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HUMAN RIGHTS PERCEPTION OF VIETNAM IN THE NATIONAL REPORTS AT THE UNIVERSAL PERIODIC REVIEW

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MINISTRY OF EDUCATION AND TRAINING HO CHI MINH CITY UNIVERSITY OF LAW -*** -MANAGEMENT BOARD OF SPECIAL TRAINING PROGRAMMES HO VU MINH DIEN HUMAN RIGHTS PERCEPTION OF VIETNAM IN THE NATIONAL REPORTS AT THE UNIVERSAL PERIODIC REVIEW BACHELOR THESIS Faculty: Administrative Law Course: 2013 - 2017 HO CHI MINH CITY 2017 MINISTRY OF EDUCATION AND TRAINING HO CHI MINH CITY UNIVERSITY OF LAW -*** -MANAGEMENT BOARD OF SPECIAL TRAINING PROGRAMMES HO VU MINH DIEN HUMAN RIGHTS PERCEPTION OF VIETNAM IN THE NATIONAL REPORTS AT THE UNIVERSAL PERIODIC REVIEW BACHELOR THESIS Faculty: Administrative Law Course: 2013 - 2017 Instructor: Dr Do Minh Khoi Student: Ho Vu Minh Dien Student’s code: 1353801011023 Class: CLC38A HO CHI MINH CITY 2017 ACKNOWLEDGEMENT I would like to express my sincere appreciation to Dr Do Minh Khoi, whose supervision and knowledgeable comments have made great contribution to this thesis Above all, I would like to thank my family and my good friends, who are a constant source of inspiration, encouragement and support to me TABLE OF CONTENTS Page LIST OF ABBREVIATIONS i INTRODUCTION .iii CHAPTER 1: GENERAL ISSUES ON HUMAN RIGHTS PERCEPTION 1.1 Concept of human rights perception and its importance 1.1.1 Concept of perception, human rights and human rights perception 1.1.2 Content of human rights perception 1.1.3 Importance of human rights perception 1.2 Aspects of human rights perception 1.2.1 Different views on human rights in history 1.2.2 Perception of core values and characteristics of human rights 10 1.2.3 Perception of State’s obligations in promoting human rights 13 1.2.4 Perception of specific human rights 17 1.2.5 Perception of UPR mechanism and its role 43 CHAPTER 2: HUMAN RIGHTS PERCEPTION OF VIETNAM IN THE NATIONAL REPORTS AT UPR 46 2.1 Vietnam’s participation in UPR 46 2.2 Human Rights Perception of Vietnam in National Reports at UPR 46 2.2.1 Vietnam’s approach to human rights 46 2.2.2 Vietnam’s perception of human rights fundamental values and characteristics 48 2.2.3 Vietnam’s perception of State’s obligations 50 2.2.4 Vietnam’s perception of specific rights 53 2.3 Vietnam’s perception of UPR mechanism 58 CONCLUSION v LIST OF REFERENCES vii LIST OF ABBREVIATIONS CAT Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment CESCR Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights CPED International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance CRC Convention on the Rights of the Child CRPD Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities ICESCR International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights ICCPR International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights ICRMW International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families ICSPCA International Convention on the Suppression and Punishment of the Crime of Apartheid HRC United Nations Human Right Council NGO Non-governmental organization OHCHR Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights UDHR Universal Declaration of Human Rights UN United Nations UNHRC United Nations Human Rights Committee UPR Universal Periodic Review VIETNAM Socialist Republic of Viet Nam i ii INTRODUCTION Urgency of the topic Human rights are the most sacred values of humanity They are echoes of the common voice, the common goal and the common instrument of humankind to protect human dignity and liberty of all persons Since being codifed in international law after World War Two with the adoption of the UN Charter and the UDHR, human rights have become a common and dominant issue of the international community Numerous human rights treaties have been adopted to respect, protect and promote human rights on a global scale, most notably the ICCPR and the ICESCR Together with an international legal framework, the UN assigned the UNHRC as a specialized body in charge of issues regarding human rights This body was later substituted by the HRC in 2006 The new council then established the UPR as a new mechanism to promote human rights worldwide Currently, UPR is considered one of the most effective mechanism of promoting human rights of the UN Vietnam has a long tradition of respecting and promoting the values of human rights Having been a victim of wars and aggressions which are the most serious violations of human rights throughout its history, the Vietnames people is fully aware of the sacred values of human rights Since becoming a member of the UN in 1977, Vietnam has acceded to most core international human rights instruments In February 2015, the National Assembly of Vietnam ratified the CAT, marking another milestone in Vietnam’s consistent policy of protecting and promoting human rights Fulfiling its obligations under international treaties, Vietnam has actively implemented