people,
through their elected representatives, to question the policies and the work of
the Government as well as to recommend measures to overcome challenges.
21. Strengthening the mastership of the people at local levels, where Government
policies are put into practice, is considered the ultimate goal and the momentum
for ensuring the success of the reforms in Viet Nam. The Regulations on
Grassroots Democracy, enacted in 1998, has facilitated the people’s active
participation in the making, implementation and monitoring of policies, and thus
received the full support of the people. The mastership role of local people has
been incessantly enhanced. All communes, districts and townships have set up a
People’s Inspectorate Board and 37 out of 64 provinces have instructed their
respective local authorities to establish Public Investment Supervisory Board.
22. The people’s rights to complaints and petitions are respected and protected.
Much progress has been made in dealing with people’s complaints and petitions.
Between 2006 and 2008, 83.2% of complaints and petitions to administrative
agencies and 92.5% of those to local judgment execution agencies were resolved.
The law also provides for material and spiritual compensation for those who had
been wrongfully convicted.
23. The people’s right to form associations is protected under important laws
and by-law documents. Article 69 of the 1992 Constitution and Decree
88/2003/NDCP of 30 July 2003 regulate the organisation, operation and management
for associations. There are currently 380 associations with nation-wide and
inter-provincial/city operations (against 115 in 1990); 18 sectoral trade unions
at national level, 6,020 local trade unions, and thousands of associations and
clubs operating in all sectors of the society.
24. In Viet Nam, there are around 20 million followers of different religions
and 80% of the population has belief. Viet Nam considers religion and belief a
legitimate need of the people and has made continuous efforts to create better
conditions for religious and belief activities. As of 2008, there are 12 major
religions in Viet Nam, of which Buddhism, Catholicism and Protestantism have the
largest numbers of followers. Religious activities, particularly major annual
festivities, are organized solemnly with the participation of hundreds of
thousands followers. The United Nations Day of VESAK 2008 was successfully held
in Hanoi with the participation of over 4,000 Buddhist dignitaries, monks and
nuns, 2,000 of who came from 74 countries and territories around the world.
Places of worship are frequently renovated while new places are built. Training
activities for religious dignitaries, monks and nuns are regularly organized and
expanded. Many are sent abroad, including the United States, France, Italy and
India, for further studies. Religious organisations in Viet Nam actively
participate in many cultural, social, healthcare and humanitarian activities,
contributing to the country’s development. International relations of Vietnamese
religious organisations are continuously expanded, with religious leaders
participating in many international fora, dialogues among religions and faiths
and exchanges of views on religious beliefs and rules at important fora like
ASEM and ASEAN.
25. The freedoms of expression, press and information of the Vietnamese people
are clearly illustrated through the rapid and diverse development of the mass
media. As of 2008, there are over 700 press agencies with 850 publications,
nearly 15,000 licensed journalists, 68 radio and television stations at central
and provincial levels and land-based digital TV stations (85% of Vietnamese
households have access to Viet Nam Television),, 80 e-newspapers, thousands of
news websites and 55 publishers. The media in Viet Nam has become a forum for
the expression of views by mass organisations and the people, and is indeed an
important force in the check of and oversight over the implementation of
policies and laws by State authorities, particularly those relating to human
rights. The people of Viet Nam are provided with greater access to advanced
information technology, especially the internet, with about 20 million internet
users, accounting for 23.5% of the population, higher than Asia’s average rate
of 18%. Apart from the domestic media, the people of Viet Nam have access to
dozens of foreign press agencies and television channels, including Reuters,
BBC, VOA, AP, AFP, CNN and and many other major international papers and magazines.
26. It is Viet Nam’s policy to guarantee human rights while strictly punishing
violations of the law to ensure a healthy environment for the whole society in
the interests of every citizen. An important aim of imprisonment is educate law
offenders to become useful individuals and enable their early reintegration into
the society. The conditions of detention centers and prisons are regularly
improved to better meet the material and spiritual needs of inmates. Fundamental
rights of inmates, including the right to be free from physical restraint, the
right to life, to entertainment and the right not to be tortured, are protected
by law. Inmates who have completed one third of the term of imprisonment with
good record will be considered for commutation once a year. In line with the
tradition of clemency and humanity, the State, on the occasion of major
festivities, considers and grants amnesties to prisoners who meet the
requirements of the Law on Amnesty. On the occasion of the Lunar New Year 2009,
over 15,140 inmates were released before the completion of their term of
27. The achievements recorded in guaranteeing the civil and political rights of
the people are manifestations of Viet Nam’s strong commitment and unceasing
efforts in this regard, particularly given the socio-economic difficulties
facing the country. This is an important premise for Viet Nam to continue
ensuring the fundamental rights of its people.
B. Economic, social and cultural rights.
28. Until the late 1980s, Viet Nam remained a poor country, with a slow growing
economy and stagnant production. The people were faced with a lot of
difficulties, the rate of unemployment and illiteracy were high, while many of
their spiritual and material needs were not met. Despite those difficulties, the
people’s economic, social and cultural rights were inscribed in the Constitution
and law, reflected in specific national development policies and implemented in
reality, particularly since the Doi moi process.
