Vietnamese with disabilities enjoy equal, full rights

November 17, 2022 - 08:40
Việt Nam is home to about 6.4 million persons with disabilities, accounting for more than 7 per cent of the country’s population.
Students with hearing and speech impairments at Xã Đàn School in Hà Nội enjoy a cultural and sports festival held in April this year on the occasion of the Vietnam Day for Persons with Disabilities. —VNA/VNS Photo Thanh Tùng

HÀ NỘI — Over the years, ensuring rights for people with disabilities has received great attention from the Party and State. There are now numerous policies and legal regulations providing favourable conditions for them to enjoy equal rights to politic, economic, cultural and social activities, stablise their lives, and integrate into the community.

Perfecting legal system

According to the Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs, Việt Nam is home to about 6.4 million persons with disabilities (PwDs), accounting for more than 7 per cent of the country’s population. About 10 per cent of the total are from poor households.

The approach to PwDs has been switched from a matter of humanity to humanity combined with human rights.

In 2007, Việt Nam signed the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities with an aim to protect and promote their rights, ensuring that PwDs enjoy all fundamental rights in an equal and full manner, and their dignity is respected.

The 2013 Constitution expanded the subject of PwDs receiving State support regardless of their conditions. Meanwhile, many legal documents have been issued to protect PwDs rights, including the Law of PwDs in 2010.

Under the law, along with fundamental rights of citizens, PwDs are guaranteed the right to participate on an equal basis in social activities, live independently, and integrate into the community. They can enjoy exemption from or reduction of certain contributions to social activities. PwDs can also be provided with health care, functional rehabilitation, education, vocational training, employment, legal assistance, access to public facilities, means of transport, information technology, and other services suitable to their forms and degrees of disability as provided by law.

In 2019, Việt Nam ratified the International Labor Organisation (ILO)'s Convention 159 on Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment of persons with disabilities. This further affirmed Việt Nam's commitment to ensuring that workers with disabilities are not discriminated against in terms of work and employment. This convention is in line with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Incheon Strategy on realising the rights of people with disabilities effectively.

Also in 2019, the Party Central Committee’s Secretariat issued Directive No 39 on strengthening the Party leadership over PwDs affairs, asking organisations, agencies and individuals to enhance the awareness and responsibility to PwDs, and stressing the requirements to ensure their rights.

A programme to support PwDs in the 2021-2030 period was also issued by the Prime Minister, along with a plan to realise the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

Expansion of support centres

In order to further support PwDs, Việt Nam has developed a system of support centres for rehabilitation education with more than 100 special establishments in many cities and provinces. Assistance to PwDs has also been diversified to match their demand.

Currently, the country has nearly 1.1 million people with severe and extremely severe disabilities, about 100,000 families and individuals taking care of them in the community and receiving monthly social allowances, and millions of people with disabilities (including children) who are living in nursing centres.

PwDs who have working ability have received vocational training and employment opportunities.

Meanwhile, there are currently 1,900 vocational education institutions nationwide engaged in vocational training for people with disabilities, with 3,000 teachers who directly provide vocational training for this particular group of workers. Vocational training and job creation for PwDs have been clearly specified in the programme to assist PwDs in the 2021-2030 period.

Thanks to the support, the living conditions of PwDs have been greatly improved. To date, more than 90 per cent of the families with members being PwDs have escaped from poverty, while nearly 90 per cent of the children with disabilities have accessed schooling. — VNS