HCM CITY (VNS)— Deputy Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc has called for close co-operation between relevant organisations and the Viet Nam Justice Support Association for the Poor.
Speaking at a conference hosted by the association (VIJUSAP) in HCM City on Sunday, he said providing free legal assistance to the poor was an urgent issue for both the Government and society.
For years, the Party and Government had been focused on legal support for poor people, those benefiting from the Government's priority policies, and ethnic minorities, and this was manifested in the Politburo's recent Solution No.49-NQ/TW on judicial reforms.
Protection of the legitimate rights and interests of all people was one of the goals of judicial reform.
At the same time there was a need for legal assistance, especially among those who did not have a full understanding of, or opportunities to know, legal regulations.
Through legal assistance to these people, the laws were enforced, enabling them to enjoy all their legal privileges.
The Prime Minister would direct ministries and local departments to make assistance accessible to the poor in a practical and effective manner.
VIJUSAP should improve the professional skills of its staff to provide better support to the poor, enabling them to protect their legitimate rights and interests.
Dr Ta Thi Minh Ly, VIJUSAP chairman, said the association's six centres have done pro bono work for thousands of disadvantaged people, including the poor, women, children, migrant workers, people with disabilities, ethnic minorities, and families of deceased soldiers.
Reports from 50 provinces and cities showed that since 1997 free legal assistance was given in more than 1.5 million cases, with VIJUSAP's lawyers acting as representatives or counsel for the poor in 9,200 of them. It provided legal consultation in the remaining cases, she said.
VIJUSAP also plans to open a further 16 centres. Established in May 2011, it is a non-profit organisation made up of volunteers and lawyers. — VNS