29. After more than 20 years of Doi moi, important achievements in economic and
social development have been recorded. The economy has grown at a steady and
high rate, averaging 7.5% per annum. All economic sectors are encouraged to grow
to contribute to the country’s economic development, particularly to job
creation and improvement of the quality of life. The sharp increase in total
national investment has not only created a momentum for economic development,
but also helped reduce the burden traditionally put on the State budget, thus
enabling the Government to concentrate resources on such priorities as
education, health, infrastructure development, human resource development,
poverty reduction and assistance to areas with difficulties.
30. Viet Nam’s legal system has been gradually improved in line with the
country’s social and economic development to ensure that economic growth is
coupled with harmonious social development and improvement of the people’s
well-being. The 1992 Constitution and a series of laws, including the 1989 Law
on Protection of the people’s health, 1994 Labour Code (amended in 2002 and
2006), 1998 Education Law (amended in 2005), 2003 Land Law, 2006 Law on Social
Insurance and 2006 Law on HIV/AIDS Prevention and Control have created a clear
and relatively complete legal framework for the realization of economic, social
and cultural rights. Viet Nam’s legal system in this area is believed to be in
line with international standards and has laid a firm foundation for the
country’s comprehensive reform.
31. The powers of financial, budgetary, investment, healthcare and education
management have been decentralized to enable local authorities to proactively
put in place and implement development policies suitable for the specific local
circumstances. The National Committee on the Advancement of Women, the Committee
on the Elderly, Committee on Corruption Prevention and Control have been formed
to advise the Government on policies and solutions in relevant areas, to carry
out information, communication and education activities to encourage the people
to support and get involved in implementing government policies, and to monitor
the implementation of policies by Government agencies. Mass organisations like
the Viet Nam Labour Confederation, Viet Nam Women’s Union and Viet Nam Farmers’
Association have an increasingly important role to play in economic and social
development as well as in improving the people’s life.
32. The Vietnamese Government is carrying out its Economic and Social
Development Strategy for 2001-2010 and Vision 2020 with the MDGs incorporated
with the aim to achieve major changes in poverty reduction, education and
training reforms, building an advanced culture imbued with national identity,
protection of and care for the people’s health, reduction of unemployment,
development of a social security network and build a sustained social cohesiveness.
33. Comprehensive and sustained poverty reduction is defined as a key objective
in Viet Nam’s economic and social development. After 20 years of reform, the
people’s life has been significantly improved. Per capita income has increased
from under US$ 200 in 1990 to US$ 1,024 in 2008. Poverty, according to the
national poverty line, has been cut from over 60% in 1990 to 13.8% in 2008. Viet
Nam’s poverty line has been raised to approach the international poverty line.
34. Viet Nam sees investment in education and training as investment for
development. Budget allocation for education has increased annually and now
accounts for 20% of State budget expenditures. More schools have been built
throughout the country. Viet Nam completed the universalisation of primary
education in 2000, 15 years prior to the MDG deadline. Universalisation of lower
secondary education is being carried out. By the end of 2007, 42 of the
country’s 63 cities and provinces have met national targets on universalisation
of lower secondary education. At present, Viet Nam is ranked 64th among 127
countries on education development by UNESCO.
35. Viet Nam creates the necessary conditions for the people to enjoy their
right to health care, with priority given to women, children and ethnic minority
people. Strategic programmes and policies on vaccination for children, health
insurance assistance, free-of-charge medical treatment and examination for the
poor and children under 6, prevention and control of tuberculosis and HIV/AIDS
have proven to be effective. Under-5 mortality rate has been reduced from 58
deaths per 1000 live births in 1990 to 25.9 in 2007 while under-1 mortality rate
has been cut from 31 deaths per 1000 live births in 2001 to 16 in 2007. Child
malnutrition rate has decreased to 21.2% in 2007. Maternal mortality rate has
been reduced from 233 per 100,000 live births in 1990 to 75 in 2007. Almost all
ethnic minority communes with difficulties have health clinics while
community-based health services are available in most villages, contributing
importantly to the prevention and control of many fatal diseases and improvement
of the people’s health and quality of life.
36. Viet Nam is actively carrying out the 2006-2010 National Target Programme on
Employment with focus on giving loans for employment through the National Fund
on Employment and supporting projects, helping to facilitate job search
activities. From 2001 to 2008, 12.44 million new jobs have been created, 9.3
million of which are from social and economic development programmes and over
2.6 million through the National Fund on Employment. Since January 1, 2009, Viet
Nam has, for the first time, introduced an unemployment insurance scheme to
provide additional assistance to people searching for jobs. This is a remarkable
step forward by Viet Nam in comparison with countries at the same level of
37. The 1992 Constitution states that every citizen has the right to participate
in the creation and critique of works of art and literature and in other
cultural activities (Article 60). A number of culture-related national target
programs have been introduced and implemented to better meet the growing
spiritual demand. Apart from mechanisms and policies to encourage investment by
all economic sectors in culture development, the Government has introduced
policies to support the preservation and promotion of traditional national
culture, in particular the cultures of ethnic minority groups, including the
preservation of spoken and written languages. To date, Viet Nam has been
successful in building an advanced culture imbued with national identity and
unity in diversity among the 54 ethnic groups of Viet Nam.
