|The workshop takes place on Friday at the Intercontinental Landmark 72 Hotel, Hà Nội. — VNS Photo Anh Đức|
HÀ NỘI — An international workshop promoting LGBTQ+ rights was held in Hà Nội on Friday, jointly organised by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) and the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) in Hà Nội.
With the title "Protection against Violence and Discrimination Based on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity: International and Việt Nam's Experiences", speakers from around the world shared their experiences regarding anti-discrimination toward sexual orientation and gender identity.
The workshop is one of Việt Nam's collaborations with UN agencies on protecting and promoting human rights. These collaborations are in line with Việt Nam's progress to join the OHCHR's UPR as well as joining and executing International Conventions on Human Rights.
Delegates from the Institute for Human Rights of the Hồ Chí Minh National Academy of Politics also introduced updated progress on policies and efforts of Việt Nam in LGBTQ+ rights. The speakers called for Việt Nam to continue effectively updating and executing legal and policy documents, as well as development plans and education on human rights, especially on anti-discrimination.
Caitlin Wiesen, UNDP Head Representative in Việt Nam, said: "We welcome the actions and efforts of Việt Nam in solving these issues, especially the role of the Government and the collaboration with NGOs in promoting the rights of LGBTIs in Việt Nam.
"Việt Nam's efforts in legal reform to enable better protection of LGBTI rights are greatly appreciated, and we want to see more LGBTI representation in contributing to this process."
Ambassador of Norway to Việt Nam Grete Løchen said “Sexual and gender diversity exists in all countries and communities. LGBTI+ people have the same right to live free from discrimination and violence, which still persists today and becomes even worse during the pandemic. It’s all about equal rights and being true to the SDG principle of leaving no one behind! As a staunch supporter of the UN and its SDGs, it is Norway’s priority to increase focus on equal rights, including the issue of discrimination based on sexual orientation. For LGBTI+ people it’s to live without stigma, shame and discrimination”.
NGOs and research organisations, including ones led by LGBTQ+ people in Việt Nam, also spoke highly of the workshop, saying that this is a chance for Vietnamese organisations and partners to continue to enable related actors to contribute to building and perfecting the legal and policy frameworks.
Lê Thị Thu Hằng, Assistant to the Minister of Foreign Affairs and spokesperson for the ministry, told an international workshop: "At the Universal Periodic Review of the UN Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), Việt Nam accepted and enacted many recommendations to protect vulnerable groups.
"Legal frameworks and policies to counteract against violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity are being built and public awareness of sexual orientation and gender identity are also more open. LGBTQ+ groups' roles in society are recognised and their activities are not restricted in any way."
The workshop was also attended by many delegates from government agencies, international organisations and ambassadors from Cuba, Argentina and South Africa. — VNS