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Amended family law protects citizens' rights

Update: November, 26/2013 - 09:44
Citizen's rights would be ensured with special regards to gender equality, the protection of children, mothers and disadvantaged members of society, he told a legal policy dialogue on the assessment of the draft amendments yesterday.— VNA/VNS Photo Phuong Hoa

HA NOI (VNS)— Amendments to the Law on Marriage and Family had been drafted to ensure all citizens' rights are legally upheld within the union of marriage and family, said Deputy Minister of Justice Hoang The Lien.

Citizen's rights would be ensured with special regards to gender equality, the protection of children, mothers and disadvantaged members of society, he told a legal policy dialogue on the assessment of the draft amendments yesterday.

"At the same time, the Government would like to study international examples to ensure any amendments are appropriate in the context of Viet Nam's unique cultural, legal and socio-economic characteristics, while being compatible with its domestic laws and any international conventions that Viet Nam is a party to," he said.

At the workshop, participants heard an overall assessment of the draft amendments to the Law on Marriage and Family 2000 from a human rights-based perspective and, proposed and outlined amendments.

UNDP Country Director in Viet Nam Louise Chamberlain tabled several issues from a human rights-based perspective, saying that the gender division of labour at home, with women traditionally sharing a significantly larger burden of unpaid household work, made women and children vulnerable, especially in cases of separation and divorce.

"Other forms of discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity also need to be addressed as part of this law, as same sex couples, transgender and bisexual people are forming families and having children. According to international human rights law, they have a right to equality just like anybody else in the community," she added.

The law will be revised or supplemented with a focus on issues customary to marriage and families, including the permitted age for marriage, living as husband and wife without marriage registration, same sex couples living together, and the personal rights of a husband and wife, including their assets.

Identification of birth parents and children, surrogacy for humanitarian purposes, divorce and separation; and marital and familial relationships between Vietnamese people and other nationalities will also be revised.

Human rights

Meanwhile, another workshop on research and education on human rights in Viet Nam yesterday said that human rights awareness in Viet Nam was limited, and there were only five official educational establishments in the field nationwide.

The study of human rights has not delved into the details of theory involved in regional and international laws and mechanisms. Urgent issues such as security, terrorism, freedom of information, climate change, development and poverty had not been addressed.

Delegates stressed that it was necessary to pay more attention to promoting education of human rights at all educational levels in Viet Nam. — VNS

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