Ktetaichinh’s Blog

December 11, 2009

Human rights promoted in Vietnam

Filed under: Uncategorized — ktetaichinh @ 2:06 am
Vietnam considers people an important factor behind national development, therefore, the Party and State have gradually finalised the legal system and developed many programmes to promote the citizens’ fundamental human rights.

Dang Dung Chi, vice director of the Institute of Human Rights Studies, provided an insight into the human rights situation in Vietnam in an interview granted to VOVNews to mark World Human Rights Day (December 10).

VOVNews: Could you elaborate on the Party and State’s efforts to guarantee and promote human rights in Vietnam?
Mr Chi: Since the Communist Party of Vietnam was established in 1930, it has pursued the goal of safeguarding human rights. The late president Ho Chi Minh pointed out that independence will become meaningless if citizens of an independent nation do not enjoy happiness and freedom. This truth has served as a guideline for the Vietnamese State in its activities until today.

After joining the United Nations, Vietnam has taken part in almost all UN conventions on human rights and fulfilled its duties as a UN member. Vietnam successfully defended its report on its human rights record as part of the UN’s Universal Periodic Review (UPR) in New York in September 2009.

During the Doi Moi (Renewal) process, Vietnam has gradually finalised its legal system toward better ensuring fundamental human rights. It’s noticeable that major human rights have expanded and improved significantly.

Alongside judicial reform, administrative reform has been boosted, meeting the people’s needs. The State has also adopted a number of national programmes to improve the people’s lives.

VOVNews: The fact is that the open-door policy and the development of the market economy have widened the gap between rich and poor, rural and urban areas. What do you think we should do to ensure people enjoy fundamental human rights?
Mr Chi: To bridge the gap, the Party and State have attached great importance to economic development, considering this a key factor behind a higher quality of life for all. The Government has been carrying out a socio-economic development programme in disadvantaged areas (programme 135) and another programme to allocate land to ethnic people to build houses and develop production (Programme 134). It has recently approved a poverty reduction programme for the 61 poorest districts across the country.

I think the State should pool additional resources to develop the socio-economic infrastructure in disadvantaged areas. In addition, we need more support from sectors, organisations and people to meet the target of narrowing the development gap.

VOVNews: Vietnam has approximately 20 million religious followers, and 80 percent of the population practising their beliefs. What do you think about Party and State policies on religious freedom recently?
Mr Chi:
These policies are relatively comprehensive and have been brought to light. The State has recognised the legal status of major religions and dozens of Protestant groups in Vietnam. Many pagodas and churches have been built or repaired in provinces and cities, together with the establishment of religious schools. Dignitaries and followers feel free to practise their religions and beliefs at places of worship and to attend meetings and conferences on religious affairs.

The fact is that religious activities have been held across the country, especially during the festival seasons. Notably, Vietnam has experienced none of such social and religious conflicts as they are occurring elsewhere in the world.

VOVNews: Several foreign organisations have made slanderous allegations about the human rights situation in Vietnam. What measures have been taken to refute these allegations?
Mr Chi: There have been differences in land issues and these issues are really complicated, especially in a developing nation like Vietnam which has experienced several decades of war in the 20th century. Land issues are not only associated with religions but also other aspects of society.

In Vietnam, the land is owned by the people, and all land-related issues are settled within the existing law. Local administrations have taken into consideration requests for places of worship made by several religious groups and this cannot be resolved overnight.

It is necessary to increase the dissemination of information and the holding of exchanges to help those who are really interested in this issue understand the situation in Vietnam.

VOVNews: Is it true that disseminating information about human rights in Vietnam has not been sufficiently undertaken yet?
Mr Chi: I think we lack in-depth analysis to make clear the core truth of the issue. Every state has its own issues. The crux of the matter is that the State realises the truth, gathers opinions and comes up with appropriate solutions.

On the one hand, we are concerned about corruption, bureaucracy and power abuse which arise from the development process in any country at a low level of development like Vietnam. On the other hand, we should look at the Vietnamese state’s strong resolve to deal with these negative effects.

During the past years, the government has paid due attention to providing full information to overseas Vietnamese and international friends to help them understand the human rights situation in Vietnam. Radio the Voice of Vietnam (VOV5) and Vietnam Television (VTV4) have broadcast programmes providing accurate information about what’s happening in Vietnam to global listeners and viewers.

In addition to the human rights dialogues Vietnam has conducted with a number of countries, Vietnam has promoted cultural, scientific and technological exchanges.

I think disseminating information overseas should be promoted through modern media to help those who have goodwill towards Vietnam understand the truth of human rights in the country. We could also design a website which introduces policies, laws and the practice of human rights in Vietnam.

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