the international standards of human rights through its legislation and policies The country has aslo participated in numerous human rights mechanisms, including the UPR The achievements of Vietnam in protecting and promoting of human rights have received recognition and praises from the international community In order to fulfil and implement international human rights effetively in pratice, it is essential for States, including Vietnam to have a clear and appropriate perception of human rights As the content of human rights perception covers a wide range of issues and differ significantly according to different States, possessing a full and appropriate perception as universally accepted is an urgent requirement of States Hence, this is the reason that author chose to explore this issue in the thesis iii Object of the thesis In the scope of the bachelor thesis, the author wishes to explore in depth the two following legal issues: (i) the concept of human rights perception and its content and (ii) human rights perception of Vietnam manisfested in the National Reports at UPR With this thesis, the author aims to achieve the four following research goals: (i) Research on and understand the theory regarding the human rights perception (ii) Research and understand the content of human rights perception under international human rights law (iii) Explore and analyse Vietnam human rights perception in the National Reports at UPR to understand the country perception in comparsion to the general international perception of human rights (iv) Recommend measures to facilitate Vietnam’s human rights perception to be in line with international perception of human rights Scope of research This thesis focuses on the following main contents: (i) the concept of human rights perception, (ii) the content of human rights perception, (iii) Vietnam’s human rights perception in the National Reports at UPR, and (iv) recommendations relating to the research issues Research methodology Apart from the traditional research methods such as objective physicalism method, historical physicalism method of Marxism - Lenism, the author actively utilizes the specific methods such as: logical - systematic method, comparison method, analysis method, synthesis method,… - - Logical – systematic method: is used frequently in the theory section to present the concept from different approaches Comparison method: is used to compare Vietnam’s human rights perception with the international perception of human rights to find the similarities and differences and make appropriate recommendations Analysis method: is used to clarify the content of the concepts as well as the content of the National Reports of Vietnam at UPR Synthesis method: is used to make conclusions regarding the research issues, based on the results of the research Hence, the author can make appropriate and relevant recommendations to the research issue iv CHAPTER 1: GENERAL ISSUES ON HUMAN RIGHTS PERCEPTION 1.1 Concept of human rights perception and its importance 1.1.1 Concept of perception, human rights and human rights perception 1.1.1.1 Concept of perception In general, perception is a concept that may have various meanings depending on the field we approach Most people today understand perception as a psychological concept Accordingly, perception is the organization, identification, and interpretation of sensory information in order to represent and understand the environment.1 Perception deals with human senses that generate signals from the environment through sight, hearing, touch, smell and taste, thus forming a mental representation of the environment.2 However, perception has historically been a concept belonging to philosophy The philosophy of perception is among the fundamental issues of philosophy Philosophers from different philosophical schools have their own ideas about perception Subjective idealism philosophers believe that, the world is just a “mixture” of human feelings Accordingly, “the existence of the world is nothing but a subjective imagination of humans”.3 Consequently, perception is not the reflection of reality but is just a subjective “feeling” of humans Objective idealism admits the existence of “world of ideas” or “absolute idea” and the world is just a “shadow” of the “absolute idea” As a result, perception is the “recall” of the soul about the “absolute idea” that it has experienced or the “self-reflection” of the “absolute idea”.4 Adherents to skepticism criticize the existence of the world Therefore, they are skeptic about the perception of humans In the early modern period, the theory of skepticism was illustrated under the theory of agnosticism Agnosticism believes that humans, in principle, can only perceive the surrounding world but cannot understand the “thing-initself” The old physicalism admitted the existence of the objective world and the ability of human beings to perceive the world However, due to being intuitive and