Vietnam needs an improved awareness of human rights now it is on the UNHRC

Activists say authorities need to allow free speech, a free press and freedom of movement.
By RFA Vietnamese
2022.10.17
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Vietnam needs an improved awareness of human rights now it is on the UNHRC The UN General Assembly meeting on Oct 10, 2022.
AFP

Activists say Vietnam needs to change its perception of human rights to improve the country's rights record in order to contribute as a member of the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) for the 2023-2025 term.

Despite its poor human rights record, Vietnam was still elected to the UNHRC by 145 out of 189 countries in a UN General Assembly meeting on October 11.

Human rights and democracy activists in Vietnam say the current perception of human rights by the Vietnamese State is very different from that of developed democracies.

“The important thing to do is to change the thinking and views of the Vietnamese authorities on human rights issues,” an activist in Hanoi told RFA, speaking on condition of anonymity for safety reasons.

“They must see human rights as the key to resolving conflicts in society, tolerating each other, eliminating hatred and developing the country.”

Minister of Foreign Affairs, Bui Than Son, told the Bao Quoc Te newspaper that Vietnam "will work with member countries to promote initiatives and solutions in areas such as the right to live in peace, development rights, rights of vulnerable groups, gender equality, access to health, education, employment, response to climate change, epidemics, etcetera.”

However, according to some international human rights organizations, “the right to development” and the “right to peace” promoted by the Hanoi government are ambiguous and are placed above universal human rights.

Fairly enforced laws that uphold the Constitution

Another activist in Hanoi, using the pseudonym Trieu Anh, said Vietnam needs to respect its own laws and enforce them aggressively, as part of measures to improve the country's human rights record.

“For improvement, it is necessary to create a legal framework, in other words simply to respect the Vietnamese Constitution so that people can exercise their rights to freedom of speech in accordance with the current Constitutional framework.”

At the end of March this year, Vietnam’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) released a report which rejected 50 recommendations out of a total of nearly 300 that countries made during the UN’s Universal Periodic Review hearing on countries’ human rights record.

Notably, there was a recommendation from the Czech government, asking Vietnam to create conditions for pluralism, multi-party democracy and ensure democratic elections. It was rejected by MOFA on the grounds that it was "not suitable for the political policies, laws and practical conditions" in Vietnam.

Freeing prisoners of conscience

When asked what the government must do to fulfill its responsibilities to the UNHRC Nguyen Phu Hai, a retired army colonel, told RFA the Communist Party should free prisoners of conscience and amend or remove vague provisions in the Criminal Code used to suppress dissent.

Trieu Anh said the government also needs to be able to absorb people's criticisms.

“Vietnam needs to immediately stop persecuting those who exercise the right to freedom of expression online and in real life,” he said, adding that the authorities should allow press freedom and the free movement of human rights campaigners.

“Activists should not be banned from leaving the country when they want to go abroad to study or attend events,” Anh said.

When responding to reports by international human rights organizations or foreign governments, Vietnam often says the country does not have prisoners of conscience and authorities only imprison individuals who violate the law. 

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COMMENTS

Dega people in the Central Highlands in Vietnam
Oct 17, 2022 08:11 PM

Vietnam is a member of seven of nine the International Humanitarian Instrument Laws. It has not ratified International Labor Organization Convention number 169. It has not recognized the Dega people in the Central Highlands as Indigenous people. Vietnam has also not ratified the UN Genocide Convention either, how is strange that Vietnam qualifies for the UN human rights council sea? If it is not akin to the elite club and a house of the genocidal perpetrators.

Quoc Chien Le
Oct 22, 2022 04:01 AM

UNHRC's MEMBERS CONSIDER CAREFULLY ON VIETNAMESE COMMUNIST PARTY BEFORE PERMETTING VCP JOINING THE UNHRC
'COZ
Communist Vietnam, Communist Beijing's trump card in Asia and North America.

