Lieutenant General Nguyễn Ngọc Anh, Director General of the Ministry of Public Security’s Department of Law and Administrative Judical Reform, speaks at a workshop held yesterday in Hà Nội. — Photo cand.com.vn
HÀ NỘI — Việt Nam’s implementation of the United Nations Convention Against Torture would be examined for the first time by the UN Committee Against Torture in Geneva, Switzerland, next month, according to the Ministry of Public Security.
The report was submitted to the UN Committee Against Torture last July, providing a comprehensive overview of the results achieved by Việt Nam in preventing and punishing torture-related acts, and clarifying the main measures it is taking in terms of policies and laws.
“The first report also emphasises the main shortcomings and challenges for Việt Nam and defines priorities for the future,” said Lieutenant General Nguyễn Ngọc Anh, Director General of the Ministry of Public Security’s Department of Law and Administrative Judical Reform, at a workshop held yesterday in Hà Nội in preparation for the review.
Việt Nam ratified the convention in 2014 and it started to take effective in 2015.
“The ratification of the convention has a significant meaning in protecting human rights and implementing the humanitarian policies of the Party and State of Việt Nam, contributing to implementing the country’s 2013 Constitution,” he said.
The Vietnamese delegation will present the report to the UN Committee on November 14-15 in Geneva. The national report reflected Việt Nam’s efforts to implement its obligations as a member of the convention, Anh said.
Once a State ratified the convention, it had to report on a periodic basis of the implementation of the convention within one year of ratification and then every four years. This was designed to help member countries assess and improve the convention’s implementation, according to Catherine Phương, Assistant Country Director, Governance and Participation, UNDP Việt Nam.
“During the two sessions of three hours of review, Việt Nam will present the report and then provide responses to questions raised by the UN Committee members. The review is not an end in itself. It is an opportunity to reflect on areas where further improvement can be made and where further support might be needed,” she said.
Addressing the event, UNDP Country Director in Việt Nam Caitlin Wiesen stressed that Việt Nam had an impressive record when it came to ratification of international human rights treaties and was now a party to seven of the nine core treaties.
“The scope of the convention goes beyond the issue of torture. The convention also seeks to prevent and prohibit cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment. This has allowed member countries to address a range of situations which now include treatment such as domestic violence.”
“Over the last few years, we have already seen some of the impact of the ratification of the Convention against Torture by Việt Nam. The Ministry of Public Security has engaged in a number of activities to train law enforcement officers on the convention. Additionally, police officers have received more training sessions on improved interviewing and investigating skills as a means to prevent torture and ill-treatment,” she said.
During the workshop, participants discussed in more detail how the review of the report would take place and how to prepare for it. A mock session was held later the same day to help the Vietnamese delegation prepare for the upcoming review in Geneva.
The Convention Against Torture was adopted by the UN General Assembly in 1984. It had been ratified or acceded by 164 States as of last December. — VNS