38. Viet Nam’s achievements in economic and social development in the last 20
years have made important contributions to better guaranteeing economic,
cultural and social rights as well as other rights of its citizens.
C. Rights of vulnerable groups.
39. Viet Nam is committed to protecting children’s rights and interests and
facilitating children’s exercise of those rights, first and foremost through the
provisions of the Constitution (Article 65) and several legal documents,
including the Civil Code, Penal Code, Labour Code, Education Law, Land Law, Law
on HIV/AIDS Prevention and Control, Law on Gender Equality, Law on Legal Aid,
Law on Cinema, Law on the Prevention of Domestic Violence Prevention and Law on
Mutual Judicial Assistance. In particular, the amended 2004 Law on the
Protection, Care and Education of Children has incorporated the fundamental
principles of the Convention on the Rights of the Child to which Viet Nam is a
party, with emphasis on the principle of non-discrimination and ensuring that
best interest of children is a primary consideration. The law gives children
more rights, from passive rights of being cared for, nurtured and protected to
more active rights like the right to freedom of expression and participation in
40. Agencies and organisations involved in the protection of children’s rights
include the Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs, Viet Nam
Association for the Protection of Children’s Rights, Viet Nam Relief Association
for Handicapped Children and Viet Nam Association for Disabled People and
Orphans. They operate at all levels nation-wide.
41. Viet Nam has recorded encouraging achievements in guaranteeing children’s
rights and interests. Apart from the 2001-2010 National Plan of Action for
Vietnamese Children, the protection and promotion of the children’s rights have
been incorporated into economic and social development strategies and plans,
thus enabling children to enjoy their rights to a fuller extent. Free-of-charge
medical examination and treatment programmes and measures to reduce infant
mortality rate and the rate child malnutrition children have been effectively
implemented. About 8.4 million children accounting for over 90% of children
under 6 have received free-of-charge healthcare cards. Right-age enrolment rate
has seen a steady increase, with primary education enrolment standing at 95.04%
in 2005-2006 and lower secondary education at 80.3%. Meanwhile, drop-out rate
has been on decline. Preferential policies have been put in place to better
assist poor children, migrant children and ethnic minority children. Safe and
healthy recreation services are provided for children. 40% of communes and wards
and 80.3% of districts have recreation facilities for children. 100% of
provincial libraries and 30% of district libraries have sections dedicated to
children. Children are enabled to express their opinions and participate in
cultural and social activities at school and in the community through national
and international forums, Teenage Association and Junior Reporters’ Club.
42. However, there remain shortcomings in the protection and promotion of the
children’s rights due to challenges posed by international economic integration,
poor infrastructure and limited capacity of relevant institutions in developing
and implementing policies on education, protection of and care for children.
43. Viet Nam is committed to supporting the advancement of women and gender
equality, considering this as an important instrument to achieve equality and
sustainable development. This is reflected in the Constitution, the Criminal
Code, Civil Code, Labour Code, Education Law, Land Law, and Law on HIV/AIDS
Prevention and Control, Law on Gender Equality, Law on the Prevention of
Domestic Violence and many other legal documents on gender equality. Viet Nam is
actively implementing the National Strategy on the Advancement of Women until
2010, in which many targets have been achieved ahead of schedule. Gender has
been mainstreamed into many important national documents namely the
Comprehensive Poverty Reduction and Growth Strategy, the 2005-2010 Social and
Economic Development Plan and other sectoral development strategies. Viet Nam is
now working on the National Strategy on Gender Equality for the 2011-2020 period.
44. Agencies and organisations working for the advancement of women include the
Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs, National Committee on the
Advancement of Women and Viet Nam Women’s Union. They operate at all levels
45. Viet Nam has recorded encouraging achievements in ensuring women’s rights.
Women account for 25.76% of all members of the National Assembly in the
2007-2011 term, ranking 4th in the Asia Pacific Region. 83% of working-age women
are employed. Women are present at almost every state administrative agency and
state-owned enterprises where 68.7% of the public servants and 30% of employers
are female. They also participate in numerous political and social
organisations, accounting for 30% of these organisations’ executive members at
different levels. Women have their names recorded in Land-use Right
Certificates/ House Ownership Certificates with their husbands. They also have
equal rights with men in the issue of citizenship. Female adult literacy rate is
91%, and women account for 30% of all post-graduates. Female life expectancy is
73 while male 70. Women have 4 months of full pay maternity leave and are given
one extra month pay.
