HCM CITY (VNS) — Viet Nam has strongly committed to combating all acts of torture and cruel treatment to ensure basic human rights, an official from the ministry of foreign affairs said at an international conference held in HCM City yesterday.
Vietnamese and foreign experts meeting at the conference discussed the provisions of the United Nations Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment.
Organised by the Foreign Ministry and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Viet Nam, the conference introduced detailed content about the UN Convention against Torture, including the obligations of member States and Viet Nam's laws and practical measures to ensure human rights.
Speaking at the event, Vu Anh Quang, chief of the International Organisation Department under the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said the conference also aimed to raise the awareness of relevant agencies, organisations and individuals about regulations on the elimination of cruel and inhumane punishment.
Last month, the country's National Assembly ratified the Convention, which showed that Viet Nam had adhered to its international commitments, especially in human rights and its stance against acts of torture and other cruelty, he said.
The ratification by Viet Nam was also a step in the process of Viet Nam's international integration, showing that the country is a pro-active and responsible member on issues of international concern, Quang told Viet Nam New Agency.
Pham Minh Tuan, deputy director of the HCM City National Political and Administrative Academy, said Viet Nam's current legal provisions on protecting defendants from being tortured or cruelly treated meet the requirements of the UN convention.
However, to effectively implement the process of incorporation of the Convention's requirement into the domestic law, as well as for a better protection of the human rights of criminal defenders, the criminal procedure law of Viet Nam needs to strengthen provision regarding interrogation as well as produce for necessary mechanisms to warrant its effectiveness, Tuan said.
Other speakers at the seminar agreed that torture prevention is a global strategy that intends to reduce risks and create an environment where torture and ill-treatment area less likely to occur, and that an effective legal framework must be in place that both prohibits and prevents torture and other forms of ill treatment, and that laws and regulations need to be applied in practice.
Eighty-one countries have signed the Convention that was adopted by the UN General Assembly in 1984. It became effective on June 26, 1987.
As a member of the UN Human Rights Council, Viet Nam became a signatory to the Convention against Torture on July 11, 2013. — VNS