Vietnam Constitution promotes human rights

Monday, December 02, 2013 - 17:46:10

(VOVworld)- National Assembly Chairman Nguyen Sinh Hung, on behalf of nearly 500 National Assembly deputies and 90 million Vietnamese people, certified the new Constitution of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam on Monday. Deputies of the 13th National Assembly, voting 97.59% in favor last Thursday, adopted the Constitution which especially highlights human rights.
Human rights and citizens’ fundamental rights and obligations are the centerpiece of any Constitution in the world. Vietnam’s revised Constitution, which added human rights to Chapter II, has made a step forward in terms of legal thought and moved it closer to other Constitutions around the world in ensuring the implementation of the UN Conventions on Human Rights which Vietnam signed.

New human rights-related provisions for the first time

The revised Constitution fully reflects human rights, citizens’ fundamental rights and obligations, and the responsibility of the State and society in recognizing, respecting, protecting and ensuring human rights. The revised Constitution, for the first time, stipulates the rights to live and enjoy cultural values, clarify people’s nationality, use the mother tongue, decide the communication language and live in a clean environment. Pham Van Thanh is a voter in Thang Loi commune, Buon Ma Thuot city: “I’m very satisfied with the inclusion of human rights in the Constitution. This stipulation is in line with the international trend, very progressive. It serves as a legal foundation for people and administrations to exercise the human rights”.

Articles in the revised Constitution have been re-designed to ensure consistency between human rights and citizens’ rights. The revised Constitution clearly stipulates which rights apply as human rights to all individuals and which rights apply as citizens’ rights to Vietnamese citizens only. National Assembly Vice Chairman Uong Chu Luu says: “In the revised Constitution, the stipulations on citizen’s fundamental rights and obligations are shifted from Chapter 5 to Chapter 2. This shows the importance of the chapter on human rights. The name of the chapter has also changed from “citizens’ fundamental rights and obligations” to “human rights, citizens’ fundamental rights and obligations”. This demonstrated the State’s commitment to ensuring, protecting and respecting human rights and citizens’ rights as well as in implementing international conventions that Vietnam has signed. The restrictions of human rights and citizen rights are specifically stipulated in the Constitution”.

Basic rights like freedom of speech, press, information access, meetings, associations, and demonstrations are clearly stipulated in the Constitution.

Laws are needed to realize human rights

Vice Head of the Legal Committee of the National Assembly Le Minh Thong said laws should be enacted to realize the constitutional stipulation of human rights: “In principle, human rights and citizens’ fundamental rights and obligations stipulated in the Constitution are directly enforced. However, certain procedures are needed to realize those rights and help people exercise those rights. So, we urgently need to enact laws to ensure that those rights are realized”.

Vietnam has signed most of the key conventions on human rights. The recognition and affirmation of human rights in the Constitution will contribute to realizing human rights.

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