46. According to the United Nations Human Development Index and Gender
Development Index, Viet Nam ranks 105/177 and 91/157 respectively. Viet Nam is
in the list of countries that have established the Gender Empowerment Measure
(GEM) and ranks 52/93. According to the World Bank and the Asian Development
Bank, Viet Nam has one of the highest rates of economic participation of women
in the world, is one of the more advanced countries with respect to gender
equality, and stands out in East Asia for its success in closing gender gaps in
the last 20 years.
47. In the years ahead, Viet Nam is determined to address some remaining
problems such as discrimination, maltreatment and violence against women,
prostitution and increase the rate of female participation in administrative
agencies at all levels.
3. Ethnic minority groups.
48. Viet Nam’s consistent ethnic policy is to promote equality, unity, mutual
respect and cooperation for mutual development. This is enshrined in Articles 5,
6, 39 and 133 of the 1992 Constitution and other legal documents such as the Law
on National Assembly Election, Nationality Law, Law on the Encouragement of
Domestic Investment, State Budget Law, Information Technology Law, Forest
Protection Law, Education Law, Publication Law, Youth Law, Law on Child
Protection, Care and Education, Law on People Health Protection and Care, Mutual
Judicial Assistance Law, Marriage and Family Law, Gender Equality Law,
Vocational Training Law.
49. Agencies and organisations involved in ensuring the rights of ethnic
minorities include the Committee for Ethnic Minorities Affairs (a
ministerial-level agency), the Ethnic Advisory Council, the Women’s Union and
the Viet Nam Association for the Protection of Children’s Rights. They operate
nation-wide at all levels.
50. Viet Nam is carrying out two National Target Programmes, namely the
Assistance Programme on land for housing and production, and domestic water for
poor ethnic minority households living in hardship (Programme 134) and the
Socio-Economic Development Programme for communes in special hardship in
mountainous, remote and border areas (Programme 135). The implementation of
these Programmes has significantly improved the livelihood of people, especially
in remote areas, improved infrastructure, thus enabling better access to science
and technology applicable to production, heightening the sense of duty and
contribution to the development and narrowing the gap among regions. In
addition, the Government of Viet Nam has also introduced policies on price and
charge subsidies, preferential loans for ethnic households in special hardship
for production and settlement, support to small-population ethnic minorities,
and free-of-charge provision of 18 newspapers and magazines for people in
51. The above policies have improved the equality for ethnic minorities in all
areas. More and more of ethnic minority people are holding important positions
in state authorities at national and local levels. The 12th National Assembly
has 87 deputies from ethnic minorities, accounting for 17.65%. The poor
household ratio among ethnic minorities has decreased rapidly by an average of
3-5% per year. Regions with special hardship have received significant
investments in infrastructure: 96% of communes with special hardship have motor
roads reaching the commune center; electricity is available in 100% of the
districts and 95% of the communes. All communes have primary school and
kindergarten; all districts have secondary schools. By the end of 2007, 71% of
communes with special hardship had accomplished universalisation of primary
education and 80% had accomplished universalisation of lower secondary
education. All districts have health clinics and doctors and medical personnel;
common diseases in ethnic and mountainous areas, such as malaria, goiter,
leprosy and tuberculosis, have been prevented and reverted; the protection and
health care for mother and child, and malnutrition prevention have recorded many
52. The traditional culture of ethnic minorities are attentively preserved and
developed. Space of Gong Culture in the Central Highlands, an invaluable ethnic
minority cultural heritage, was recognized as an Intangible Cultural Heritage by
UNESCO. The preservation and usage of spoken and written languages of ethnic
minorities are becoming more popular. There are 30 ethnic groups having writings
in Viet Nam. The Ministry of Education and Training has developed curricula for
8 ethnic minority languages, namely Khmer, Cham, Chinese, Ede, Jrai, Ba Na, Thai
and H’Mong, which have been officially introduced in ethnic minority primary and
secondary schools in 25 provinces with large numbers of ethnic minorities. Viet
Nam Television broadcasts Channel VTV5 in 10 ethnic languages; Radio the Voice
of Viet Nam has increased broadcasting time and produced more than 4,000 special
programmes in 13 ethnic languages, thus facilitating access to information for
ethnic minority people.
4. Persons with disabilities.
53. There are over 5.2 million persons with disabilities in Viet Nam, accounting
for 6.63% of the population. Viet Nam encourages and creates favorable
conditions for persons with disabilities to exercise, on an equal basis with
others, their political, social, economic and cultural rights, stabilize their
life, integrate into the community and participate in social activities. Persons
with disabilities are supported by the State and the society in health care,
rehabilitation, appropriate job creation and enjoy other rights in accordance
with the law. This is reflected in the 1992 Constitution and further stipulated
in other important laws such as the Labour Code, Education Law, Vocational
Training Law, Law on Child Protection, Care and Education, Legal Aid Law,
Information and Technology Law and the Ordinance on Persons with Disabilities.
