Vietnam ensures rights, interests of persons with disabilities

(VOVWORLD) - Vietnam promotes and protects legitimate rights and interests of persons with disabilities on a basis of equality and non-discrimination, and has integrated this policy into its national development programs. Minister Counselor and Deputy Head of the Vietnamese delegation to the UN Le Minh Thoa made the statement at the 15th Conference of Members of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disability held in the US last week.
Vietnam ensures rights, interests of persons with disabilities - ảnh 1

The 15th Conference of members of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities  VOV

Vietnam has 7 million persons with disabilities, 7.8% of the population. 48% are women and 28% are children. 87% of them live in rural areas. They all need help from the State and the public. In addition to enshrining the rights and interests of the disabled in legal documents,  the Vietnamese State has several priority programs for the disabled. To boost economic growth while promoting social equality and social progress, the government has implemented a number of policies that enable the disabled to exercise their political, economic, cultural and social rights and participate in social activities.

The State has implemented programs on health care, functional rehabilitation, and job generation for persons with disabilities.

The 2013 Constitution (Article 59 and 61) expands the beneficiaries of State support to include all persons with disabilities. Laws pertaining to the disabled have been made consistent with the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. Vietnam passed the 2010 Law on Persons with Disabilities and the 2006 Law on Legal Assistance and adopted multiple decrees concerning persons with disabilities.

Under the Master Plan on “Supporting Persons with Disabilities in the 2012-2020 period”, all Vietnamese persons with disabilities received legal assistance. Vietnam has also established agencies and organizations at all levels nationwide to protect the legitimate rights and interests of the disabled. These include the Ministry of Labor, Invalids and Social Affairs, the Association for the Protection of the Disabled and Orphans, the Vietnam Association for the Relief of Disabled Children, the Vietnam Association of the Blind, the Vietnam Association of Agent Orange/Dioxin Victims, the Coordinating Committee for Support of Persons with Disabilities, and the Business Association of People with Disabilities. Vietnam has also established a National Committee on People with Disabilities. Vietnam was one of the first countries in the Asia-Pacific region to develop a long-term plan for persons with disabilities under the initiative of the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP). Vietnam also ratified the International Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in November 2014.

Vietnam ensures rights, interests of persons with disabilities - ảnh 2Vocational training for people with disabilities in Thanh Hoa (Photo: VNA)

Many persons with serious disabilities as well as wounded soldiers, sick soldiers, and Agent Orange victims are subsidized and supported by the State. A network of health care and rehabilitation services for people with disabilities has been established at all levels. Hundreds of thousands of people have received orthopedic and functional rehabilitation support, wheelchairs, and strollers; Every year some 800,000 people with disabilities receive subsidies and support to buy health insurance cards. There are community-based rehabilitation programs for people with disabilities in 51 of Vietnam’s 63 provinces and cities.

The State has also built an inclusive education model, translated textbooks into Braille, developed a sign language system, and unified the writing system for the blind. The number of children with disabilities attending secondary and tertiary schools is growing. There are more than 1,130 vocational training institutions that provide vocational training for people with disabilities, of which 225 specifically created for people with disabilities. There are 400 enterprises owned by people with disabilities. More than 120,000 people with disabilities have been given vocational training or a job by the National Fund for Employment and Job Generation and Vietnam has also built specialized specific facilities for the disabled.

The Vietnamese Government intends to learn from the experience from other countries and refine its laws to ensure legal aid to all people with disabilities. Vietnam will support global international and regional initiatives on people with disabilities including the 2013-2022 Incheon Strategy for the Asia-Pacific Decade for People with Disabilities and the ASEAN Leaders' Statement on Enhancing the Engagement of Persons with Disabilities.