metaphysical, Daniel Schater (2011), Psychology, Worth Publishers, New York, p Matthew O Ward et al (2015), Interactive Date Visualization: Foundations, Techniques, and Application nd Edition, CRC Press, Florida, p 73 G Berkeley (1978), An Essay towards a New Theory of Vision, Moscow, p 47 Nguyen Huu Vui (1998), History of Philosophy, National Politics Publishing House, Hanoi, p 44 the theory could not explain in a scientific way the origin, nature and features of perception They also did not see the relationship between perception and the real world According to Karl Marx and Frederick Engels, perception is a philosophical concept which means the mental activity of human beings to reflect the surrounding world (nature, society and humans themselves) This is the definition that the author is going to use in this thesis Based on the approach of subjective physicalism, perception bears the following characteristics: First, the nature of perception is the reflection of the objective world into human mind but it is not an arbitrary reflection but an active and creative reflection of humans to create a “subjective image of the objective world”.5 Second, as perception is the reflection of the natural world by human beings, the subject of perception is human beings However, not everyone can be the subject of perception In order to be the subject of perception, human beings need to have certain qualifications such as health, age, knowledge, experience… Third, the reflection of the perception is long process, from feeling to understanding, from little to much, from phenomenon to nature… As a result, perception develops continuously to create concepts, ideas, principles to better reflect the perception objective Fourth, the process of perception is based on the reality and only in reality can human test the accuracy of their knowledge There exists a unified relationship between theory and reality 1.1.1.2 Concept of human rights and human rights perception In the history of human’s ideology, there have been many views and ideas on human rights and these rights have been studied in many fields such as politics, legal science, philosophy, ethnics or religion.6 In the modern day, human rights have largely remained a legal concept and human rights are defined mainly by legal scholars Human rights is a multi-facet concept Depending on field we use to approach, we can have various way V I Lenin (2005), Works Vol 29, National Politics Publishing House, Hanoi, p.192 Faculty of Law, Hanoi National University (2011), Textbook on the theory and law of human rights, National Politics Publishing House, Hanoi, p 49-55 approach in a comprehensive manner regarding civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights.135 In conclusion, Vietnam generally recognized the characteristics and values of human rights, considering them as necessary values which must be reflected in policies The State of Vietnam claimed to have a people-centered approach when deciding policies, which emphasized the country’s important perception of human rights values 2.2.3 Vietnam’s perception of State’s obligations One of the most essential aspects of human rights perception of the State is the perception of State’s obligations in protecting and promoting As previously analyzed in Chapter One, States possess three main obligations when it comes to the field of human rights, namely the obligation to respect, the obligation to protect and the obligation to fulfil Vietnam’s perception of these obligations was manifested in both National Reports Vietnam considered protecting and promoting human rights as an obligation under international law The National Report 2009 stated that Vietnam is fully aware that the implementation of international treaties on human rights is, first and foremost, the responsibility of the State Party.136 This viewpoint was echoed throughout the Report For instance, in the commitments section, Vietnam pledged to fulfil the obligations under international treaties to which it is a party.137 Conseqently, it can be understood that Vietnam regard protecting and promoting human rights as State’s obligations under international human rights law It is first and foremost the State’s responsibility when it comes to human rights within its territory and without the State’s legislation and policies, international human rights treaties cannot be implemented effectively across the world Regarding the obligation of respect, National Report 2009 did not mention explicitly this obligation as one of the obligation of the State to all human rights However, in certain parts of the Report, the obligation to respect was included as an obligation of the 135 Government of Vietnam (2005), White Book on Human Rights Achievements in Vietnam, p Government of Vietnam (2009), “National Report submitted in accordance with paragraph 15(A) of the annex to Human Rights Council resolution 5/1”, para 63 137 Government of Vietnam (2009), “National