54. Viet Nam is one of the first countries in the Asia-Pacific region to develop
and implement a long-term plan for persons with disabilities initiated by
UNESCAP. Viet Nam has signed the Convention on the Rights of Persons with
Disabilities and is actively preparing for its ratification. Viet Nam has
established a system of agencies and organisations operating at all levels
throughout the country to protect the rights and interests of persons with
disabilities, which includes the Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social
Affairs, Viet Nam Association for the Support of Disabled Persons and Orphans,
Viet Nam Relief Association for Handicapped Children, Viet Nam Blind
Association, Viet Nam Association for Victims of Agent Orange/Dioxin, National
Coordinating Committee on Disability, Viet Nam Association of Business
Enterprises of Persons with Disabilities.
55. The State of Viet Nam always creates all favorable conditions to
continuously improve the enjoyment of the rights of Vietnamese persons with
disabilities. Persons with severe disabilities, wounded soldiers, Agent Orange
victims, including children, receive State-provided subsidies and care. The
healthcare and rehabilitation network for persons with disabilities has been set
up at all levels. During the last 10 years, more than 300,000 people, including
tens of thousands of children, benefited from corrective rehabilitation and
received corrective instruments free of charge, received assistive devices such
as wheel-chairs and attendant-propelled chairs; and hundreds of thousands of
persons with disabilities are provided with health insurance. Viet Nam is
developing an integrated education model, converting textbooks into Braille,
developing a system of sign languages and unified the writing system for the
blind. The number of children with disabilities enrolled in secondary and
tertiary education increases each year, many of them excel in their studies. Up
to now, there are approximately 100 vocational centers for persons with
disabilities and 35,000 people receive vocational training. Various public
works, transportation, cultural and sports facilities have been built and
modified to better suit persons with disabilities. With regard to Agent Orange/
dioxin victims, a special disability group, the State together with many other
foreign and national individuals and organisations have supported them in life,
education, work and healthcare with the total amount of tens of billions
56. However, Vietnamese persons with disabilities, especially the poor, still
encounter many hardships. The educational and vocational training for persons
with disabilities still have many constraints. Discrimination and stigma still
exist in education, at the work place and in community activities. These are
areas that Viet Nam will endeavour to overcome in the future.
IV. Achievements and challenges.
1. The first lesson: To place the people in the center of national development.
57. Development is only meaningful when owned by and serves each person. When
people are placed in the center of development, the economic growth, the
development of the workforce, as well as and other social areas will be for the
development and welfare of the people. Viet Nam has, therefore, always
considered people as both the goal and the driving force of the national
development. All development policies of Viet Nam are people-centred: economic
development for the people; economic growth closely linked to social progress
and justice in each development phase and policy; economic growth accompanied by
cultural and educational development, improvement of people’s knowledge, and
58. Through its legislative activities, the National Assembly has set up a legal
framework for the country’s sustainable and comprehensive development. The
Constitution and legal documents have established the most important
institutions, set orientations for the State’s development, regulating every
fields of political, economic and social life and ensuring the harmonisation
between economic growth, social stability and justice and environmental
protection. The Government of Viet Nam has carried out Strategy on the
Development and Completion of the Legal System, Judicial Reform Strategy and
Administrative Reform Programme, etc. with a view to developing and completing
legislation on the organisation and operation of institutions in the political
system in line with the objective of building a rule-of-law State of the people,
by the people and for the people and ensuring human rights, freedoms and
democracy for its citizens.
2. The second lesson: Human rights can not be detached from national
independence and sovereignty.
59. It is impossible for each individual to enjoy freedoms and other fundamental
rights in a country which has not achieved independence and freedom. National
independence is the condition and basis for the protection of human rights.
Human emancipation, including the assurance of human rights, is closely linked
to national liberation and social progress. National independence is the
prerequisite for the broadest and fullest observation of human rights.
60. Through unwavering and unyielding struggles for centuries, the Vietnamese
people have proved that the most sacred and basic rights of people are the right
to live in independence and freedom and the right to self-determination. From a
colonial and semi-feudal country, Viet Nam has become an independent and free
country with an increasingly important role in the region and the world. From
being enslaved, the people of Viet Nam have become the rightful owners of the
country and the society, living in independence, freedom and democracy with all
their human rights and being protected by the Constitution and laws. Every
Vietnamese person has been actively promoting democracy to bring into full play
the strength of great national unity and potentials of the people for national
development. This is a great achievement, opening up a new chapter of
development in the history of the Vietnamese nation. These are also the most
basic achievements of democracy and human rights attained by the Vietnamese people.
3. The third lesson: Harmonisation of universal values of human rights and
particularities of the nation, and promotion of international cooperation and
human rights dialogue.
