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Vietnam ensures rights to equality for ethnic groups: Official

TQO - The principle of non-discrimination and equality among all members of the community is the core of the Vietnam’s constitutional system, and is concretised through various legislative reforms, Y Thong, Deputy Minister and Vice Chairman of the Committee for Ethnic Minority Affairs, has reaffirmed.

At the 111th session of the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (Photo: VNA)

He was defending the combined 15th to 17th national periodic report on the implementation of the International Convention on the CERD during 2013-2019, at the 111th session of the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD) which is taking place from November 20 to December 8.

Thong highlighted that the right to equality of the Vietnamese ethnic groups in the period is guaranteed by the Constitution and law.

As the majority of Vietnam’s ethnic minority groups reside in mountainous, highland and remote areas with difficulties in socio-economic development, the State prioritises support to them to unleash their potential and helps them better integrate into the overall development.

Since 2013, Vietnam has worked to complete its legal system to ensure the legitimate rights and interests of the ethnic minorities, he said, elaborating that the National Assembly has issued 125 laws with 352 articles that stipulate the rights and obligations of the ethnic people in the past decade.

During the period, Vietnam affirmed its steadfast stance against the incitement to division and hatred between ethnic groups and races, thus any acts of discrimination and support for activities that cause division and discrimination among ethnic groups are prohibited and strictly punished under the Vietnamese laws, he stressed.

He went on to say that Vietnam made significant progress in promoting the rights for its ethnic minorities, including that to freedom of movement within the national territory, that to enter and exit the country, that to freedom of state and social management rights, that to freedom of speech or press, and that to freedom of religion and belief.

Along with outlining criteria for the implementation of the Millennium Development Goals, and Sustainable Development Goals for ethnic minority groups until 2030, Vietnam has introduced an array of programmes and policies for ethnic people, he said, adding they have enjoyed preferential policies in education, healthcare, vocational training, employment, land, credit access, among others.

Joining the CERD convention in 1982, Vietnam has successfully defended its national reports on the convention implementation in 1983, 1993, 2000, and 2012.

According to the national periodic report, Vietnam is a unified country consisting of 54 ethnic groups, 53 of them minority with a combined population of over 14 million people and accounting for 14.7% of the country's total population.


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