Report submitted in accordance with paragraph 15(A) of the annex to Human Rights Council resolution 5/1”, para 88 136 50 State such as the rights to complaints and petitions138, the rights of women139, the rights of ethnic minorities140 and the right to freedoms of religion and belief141 In National Report 2013, the obligation to respect, for the first time, was considered as an obligation of the State with regards to all human rights Section III of the National Report 2013 was named “respect, protection and promotion of human rights in practice”, emphasizing respect as one of the core obligations of the State This section also covers all human rights, including civil, political, economic, social, cultural rights as well as rights of vulnerable groups of people This inclusion reflected a change in Vietnam’s perception of State’s obligation The obligation to respect human rights, especially with regards to civil and political rights, is recognized as an official obligation under international human rights law by Vietnam From this perception, Vietnam has made appropriate changes in its legislation and policy as well as during the course of implementation to fulfil this obligation The obligation to protect has continously been emphasized by Vietnam in the two National Reports This obligation was enshrined in Section III and Section II of National Report 2009 and National Report 2013, respectively National Reports referred to this obligation to protect human rights as a government consitent policy 142 This obligation was reflected in almost all parts of the Reports and included in many human rights, such as the right to petition and complaints143, the rights to form associations144, the rights of the child145… National Report 2013 continued to emphasize this obligation in the sections relating to the right to freedom of religion and belief146, the right to freedom of Government of Vietnam (2009), “National Report submitted in accordance with paragraph 15(A) of the annex to Human Rights Council resolution 5/1”, para 22 139 Government of Vietnam (2009), “National Report submitted in accordance with paragraph 15(A) of the annex to Human Rights Council resolution 5/1”, para 46 140 Government of Vietnam (2009), “National Report submitted in accordance with paragraph 15(A) of the annex to Human Rights Council resolution 5/1”, para 48 141 Government of Vietnam (2009), “National Report submitted in accordance with paragraph 15(A) of the annex to Human Rights Council resolution 5/1”, para 62 142 Government of Vietnam (2009), “National Report submitted in accordance with paragraph 15(A) of the annex to Human Rights Council resolution 5/1”, para 10 143 Government of Vietnam (2009), “National Report submitted in accordance with paragraph 15(A) of the annex to Human Rights Council resolution 5/1”, para 22 144 Government of Vietnam (2009), “National Report submitted in accordance with paragraph 15(A) of the annex to Human Rights Council resolution 5/1” para 23 145 Government of Vietnam (2009), “National Report submitted in accordance with paragraph 15(A) of the annex to Human Rights Council resolution 5/1” paras 39, 41 and 42 146 Government of Vietnam (2013), “National Report submitted in accordance with paragraph of the annex to Human Rights Council resolution 16/21”, para 32 138 51 association and assembly147, the rights of detainee148, the rights of the children.149 Furthermore, this obligation was emphasized in both commitments section of the Reports In general, the consistent perception of Vietnam is that the country attached great importance to the obligation to protect human rights, considering them as a dominant obligaton of the State under international human rights law Considering the obligation to fulfil or facilitate which requires States to take measures for the better enjoyment of human rights of its people, Vietnam made references to this obligation in both Reports, particulary with regards to economic, social and cultural rights National Report 2009 praised the country’s achievement in poverty reduction, which fulfils the Millenium Development Goal set forth by the UN This achievement was a result of the implementation of the “Comprehensive Poverty Reduction and Growth Strategy” of the government.150 Similar programmes and policies aimed to facilitate the enjoyment of human rights were mentioned such as Social and Economic Development Strategy151, National Target Programme on Employment152, National Action Plan for Vietnamese Children153, National Strategy on the Advancement of Women154 Other similar programmes, action plans and strategies were also mentioned in the later National Report To conclude, Vietnam perceived the obligation to fulfil as an essential part of promoting human rights and have enacted numerous programmes and measures for the better enjoyment of rights by the people In conclusion, Vietnam perception of State’s obligation has changed in the last National Report Vietnam