61. As a victim of many wars of aggression – the most serious violation of human
rights, Viet Nam fully realizes that human rights have both universality,
reflecting the common aspiration of humankind as enshrined in the Universal
Declaration of Human Rights and the United Nations Charter, and particularity
characterizing each society and community. Viet Nam believes that the exercise
of human rights is always linked to the history and traditions, and the level of
socio-economic development of a country. Therefore, in an increasingly
diversified world, in approaching and addressing the issue of human rights, it
is necessary to harmoniously combine common standards and principles of
international law with particular historical, political, economic, social
conditions, and cultural, religious and belief values, as well as customs of
each nation and region.
62. As a country characterized by ethnic and religious diversity and a
developing economy with a low starting point having to overcome severe
consequences of wars, the protection and exercise of human rights in Viet Nam
have concrete priorities in accordance with the country’s situation: poverty
reduction, healthcare and education programmes are the focus of the State;
special priorities are given to the development of remote and ethnic minority
areas; respect for religions and beliefs in conjunction with interests and duty
towards society is facilitated; the relationship among ethnicities and religions
is respected and harmoniously addressed; the mass media is developing rapidly in
forms and contents to better ensure freedoms of expression, press and
information in Viet Nam.
63. Respecting the universality of human rights, Viet Nam has become party to
almost all core international human rights treaties and other international
treaties in this field, and seriously implements its obligations. This great
effort of Viet Nam is recognized and appreciated by the international community.
Viet Nam is fully aware that the implementation of international treaties on
human rights is, first and foremost, the responsibility of the state party.
64. Viet Nam attaches much importance to dialogue and international cooperation
in the field of human rights. This is a requirement of international integration
and an opportunity to improve mutual understanding. Through dialogue and
international cooperation, friends and the international community have come to
better understand the real situation in Viet Nam, and Viet Nam has also learned
from the experience of other countries in legislative development and law
enforcement, with a view to better implementing human rights in Viet Nam,
contributing to the cause of promotion and protection of human rights in the
region and the world.
4. The fourth lesson: Maintenance of political stability, promotion of economic
development in conjunction with ensuring social security.
65. Maintaining the social and political stability of the country in every
situation is the primary task and the vital necessity of every state.
Development can only be achieved based on social and political stability. In
other words, without stability, states cannot achieve development and would
regress and pay a high price for recovery and survival. To maintain national
political and social stability, Viet Nam attaches importance to sustainable
economic development, improvement of all aspects of the people’s well-being and
the protection of the ecosystem; promoting an advanced culture with strong
national identity; and development of a progressive social security system
ensuring the full and harmonious development of all people.
66. Viet Nam’s development policies have always combined economic growth and
cultural and comprehensive human development as well as the promotion of
democracy, social progress and justice. Therefore, the economy has enjoyed a
high and sustained growth rate for many years, averaging over 7.5% per year;
Viet Nam’s Human Development Index (HDI) and Gender-related Development Index
(GDI) rankings have been increasingly improved. Currently, Viet Nam ranks 64/127
countries in the UNESCO’s list of education development. Although being a
developing country with GDP per capita of US$ 1,000, Viet Nam still spends 15%
of the national budget on public health and education services. Maintaining
social and political stability, economic development in conjunction with social
security is a condition for sustainable human development in Viet Nam.
5. The fifth lesson: Improvement of the people’s awareness and capacity for the
enjoyment of human rights.
67. Each individual is the object of benefits of human rights, as well as the
subject exercising them. Viet Nam always attaches importance to raising
awareness about the enjoyment of human rights in accordance with the law.
68. The people’s supervisory role is promoted through the openness and
transparency of the Government’s and National Assembly’s activities. National
Assembly sessions, especially the question time, are broadcasted live on
television, helping the people actively to participate in the country’s
political life. The people’s consultations on draft laws and policies are now
69. The State has enacted and amended legal documents to enable the Fatherland
Front and mass organisations to actively play the role of social supervision and
criticism. State authorities have increased contacts and direct dialogue with
the people and always listen to feedbacks on issues of the people’s concern. A
number of national target programmes have been implemented to provide free legal
aid for the people, 98% of whom are the poor and live in hardship, in remote and
ethnic minorities areas, with a view to protecting their legitimate interests
and, at the same time, helping improve their knowledge of the law, as well as
their sense for respecting and obeying the law. The press has vigorously
developed to better ensure the people’s right to information and become fora for
the people to actively exercise their ownership of and participation in the
making of practical and adequate policies and laws.
70. A number of laws have been promulgated and amended several times, such as
the Law on the Election of National Assembly Deputies, Law on the Election of
the People’s Council Members, Press Law and Law on Complaints and Petitions.
Apart from the purpose of protecting and enforcing citizen’s rights, these laws
provide a vehicle for the people to exercise their right to participate in
B. Difficulties and challenges.
71. For more than 20 years, the reform process in Viet Nam has brought about
significant changes in all aspects of political, economic, cultural and social
life, enabling the Vietnamese people to fully enjoy their human rights. However,
Viet Nam still faces many difficulties and challenges.
72. First, the Vietnamese legal system in general, and in the field of human
rights in particular, still contains inconsistencies and overlapping and
conflicting at several points, leading to difficulties, even misinterpretation
in application and enforcement at the grass-roots level. This is the main
obstacle to the development of the society and the exercise of human rights.
