Việt Nam committed to combating human trafficking, guaranteeing religious freedom

July 04, 2024 - 18:00
Việt Nam and the US will continue to work closely and to engage in discussions and dialogues, to ensure a more comprehensive and objective assessment on Việt Nam's achievements and efforts in combating human trafficking.

HÀ NỘI — Việt Nam's Ministry of Foreign Affairs has been asked for comments regarding two recently published reports by the United States' Department of State, one on religious freedom and the other on human trafficking.

Spokesperson Phạm Thu Hằng. — VNA/VNS Photo

Responding to the media's questions on the US' removal of Việt Nam from its watch list in the 2024 Trafficking in Persons Report, spokesperson for the foreign ministry Phạm Thu Hằng said Việt Nam appreciates that the US has had "objective assessments" on the positive results in Việt Nam's human trafficking prevention and combat.

"Recently, Việt Nam has continued to promote the prevention and combat of human trafficking through priority measures and objectives in the 2021-25 human trafficking combat and prevention programme with a vision towards 2030, and most notably, the amendment of the human trafficking measuring combat law in 2011," she said.

Việt Nam has also enhanced the investigation, prosecution and trial of human trafficking cases, Hằng noted.

"Recently, we have determined and provided support for victims of human trafficking and have adapted and responded to new challenges in a timely manner with regards to human trafficking in the new era," she said on Thursday.

The spokesperson also reiterated that Việt Nam is also making an effort to implement the goals of the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration in accordance with the plan issued by the Prime Minister in March 2020, hoping to "stabilise the migration environment to protect the lawful rights and interest of migrants and to prevent the risks of human trafficking in the international migration activities.

"In that spirit, we hope Việt Nam and the US will continue to work closely, enhance discussions and dialogues in order to make more comprehensive and objective assessments on Việt Nam's achievements and efforts in human trafficking combat and prevention, in accordance with the spirit of Việt Nam-US comprehensive strategic partnership."

Việt Nam is lifted from the previous placement in the Watch list to Tier 2, which is defined as group of countries whose governments do not fully meet the US' Trafficking Victims Protection Act’s minimum standards, but are making significant efforts to bring themselves into compliance with those standards.

Việt Nam was upgraded to join the group of countries such as Brazil, Greece, New Zealand, Nigeria Switzerland, Thailand and the UAE.

The Tier 1 list has 33 countries, with countries like Argentina, Australia, Denmark, Iceland, Republic of Korea, Sweden, the UK and the US.

Commenting on the placement of Việt Nam on the special watch list in the 2023 International Religious Freedom Report, Hằng said: "It is such a regret that despite acknowledging the progress made by Việt Nam on protecting and promoting religious freedom, the report still makes subjective assessment based on unverified and inaccurate information about the actual situation in Việt Nam."

Hằng said: "As a multi-ethnic multi-religious country with a rich religious life, Việt Nam consistently implements policies that respect and ensure the freedom of belief and religion in Việt Nam, guarantees no one is discriminated against based on religious beliefs or practices, and activities of religious organisations are protected according to the law."

The rights are enshrined in the 2013 Constitution, the 2016 Law of Belief and Religion and relevant legal documents, which are respected and upheld in practice in Việt Nam, according to the spokesperson.

"Việt Nam stands ready to discuss with the US on issues of mutual concern, on the basis of straightforwardness, openness and mutual respect, including those where differences exist, in order to promote the comprehensive strategic partnership between the two countries," the diplomat emphasised.

"In this spirit, Việt Nam asks the US to have unbiased assessments based on accurate and comprehensive information regarding the actual situation in Việt Nam and Việt Nam urges for early removal from the special watch list for religious freedom." — VNS