The amended Law on Press was adopted by National Assembly (NA) deputies at the 11th session yesterday. — Photo VNA
HA NOI (VNS) — The amended Law on Press was adopted by National Assembly (NA) deputies at the 11th session yesterday with approximately 89.5 per cent of votes in favour.
The revised 6-chapter, 61-article law is designed to replace the 1989 Press Law and its 1999 amendments. It will take effect on January 1, 2017.
It stipulates the right to freedom of the press; citizens’ right to freedom of speech in the press; press organisations and activities; rights and duties of agencies, organisations and individuals involving press activities; and State management of the press.
Before passing the draft law, the NA heard a report on opinions about the bill.
Accordingly, the NA Standing Committee agreed on proposed amendments to Article 27 of the bill, which stipulates that eligible press card holders who work for a religious organisation’s press agency will not be required to have a three-year college diploma or higher degree.
People with two years of experience working in a press agency will be qualified to apply for the first granting of press cards, instead of three years as stipulated by the current law.
However, the committee rejected the proposals on revised Article 28, which suggested eliminating the process requiring press card holders to re-apply for a new card every five years.
It suggested keeping the regulation unchanged in order to prevent the cards being misused by those who have left press agencies.
The proposed prohibition of journalists and correspondents from using social media was also rejected to ensure citizens’ right to freedom of speech as stipulated in the Constitution.
Law maintains child age at 16
The NA passed the Child Law yesterday with an 89.88 per cent approval rate, maintaining legal age of children at 16.
The new law has seven chapters and 106 articles, stipulating children’s rights and duties, principles and measures to ensure the enforcement of children’s rights, the responsibilities of State agencies, organisations, educational establishments, families and individuals to exercise children’s rights and duties.
Before voting on the draft law, the NA Standing Committee presented its report on the acquisition of NA deputies’ opinions on the draft. The report said the majority of opinions agreed to change the name of the law to the Child Law.
Regarding the difference in opinions about the legal age of children, a poll conducted in the NA showed 340 out of 397 respondents, or 85.64 per cent of the respondents and 69.25 per cent of NA deputies, supported putting the age at 16, while just 50 out of 397 respondents thought the age should be 18.
Therefore, the NA Standing Committee retained the stipulation defining a child as one under the age of 16 in the Child Law.
Meanwhile, the scope of children with special backgrounds stipulated in Clause 1 of Article 10 has been expanded to cover children from poor or near-poor families suffering from fatal diseases or diseases requiring long-term treatment (Point n Clause 1) and migrant children, refugee children whose parents are not known or who have no one to take care of them (Point o Clause 1).
The new Child Law will take effect on June 1, 2017, replacing the Law on Child Protection, Care and Education No 25/2004/QH11.— VNS