Quoc Chien Le
Oct 22, 2022 04:03 AM

UNHRC MEMBERS CONSIDER CAREFULLY ON VIETNAMESE COMMUNIST PARTY BEFORE PERMITTING VCP JOINING THE UNHRC 'COZ Communist Vietnam, Communist Beijing's trump card in Asia and North America.

Free Reporters
Oct 23, 2022 01:33 AM

We are the human rights reporters, who are doing the job on topics of human rights and democracy under communist regime in VN and China .
For human rights under vietnam communist regime, we' ve already supervised and investigated clearly: Vietnam communist party didn't approve the human rights way of Westerners' capitalist although they alread signed Agreements about human rights to World human rights Org. because they communist wanted to decrease the political treatment distance of capitalist nations to Vietnamese communist peoples as a requesting the human rights for communist people. The Vietnamese communist had understood the meaning of human rights following communist theory of Macxism - Leninism: that was bloody struggle for people liberation; The changes about social political form and economic development looked like following a part of capitalist way as market economy is to attract the capitalist investments into the fields which vietnam communist canot do those such as high technological techniques, etc., but about potilic, they are still loyal to Macxism - Lenenism, cannot change or remove communist thoughts and souls in their gene.
Actually, vietnam communist is taking advantage the meaning of human rights AND humanitarianism of the world human rights organizations to enter "penetrate" deep into the western capitalist world for the purpose of dividing and influencing the communist ideology to the western people and also for the purpose of "invasion" hegemony at the behest of the Beijing CCP's indications
We think that should need talent political specialist over the World would have solutions to solve the human rights problem in communist countries better for World advanced mankind's lifetime.

Lee Suk Ky
Oct 26, 2022 09:04 AM

Don't hear any thing the Red said.
Look at things the Red already done.
The Red or Communist is an organization of low-intelligent index community, always uses the majority to suppress the few of smarter man.
Please understand the Red is always "Wolf in sheep's clothing".

Lee Han Kuk
Oct 27, 2022 04:09 AM

Following the words from Mr. Trieu Anh said the government also needs to be able to absorb people's criticisms.
“Vietnam needs to immediately stop persecuting those who exercise the right to freedom of expression online and in real life,” he said, adding that the authorities should allow press freedom and the free movement of human rights campaigners.
“Activists should not be banned from leaving the country when they want to go abroad to study or attend events,” Anh said.

Dear Mr. Trieu Anh,
Don't waste your words to communist classes in VN like "The sound of the harp in the ear of the Red Buffalo": When communist ideology has become the gene of the bloodline of the communist genealogy (communist hereditary).
No matter how many military branches and powerful forces of Vietcong in Vietnam have? no matter how many stupid pro - communist capitalist countries over the World are supporting the Vietcong now? we must try to overthrow them because they are always a thorn in the eyes of all freedom - democracy and human rights loving countries - around the World. Request them making a unite to overthrow the disgusting communist Corp. in Vietnam.
Yours respectfully,
Lee Han Kuk
A Human rights and Freedom loving citizen in S. Korea.

Tom Nguyen
Nov 02, 2022 09:58 PM

As you know, had the international communist system from the past to the present ever exercised human rights before? Although they are very understanding of human rights theory and practice, but because of the nature of Marxist-Leninist communist doctrine that they always worship, there is no provisions on charity and human rights. All is just a dictatorship proletariat's political bandits' party. It deeps into the brains of all communist party members in the World, also in Vietnam. Therefore, International Human rights organizatios recommend "the Vietnamese communist government needs to correctly aware of Human rights' meaning before applying for an official member position of the UN Human rights Council" is the breakdown sound of the guitar to the red buffalo's ears. Don't think that the international communists or the communists in Vietnam always abide by performaning the human rights if they become members of UNHMC. It's funny to recommend a Redbull party about human rights enforcement in the region they ruled such as communist party in Vietnamese territory.