now attached equal importance to all three obligations under international human rights law, considering them as essential obligations to be taken to promote human rights Such a change in the perception can better guide Vietnam in Government of Vietnam (2013), “National Report submitted in accordance with paragraph of the annex to Human Rights Council resolution 16/21”, para 35 148 Government of Vietnam (2013), “National Report submitted in accordance with paragraph of the annex to Human Rights Council resolution 16/21”, para 38 149 Government of Vietnam (2013), “National Report submitted in accordance with paragraph of the annex to Human Rights Council resolution 16/21”, para 63 150 Government of Vietnam (2009), “National Report submitted in accordance with paragraph 15(A) of the annex to Human Rights Council resolution 5/1”, para 12 151 Government of Vietnam (2009), “National Report submitted in accordance with paragraph 15(A) of the annex to Human Rights Council resolution 5/1”, para 13 152 Government of Vietnam (2009), “National Report submitted in accordance with paragraph 15(A) of the annex to Human Rights Council resolution 5/1”, para 36 153 Government of Vietnam (2009), “National Report submitted in accordance with paragraph 15(A) of the annex to Human Rights Council resolution 5/1”, para 41 154 Government of Vietnam (2009), “National Report submitted in accordance with paragraph 15(A) of the annex to Human Rights Council resolution 5/1”, para 43 147 52 making policies in line with the international standards of human rights and fulfiling its obligation under international treaties 2.2.4 Vietnam’s perception of specific rights Vietnam’s perception of the content of specific rights is an important part of the country human rights perception However, due to the limit of the National Reports, this perception was not clearly specifed This section will analyse the country perception of specific human rights as manifested in the two National Reports 2.2.4.1 Vietnam’s perception of civil and political rights With regards to the right to non-discrimination and equality before the law, both Report emphasized this rights as a core principle of Vietnam’approach to human rights The National Report 2009 noted that equality and non-discrimination are guiding principles for all legal documents and an important premise for the guarantee and promotion of people’s rights in specific areas.155 The principle of equality and non-discrimination continued to be emphasized in the National Report 2013 as fundmental principles in Vietnamese law, serving as a foundation for the promotion and protection for human rights in each specific fields.156 It showed Vietnam consistent perception of nondiscrimination and equality as both rights and guiding principles in the promotion of human rights Guaranteeing this principle in all respects of human rights is the priority of the State of Vietnam echoed throughout the two Reports Concerning the right to life, National Report 2009 made no reference to this right as a whole, but referred to as a right of inmates.157 The later Report in 2013 emphasized the restriction of the use of death penalty in the Penal Code by the State Vietnam 158 This recorded a change in Vietnam perception of this rights and the efforts of the country to adhere to international standards of this rights, particularly considering the abolition of the death penalty The freedom to religion and belief received significant attention of Vietnam in both Reports The National Report 2009 noted that Vietnam considered religion and belief a Government of Vietnam (2009), “National Report submitted in accordance with paragraph 15(A) of the annex to Human Rights Council resolution 5/1”, para 18 156 Government of Vietnam (2013), “National Report submitted in accordance with paragraph of the annex to Human Rights Council resolution 16/21”, para 14 157 Government of Vietnam (2009), “National Report submitted in accordance with paragraph 15(A) of the annex to Human Rights Council resolution 5/1”, para 26 158 Government of Vietnam (2013), “National Report submitted in accordance with paragraph of the annex to Human Rights Council resolution 16/21”, para 10 155 53 legitimate need of the people and has made contiuous efforts to create better conditions for religious and belief activities159 and every citizen has the right to the freedom of religion and belief.160 The National Report 2013 went on to uphold that the consistent policy of Vietnam is to respect and facilitate the exercise of the right to freedom of religion and belief by all the people.161 Consequently, the perception of this freedom by Vietnam is generally in line of the international perception The freedom of association and peaceful assembly are guaranteed in both National Reports162, with the later Reports included both freedoms in a separate section The first Report only mentioned the freedom of association and made no reference to freedom of peaceful