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VN human rights agency proposed

Update: December, 11/2014 - 09:40
Health worker checks up for an elderly at a clinic in Ha Noi.— VNS file photo

HA NOI (VNS) — The establishment of a national agency to protect human rights was among several suggestions made at a conference held in Ha Noi yesterday.

The conference, which focused on the role of the National Assembly in upholding international conventions and national laws on human rights, recognised the progress made by Viet Nam on multiple fronts.

Since the country adopted its Doi Moi (renovation) policy, the parliament has promulgated 305 laws to institutionalise the pragmatic perspectives of the Party and Government on protecting human rights as well as the rights of citizens, said Ngo Duc Manh, vice chairman of the NA Foreign Affairs Committee.

He said the New Constitution of 2013 provides an important political foundation for reaffirming, upholding and protecting human rights.

The UN will support Viet Nam in facilitating knowledge sharing and provide technical advice on best practices from around the world as a way to support the NA's legislative and oversight functions in strengthening human rights, said Pratibha Mehta, UN Resident Coordinator to Viet Nam.

"The NA's legislative role at all levels is fundamental in developing and passing new laws that advance human rights," she said.

She said the UN also recognises the NA's efforts to ensure human rights protection in Viet Nam, as seen in the recent ratification of the Convention against Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment as well as the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

She noted that the theme of this year's Human Rights Day, "Human Rights 365", embraces the idea that every day is a Human Rights Day; that each individual, everywhere, at all times, is entitled to the full range of Human Rights.

Participants at the conference also discussed the Universal Periodical Review (UPR) as a means to generating a holistic view of a nation's progress in promoting, protecting and respecting human rights through dialogues on achievements and challenges faced.

Created in 2006 and introduced in Viet Nam in 2009, the nation has seen two cycles of the UPR. In the second one, Viet Nam has accepted 182 recommendations to be implemented before 2019, said Vu Anh Quang, director general of the International Organisations Department of the Misnistry of Foreign Affairs.

Aside from UN and regional mechanisms, the national mechanism plays a vital part in the promotion and protection of human rights, said Hoang Van Nghia, deputy president of the Institute for Human Rights of the Ho Chi Minh Political Academy.

Deputy Phung Van Hung stressed the importance of setting a timeline for presenting the idea to the NA for approval.

The conference was jointly organised by the Foreign Affairs Committee of the National Assembly (NA) and the UNDP to mark the international Human Right Day.

It aimed to discuss how the nation's legal system has been reshaped to better recognise, respect and protect human rights and what can be done to carry the process further. — VNS

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