Yet there still exist misleading opinions that distort the actual human rights situation in Vietnam. No matter what tricks and machinations the hostile and reactionary forces resort to, they cannot deny the achievements of Vietnam in ensuring and improving further the rights of its people.
The consistent view of the VCP and State of Vietnam is that human rights are guaranteed and enforced by the Constitution and law. Since its birth, the State of Vietnam has placed human rights in the center of its tasks. In the Declaration of Independence giving birth to the Democratic Republic of Vietnam, President Ho Chi Minh solemnly declared to the world, “Vietnam has the right to be a free and independent country and in fact is so already. The entire Vietnamese people are determined to mobilize all their physical and mental strength, to sacrifice their lives and property in order to safeguard their independence and liberty.” Subsequently, human rights-related contents were developed into constitutional rights in the First Constitution (the 1946 Constitution) of the country. After four amendments, from the 1946 Constitution to the 1959, the 1980, the 1992 and the 2013 Constitutions, human rights in Vietnam have truly become constitutional rights.
|Iin Vietnam, the right to vote, to stand for election and to participate in the governance of the State and the management of the society of the people are always guaranteed. (Photo for illustration: VNA)|
After all the ups and downs throughout the history of revolutionary struggles, of implementing the “doi moi” (renewal) process and of building and defending the Socialist Republic of Vietnam, the VCP and State have always aimed at the ultimate goal of respecting and ensuring the implementation of human rights. The VCP has always advocated the construction and perfection of a rule-of-law socialist State as a “State of the people, by the people and for the people.” In these basic and consistent guidelines, policies and legal framework, the VCP and the State of Vietnam identifies the people as both the target and the motivation for the national construction and protection. All the policies and guidelines of the VCP and State of Vietnam aim at the highest goal: “for the people.”
To institutionalize the guidelines and policies of the VCP, the State of Vietnam has gradually improved the system of policies, laws and mechanisms, regarding it as a key factor for the protection and promotion of human rights. The VCP and the State of Vietnam pay much attention to law-making and promoting judicial reforms. In recent years, the State of Vietnam has issued new and amended legal documents related to the protection and promotion of human rights, in which the protection of the rights of vulnerable groups receives particular attention. The Constitution and laws of Vietnam fully protect rights of all people in all fields, such as politics, economics, culture and society. The legal system of Vietnam is in accordance with the reality of the country and compatible with international norms set forth in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and international human rights conventions that Vietnam has participated in.
The increasingly improved legal system is a prerequisite and condition for Vietnam to systematically institutionalize the VCP’s and State’s guidelines on human rights and create a legal corridor for the protection and promotion of human rights. Achievements in ensuring and improving basic rights of the people of Vietnam are clearly expressed in the exercise of civil, political, economic, cultural and social rights, etc. Especially, in Vietnam, the right to vote, to stand for election and to participate in the governance of the State and the management of the society of the people are always guaranteed. The Government of Vietnam advocates the expansion of democracy and the implementation of the motto “people know, people discuss, people do, and people inspect.” The people are the ones to decide all the affairs of the State. Vietnamese citizens have the right to participate in the management of the society directly or through their elected deputies. The State of Vietnam has restlessly striven to ensure and provide conditions for all citizens to exercise that right as one of the most important rights of citizens.
The State of Vietnam always respects and implements the rights to freedom of speech, freedom of the press and freedom of information in accordance with the Constitution and laws. In recent years, activities of the mass media have become increasingly open and vibrant. The diversity of contents of information as well as the rapid development of mass media in Vietnam are the manifestation of freedom of speech, freedom of the press and freedom of information in Vietnam. The press in Vietnam has become a forum of speech for social organizations and people, serving as an important tool to protect the interests of the society and the rights to freedom of the people. The press is also an important force in inspecting and supervising the implementation of policies and laws of the State. The press plays an important role in detecting cases of law violation, contributing to the fight against all forms corruption and building a strong and healthy State apparatus.
Citizens’ rights to freedom of assembly and forming associations are specified in the Constitution, the Criminal Code, the Civil Code and many other legal documents. Apart from the VCP, in Vietnam there are also the Vietnam Fatherland Front, five mass organizations, including the Vietnam General Confederation of Labor, the Vietnam Women’s Union, the Ho Chi Minh Communist Youth Union, the Vietnam Veterans’ Association and hundreds of other people’s organizations, including social organizations and occupational organizations with tens of millions of members. Along with national-level trade unions, there are more than 6,000 local-level trade unions in Vietnam. In addition, there are thousands of voluntary associations, clubs, etc. in all fields of social life. The rapid increase in the number of organizations, associations, clubs, etc. has proved the fact that freedom of assembly and forming associations of the people is respected and guaranteed.
The State of Vietnam considers practices of beliefs and religions as a legitimate spiritual need of the people. The consistent policy of the State is to respect and ensure the rights to freedom of belief and religion, following or not following a religion. It is clearly stated in the Constitution and laws of Vietnam and respected and ensured in practice. The State of Vietnam always respects and protects the rights of religious followers to freely worshiping and practicing their beliefs and religions and this policy has been concretized by laws. The number of dignitaries, followers and professional religious activists has increased steadily over the years to better meet the people’s spiritual need. Religious dignitaries also have the right to participate in the governance of the State and the management of the society, the right to stand for election to the National Assembly and People’s Councils like any other citizens. The State of Vietnam also attaches special importance to the ethnic affairs policy, ensuring the right to equality among ethnic groups, considering it one of the decisive factors for the sustainable development of the country. It is comprehensively manifested in all fields, such as politics, economics, culture and society and reflected in the guidelines, policies and laws of the VCP and the State of Vietnam. Vietnamese citizens, regardless of ethnic groups, are equal before law and enjoy the same rights and obligations.
Though the world economy has experienced recession and depression at times, the economy of Vietnam has enjoyed a stable growth rate. The income per capita in Vietnam increased from USD 1,024 in 2008 to USD 2,200 in 2016. Economic growth has created important foundation for Vietnam to address pressing social issues, better implement social justice and protect the values of human rights and citizens’ rights. The VCP and State of Vietnam have paid great attention to hunger eradication and poverty reduction and their achievements in this field have been highly valued by the international community. Vietnam is among the countries honored by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) as one of the most successful countries in poverty alleviation. Particularly, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon valued that Vietnam is one of the leading nations in the implementation of the UN Millennium Development Goals. Vietnam has also participated in almost all international conventions on human rights and fully implemented all obligations stipulated by these conventions.
The above achievements resulted from the consistent policy of Vietnam that places the people in the center of its development, strictly follows international norms and implements international obligations. The distorted and misleading allegations about the human rights situation in Vietnam of hostile forces is intended to undermine the stability and hinder the development of Vietnam. However, the recognition and evaluation of the international community and the reality in Vietnam have completely rejected that plot of the hostile forces.
Translated by Huu Duong
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