Vietnam’s Universal Periodic Review (UPR) Report in the second cycle was reviewed at a session of the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHCR) on February 5 in Geneva, Switzerland.
The report stressed the achievements Vietnam has recorded in respecting, protecting and promoting human rights as well as the implementation of proposals at the first cycle.
Existing challenges and limitations during the process, plus the Vietnamese Government’s priorities in human rights development, were also mentioned in the report.
The Vietnamese Government is making every effort to finalize the legal system and policies on human rights such as the adoption of the amended 1992 Constitution, the report said, adding the document devotes its entire Chapter II to the protection of human and citizen rights.
It also cited the issuance of a range of new laws such as the Health care Law, the Law on the Elderly, the Law on Persons with Disabilities, and the Law on Adoption.
Vietnam has also engaged in important international conventions on human rights such as the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in 2008, the Law on Persons with Disabilities, the UN Convention against Trans-national Organised Crime, the Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, especially Women and Children, in 2012, the International Labour Organisation (ILO) Convention 122 on Employment Policy and the ILO Maritime Labour Convention.
Deputy Foreign Minister Ha Kim Ngoc, who led the delegation to the event, claimed that the country has always respected, protected and promoted human rights such as the freedom of speech, press, information, religion and belief. He also drew attention to the rights of people behind bars, and the socio-economic and cultural rights of citizens.
The country has given importance to the building and development of policies and programmes to promote gender equality reflected by the number of female National Assembly deputies in the 2011-2016 tenure at 24.4 percent, ranking second in ASEAN, said the report.
The country has also actively contributed to the establishment of the ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights, the ASEAN Commission on the Promotion and Protection of the Rights of Women and Children, and the ASEAN Human Rights Declaration.
Vietnam has actively participated in the Coordinated Mekong Ministerial Initiative against Trafficking while closely coordinating with the UN Children’s Fund, the UN Office on Drugs and Crime, the International Migration Organisation and the UN Inter Agency Project.
It has also signed many agreements on the prevention and fighting of human trafficking with other regional countries such as Laos, Cambodia, China and Malaysia.
According to the report, Vietnam has set up regular bilateral dialogue on human rights with several countries and partners such as the US, the European Union, Australia, Norway and Switzerland.
On November 12, 2013, Vietnam was elected to the Human Rights Council for the first time, the recognition by the international community for its recent achievements in exercising civil, political, economic, cultural and social rights.