Having identified this challenge, the Vietnamese Government is implementing the
Strategy on the Development of the Legal System until 2010 with a vision to
2020. The Strategy first focuses on reviewing the entire system of normative
acts to remove those that are overlapping, conflicting or out-dated, ensure the
constitutionality, consistency, enforceability, openness, transparency, and
accessibility of the normative acts.
73. Second, Viet Nam stretches over 2,000 km from North to South, where
mountains and hills account for three quaters of the area. The inhabitants are
scattered over different regions with diverse languages, customs, traditions and
living conditions. People living in remote and mountainous areas, ethnic
minorities, due to constraints in access to healthcare, education and
information services, do not have adequate awareness of laws and policies and
law-compliance capacity. This hinders the efforts of national and local
government authorities to develop and implement concrete policies to ensure the
rights and improve living standards materially and spiritually for the people,
as well as narrow the development gap between rural and urban, mountainous and
74. Third, despite rapid and sustained economic growth in recent years, Viet Nam
remains a poor country with a low starting point. The livelihood of some groups
of the population, especially those living in remote, mountainous and
disaster-prone areas, still encounters many hardships. Despite the Government’s
priority policies on the development of areas in special hardship such as
Programmes 134 and 135, due to limited resources, healthcare, educational,
cultural and information facilities in many localities are far from adequate,
thus affecting the full enjoyment of the people’s rights.
75. Fourth, the transition to market economy entails worrying social issues,
including increased unemployment, a significant rich-poor gap among groups and
regions, increasing drug addiction, prostitution and HIV/AIDS infections, rising
number of traffic accidents and degrading environment. Persisting local customs,
traditions and stereotyping continues to breed gender disparity, especially in
people’s mentality. Male-supremacy attitude, discrimination and domestic
violence against women still exist, especially where the awareness is low. These
problems not only undermine the people’s enjoyment of their rights, particularly
the right to life and rights of vulnerable groups, but also pose a challenge for
government authorities in developing and implementing policies for the
improvement of the material and spiritual well-being of the people.
76. Fifth, changes in the world have produced adverse effects on Viet Nam.
Diseases and epidemics remain pervasive with many complications, and together
with climate change, particularly global warming and the rise of sea level;
aggravate the devastating effects of natural disasters such as tropical storms,
floods and droughts. These challenges not only directly affect each person, but
also disperse the country’s resources, thus diminishing the effectiveness of
policies on the promotion of human development.
77. Sixth, awareness among certain groups of public servants at both national
and local levels are incomplete in terms of international human rights law, Viet
Nam’s treaty obligations and even national legislation and policies. As a
result, there have been cases of neglectful violation affecting the enjoyment of
V. National priorities and commitments.
A. National priorities.
78. With a view to overcoming those challenges and achieving greater progress in
ensuring the rights of its people, Viet Nam has set a number of priorities for
the next five years.
79. Poverty reduction continues to be among the top priorities of the
Government. Viet Nam is one of the first countries having achieved the MDG on
poverty reduction ten years ahead of schedule. However, this progress needs to
be sustained. In the years to come, Viet Nam will make efforts to accelerate
poverty reduction, consolidate its past achievements, improve the quality of
life and production conditions of poor households, and narrow the widening gap
of income and living standards between rural and urban, mountainous and plain
areas. Viet Nam has developed the National Target Programme on Poverty Reduction
for the 2006-2010 period, with a budget of VND 43,000 billion, giving priority
to vulnerable groups such as women, children, ethnic minorities, the elderly and
persons with disabilities.
80. The National Programme on Employment includes targets to ensure employment
for 49.5 million workers and create 8 million new jobs from 2006 to 2010, and
reduce urban unemployment to below 5% by 2010. To this end, Viet Nam is
implementing credit-for-jobs projects, assisting workers in finding employment
abroad and promoting labour market development.
81. Viet Nam will continue legal and administrative reforms in order to prevent
and combat bureaucratic practices, corruption and extravagance as well as
promoting democracy and the rule of law.
82. Viet Nam has adopted the Strategy on the Development of the Legal System
with a view to building a uniform, consistent, enforceable, open and transparent
legal system and a rule-of-law state of the people, by the people and for the
people. The focus of this Strategy is strengthening the legal basis for the
accountability of State authorities in implementing international human rights
treaties to which Viet Nam is a party; improving the regime for State protection
of citizens’ legitimate rights and interests, the accountability of State
authorities, particularly the courts; improving the legal basis for the
oversight role exercised by elected bodies and the citizens over the activities
of State authorities and public servants; and institutionalizing social equity
policies to ensure that every citizen has access to public services, health
insurance, social insurance, social relief and poverty reduction programmes.
83. Viet Nam has also adopted the Judicial Reform Strategy until 2020 aiming to
build a healthy, strong, democratic, strict, just, effective and efficient
judicial system with main avenues as follows:
- Developing the legal system on legal aid to meet the increasing and
diverse demand for legal aid.
