Vietnam’s efforts to strive for human rights

    The United Nations has always considered Vietnam as a bright example in human development for many years, especially in the implementation of the Millenium Development Goals on hunger eradication, poverty reduction, social equity and progress. Vietnam is among the countries with the fastest poverty reduction in the world.
    Caitlin Wiesen, UNDP Resident Representative in Vietnam assessed in the Global Human Development Report 2020: “With the policy of human-centered development, prioritizing human development and promoting equality in the country’s socio-economic development strategies and plans, Vietnam has achieved a high level of human development. This is a remarkable achievement and aslo creates opportunities for better and faster development in the coming period”.
    Vietnam’s Party and State have always maintained the country’s consistent policy in protecting and promoting human rights of which people is the core and the country’s most important development goal and driving force. The XIII Party Congress determined: “Putting people as the center of development and benefits from results of the development process”. Vietnam’s socio-economic development policy is fair, targeting all subjects, not only focusing on economic development in urban areas, but always devoting great resources and deep attention to new rural construction and taking care of farmers’lives at the same time.
    A special feature of Vietnam that is highly appreciated internationally is that the country attaches great importance to the Human Development Index (HDI), although its economic health is not as high as advanced countries. The annual report of UNDP shows that Vietnam is in the group of countries with the highest HDI growth rate in the world. If the HDI of Vietnam in 1990 was as low as 0.48, that figure in 2021 was 0.703 announced by UNDP, ranking 115th out of 191 countries and territories. Together with focusing on human development, rights of disadvantaged groups such as women, children, the ederly, people with disabilities, etc have gained remarkable progress. Vietnam is considered as one of the fastest countries for gender gap elimination in the past 20 years and evaluated by the UN as a bright spot in fulfilling gender equality during the Millennium Development Goals implementation.
    A responsible country for walking the talk
  Vietnam’s government affirms being an active member of the UN as well as the international community, fully accomplishing international commitment to human rights and non-stop efforts to promote human rights domestically and internationally. Human rights in Vietnam is addressed fully and comprehensively in the constitution – the fundamental law of the Social Republic of Vietnam. From the 1st Constitution in 1946 to the 2013 one, there were very clear provisions on civil and politic rights, social, economic and cultural rights, rights of vulnerable groups. Especially, the 2013 Constitution has dedicated one chapter of 36 articles that constitutionaly define human rights, basic rights and obligations of citizens. This is a constitution that is internationally evaluated as the pinnacle in constitutional activities to protect rights of human and citizenship complying with Vietnam’s reality and international standards of human rights. For example, Article 24 of the 2013 Constitution regulates: “Everyone has the right for freedom of belief and religion, to practise or not a religion. All religions are equal in laws. The State respects and protects the right for freedom of belief and religion”.
    Along with the constitution and laws, Vietnam has so far joined most of the international conventions on human rights, such as: Convention on Civil and Political Rights; Convention on economic, social and cultural rights; Convention on the Elimination of all forms of discrimination against women; Convention on the Rights of Children; Convention against Torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment of people; Convention on the rights of people with disabilities, etc.
    Despite being a country that has suffered a lot of pain and loss due to war, Vietnam has the right to be proud and confident when her Government has established a comprehensive legal system focusing on people as the center. Vietnam’s candidacy for the UN Human Rights Council for the term 2023 – 2025 is in line with reality. Vietnam has not only made many possitive contributions but also experienced in striving for human rights.
    Previously, in 2013, Vietnam was elected for the 1st time to the UN Human Rights Council for the term 2014 – 2016 with 184/192 votes, the highest among new member countries. At that time, Vietnam’s initiatives during her term were highly appreciated by th e international community, typically the collaboration of Vietnam with other countries in ensuring the labor rights of people with disabilities; assuring a safe working environment for workers at sea; resolution on the impact of climate change on children’s rights; improving education in preventing and combating trafficking in women and girls, etc.
    Vietnam’s continued candidacy as a member of the UN Human Rights Council for the term 2023 – 2025 with the message “Respect and understanding – Dialogue and cooperation – All human rights for all” is totally worth it. ASEAN has also officially recognized Vietnam as the only candidate of the bloc. This is an evidence for Vietnam’s achievement and non-stop efforts for a beautiful life on the green planet.

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