The document provides updated information about the laws, policies, efforts and achievements of the State of Vietnam in ensuring human rights, once more confirming the fact that Vietnam has closely followed international norms in ensuring the protection and promotion of human rights of its people.

Earlier, in 2005, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Vietnam published a book titled “Achievements in protection and promotion of human rights in Vietnam” providing an overall and systematic view of the legal system, institutions, policies, efforts and achievements of the State of Vietnam in protecting human rights.

This time, the white book consists of four chapters, presenting information showing restless efforts of Vietnam in perfecting its legal system and legal enforcement in ensuring the rights of the people. The rights of the people include the right to equality and non-discrimination in front of the law; the right to privacy; the right to freedom of travel and residence; the right to freedom of assembly; the right to vote and stand for election, etc.

The Vietnamese people's living standards has been improved.

The document stresses the achievements of Vietnam in ensuring the implementation of the rights to freedom of belief and religion for its people. As it is estimated, about 95% of the Vietnamese people lead their belief and religious life, including more than 24 million followers of different religions (accounting for about 27% of the whole population), increasing by nearly 7 million followers compared to 2003. Apart from that, Vietnam has increasingly been expanding its participation in international religious activities and provides favorable conditions for religious organizations in the country to enhance international exchanges and connection.

The white book also underlines the vivid manifestation of freedom of speech, and press and information in Vietnam as the country has witnessed the “rapid development in the forms of mass media and the rich contents of information.” The economic growth of Vietnam has also been maintained at stable rates over the past time, increasingly improving people’s living standards, reducing poverty rate, promoting social equality, contributing to protecting the rights to enjoying socio-economic advances and to the implementation of human rights in other realms.

As Vietnam served as a member of the UN Human Rights Council for the 2014-2016 term, it has actively and substantially participated in international forums on human rights. The country has not only sought to ensure its people’s rights to freedom in all aspects in line with international norms, but also practically contributed to the shared goal of promoting human rights at the national, regional and global levels, the white book reads.

Three versions of the white book

The achievements in the protection and promotion of human rights of Vietnam have recently proved tireless efforts of the State of Vietnam in building a socialist rule-of-law State, which considers the people the goal, the driving force and also the center of all policies for the development of the country.

As a developing country, Vietnam is still facing a good number of difficulties and challenges. In the coming time, Vietnam will focus on overcoming challenges in the realm of protection and promotion of human rights stressing the following seven priorities: 1) continuing to improve the legal system on the principle of promoting the human factor to ensure better implementation of fundamental rights and freedoms of the people and ensuring the national legal system is in harmony with the norms of international law; 2) promoting socio-economic development to foster conditions and increase resources for poverty reduction and improve the quality of people’s physical and spiritual life; 3) increasing access to various types of social security services for the people; 4) improving quality of education to develop human resources, including education on human rights to raise people’s awareness of and law enforcement agencies’ capacity in this issue; 5) actively promoting gender equality, considering it an important factor to build sustainable human resources and increase quality of life for the whole society; 6) taking good care of people’s health to ensure a healthy society and access to comprehensive health care services, both physically and mentally; 7) seeking to strengthen cooperation with all countries, agencies and organizations related to human rights.

The while book affirms, “Building on the recent achievements, which were appreciated by the people in the country and international friends, with the determination and the spirit of the Vietnamese people and open dialogue and cooperation with other countries and international organizations on both bilateral and multilateral channels in the field of human rights, the State of Vietnam has been and will strive to achieve the objective of better ensuring the rights and fundamental freedoms of citizens in a law-governed state while joining hands with the international community to address regional and global issues related to human rights.”

Translated by Huu Duong