- Reforming judicial proceedings to ensure democracy, equality,
openness, transparency, coherence, ensuring the participation of parties
concerned and the quality of litigation at trials.
- Improving criminal laws with a view to reducing and limiting the
application of capital punishment to a small number of especially serious crimes
and imposing stricter criminal liabilities for law-enforcement officers or power
84. Viet Nam continues to give priority to healthcare and improvement of
people’s physical conditions, including the prevention and control of
communicable diseases and epidemics, early detection and control of outbreaks,
raising awareness on healthcare, improving access to clean water and sanitation
services for all, with priority support given to the poor and entitled
beneficiaries, ethnic minorities and regions in special hardship, ensuring food
safety in accordance with regional and international standards, and gradually
driving back and eliminating drug addiction. National Target Programmes (NTP) on
the prevention of some dangerous communicable diseases and HIV/AIDS, on
population and family planning, on clean water and clean rural environment
(total budget of over VND 22,000 billions), on food safety (total budget of VND
1,000 billions) and on the prevention and control of narcotic drugs for
2006-2010 will continue to be implemented.
85. Viet Nam further gives priority to the development of a social security
network and addressing the adverse effects of the market economy. This includes
diversifying social insurance schemes, paying attention to the material and
spiritual well-being of vulnerable groups, including the poor, women, children,
the elderly, persons with disabilities, ethnic minority people.
86. Another priority of Viet Nam is to educate the youth and training a labour
force with knowledge, skills and determination to advance in science and
technology, and building a strong contingent of skilled workers, experts and
scientists, entrepreneurs and managers.
87. The NTP on Education and Training until 2010 includes seven projects on the
universalisation of lower secondary education, reform of the curriculum,
textbooks and teaching materials, training of IT personnel; introducing IT into
schools, training of teaching and managerial staff, support for education in
mountainous, ethnic minority and poor areas, improvement of school facilities
and enhancement of vocational training capacity. Budget for these projects is
estimated at VND 20,270 billions, most of which comes from the state budget.
88. Recognizing that the promotion and protection of human rights are a
continuous process requiring constant attention of the State, Viet Nam is
committed to continuing to work with other countries, the United Nations and its
agencies to ensure increasingly better enjoyment of human rights and fundamental
freedoms on its territory and in the world. These commitments include:
a) With regard to the international human rights treaties: Consideration of
withdrawal of its reservations to Article 5 of the CRC Optional Protocol on the
Sale of Children, Child Prostitution and Child Pornography; consideration of
accession to a number of ILO Conventions and the Convention against Torture;
ratification of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, the
Convention against Transnational Organized Crime and the Protocol to Prevent,
Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, especially Women and Children;
b) With regard to cooperation within human rights mechanisms: Fulfilment of the
obligations under international treaties to which Viet Nam is a party; active
participation in a number of United Nations human rights mechanisms, such as the
Human Rights Council, the Third Committee of the United Nations General Assembly
and the Economic and Social Council; continuance of dialogues on human rights
with other countries and international organisations; consideration of inviting
the Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food, the Independent Expert on the
question of human rights and extreme poverty, the Special Rapporteur on the
Right to Education and the Independent Expert on the Effects of foreign debt and
other related international financial obligations of States on the full
enjoyment of human rights, particularly economic, social and cultural rights to
visit Viet Nam in the near future to have a better understanding of the
country’s situation and assist Viet Nam in better ensuring human rights in these
c) With regard to the promotion of human rights on the ground: Continuance of
administrative reform, improvement of the legal and institutional frameworks
with a view to strengthening the rule of law, better ensuring the ownership of
citizens and their access to legal aid;
- Scaling up poverty reduction and giving priority to job creation,
income improvement, development of social security network and provision of
basic social services to the poor and vulnerable groups and those in mountainous
and remote areas;
- Universalisation of lower secondary education;
- Paying due attention to preventing and combating trafficking in women
and children, strengthening education and information on the elimination of
discrimination against the victims of trafficking and job and income generation
for them; finding solution to the issues of child labour, street children and
violence against children; close cooperation with other countries, especially in
the region, on combating trafficking in women and children and transnational crime;
- Continuance of the national vaccination programme against seven
diseases in children, information campaigns on HIV/AIDS prevention and give
increased attention to maternal and child health, reproductive health and
reduction of the ratio of malnutrished children;
- Consolidation of gender equality policies and information campaigns to
eliminate gender-based discrimination, providing women, especially those in
mountainous, remote and poor areas and ethnic minority women, with equal
opportunities to education, employment and income; stepping up the prevention of
and combat against domestic violence, information campaigns aiming at changing
the male-supremacy mentality.
89. Viet Nam hopes other countries and international organisations will continue
to share their experience with and strengthen their assistance and support to
Viet Nam in building capacity for government officials as well as for the
people, thus improving awareness on human rights./.
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