Viet Nam reviewed by the UPR
Monday, 11 May 2009 09:47


On 8 May 2009, Viet Nam was reviewed under the UPR. The State’s delegation was led by the First Vice Foreign Minister, Mr Pnam Binh Minh and comprised of a large number of representatives of relevant ministries and the judiciary. More than 60 States were inscribed to take part in the review, and several States never got a chance to intervene in the dialogue. Many socialist countries and the majority of countries in the region were positive about the human rights situation in Viet Nam and recommended in general that it continue its efforts and share its experiences with the international community, especially with regard to combating poverty. Viet Nam refused to acknowledge several of the critical issues raised by some States.

The following issues were the focus of the review:

  • Several States recommended that Viet Nam reduce the scope of crimes subject to the death penalty (Norway, Germany). Others went further calling for its abolition and for increased transparency (New Zealand, Switzerland, Finland, Germany, Argentina). Viet Nam replied that the death penalty is applied in accordance with international law and while it is studying the possibility of abolishing it, public opinion is not in favour
  • Many States acknowledged the efforts for the large number of persons affected by disabilities as a result of mines and agent orange with some suggesting further measures to improve their situation while South Africa termed the current policies an example of best practice
  • Concerns about strict restrictions on the media and freedom of expression were raised by many with recommendations for lifting of such restrictions, amending security laws and propaganda laws, ensuring protection of journalists and release prisoners of conscience. Viet Nam rejected that there are any prisoners of conscience in the country, that it applies a policy of ensuring freedom of thought speech, the media and information, and that the new media law will allow for private media outlets to operate
  • Poor prison conditions, prevalence of torture and the lack of independence of the judiciary were also of concern
  • Some States also recommended further measures to protect ethnic minorities from discrimination and violence. Viet Nam states that equality is improving and that a law on nationalities is being drafted
  • Several States recommended the establishment of a national human rights institution in accordance with the Paris Principles (Mexico, Azerbaijan, New Zealand, Germany, Mauritius)
  • Many recommendations focused on cooperation with the treaty bodies and the special procedures. Viet Nam was recommended to issue a standing invitation to the special procedures and specifically to invite the Working Group on arbitrary detention, the Special Rapporteur on freedom of religion or belief, the Special rapporteur on freedom of expression and the Special Rapporteur on violence against women. It was also recommended that it ratify the Convention against Torture and its optional protocol, the ILO Conventions no. 169 and 29, Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, Convention on Migrant Workers, Convention on the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearances, and the 1951 Refugee Convention. 

ISHR's reports on the UPR reviews can be found here

Click here for general information about the UPR and reviews from this session onfthe Central African Republic, Monaco, Belize, Chad, Congo, Malta, New Zealand, Afghanistan, and Chile.

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Last Updated on Monday, 11 May 2009 09:48
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