assembly Hence, it is an improvement of the State of Vietnam perception of this right The right to freedom of expression, press and information was referred in both National Reports This right was recorded in the National Report 2013 as enshrined in the Constitution and laws, better ensured by the fast and diverse development of the mass media.163 This is an advancement compared with the former Report, which clarified Vietnam perception of this right The right to participation in political life was emphasized in the National Report 2009 The Report noted that Vietnam paid special attention to ensurng the right of every citizen to participate directly or through their elected representatives in the management of the State and society.164 The National Report continued to stress the mastership of the people at local levels165 and the respect and protection of the right to complaints and petitions166, considering them as essential part of the right to political participation However, National Report 2013 virtually made no reference to this right Government of Vietnam (2009), “National Report submitted in accordance with paragraph 15(A) of the annex to Human Rights Council resolution 5/1”, para 24 160 Government of Vietnam (2009), “National Report submitted in accordance with paragraph 15(A) of the annex to Human Rights Council resolution 5/1”, para 10 161 Government of Vietnam (2013), “National Report submitted in accordance with paragraph of the annex to Human Rights Council resolution 16/21”, para 31 162 Government of Vietnam (2009), “National Report submitted in accordance with paragraph 15(A) of the annex to Human Rights Council resolution 5/1”, para 23 163 Government of Vietnam (2013), “National Report submitted in accordance with paragraph of the annex to Human Rights Council resolution 16/21”, para 25 164 Government of Vietnam (2009), “National Report submitted in accordance with paragraph 15(A) of the annex to Human Rights Council resolution 5/1”, para 20 165 Government of Vietnam (2009), “National Report submitted in accordance with paragraph 15(A) of the annex to Human Rights Council resolution 5/1”, para 21 166 Government of Vietnam (2009), “National Report submitted in accordance with paragraph 15(A) of the annex to Human Rights Council resolution 5/1”, para 22 159 54 The right to a fair trial was first mentioned in the National Report 2013, marking a change in Vietnam perception of this right In particular, the Report stressed that in Vietnam, legal procedures are conducted in conformity with a principle that rights and obligations of the persons taking part in litigations are fully guaranteed in a fair and democratic manner.167 2.2.4.2 Vietnam’s perception of economic, social and cultural rights Traditionally, Vietnam attached great importance to ensure the enjoyment of economic, social and cultural rights of its people, considering it as an essential condition for the enjoyment and exercise of civil and political rights The people’s economic, social and cultural rights were inscribed in the Constitution and law, reflected in specific national development policies and implemented in reality.168 The right to adequate living condition was highly emphasized in the human rights policies of Vietnam Being a poor and war-torn country, comprehensive and sustained poverty reduction is define as key objective in Vietnam’s economi and social development.169 Poverty reduction continued obe considered the top priority of the Government in its efforts to protect human rights as stated in National Report 2013.170 Over a course of less than three decades, Vietnam has recorded significant in poverty reduction and the country has fulfilled the UN Millenium Development Goals in poverty reduction ahead of schedules This shows a consistent perception of Vietnam to ensure an adequate living condition of its people The right to employment was also emphasized in both Reports Reduction in umployment was considered a priority and Vietnam has carried out the National Target Programme on Employment to tackle this issues.171 The National Report 2013 reaffirmed Vietnam’s priority in terms of employment The Report indicated that the State focuses on strengthening the existing system of policies and laws on labour and improving the effiency of implemenation measures in pracice.172 It can be seen that Government of Vietnam (2013), “National Report submitted in accordance with paragraph of the annex to Human Rights Council resolution 16/21”, para 41 168 Government of Vietnam (2009), “National Report submitted in accordance with paragraph 15(A) of the annex to Human Rights Council resolution 5/1”, para 28 169 Government of Vietnam (2009), “National Report submitted in accordance with paragraph 15(A) of the annex to Human Rights Council resolution 5/1”, para 33 170 Government of Vietnam (2013), “National Report submitted in accordance with paragraph of the annex to Human Rights Council resolution 16/21”, para 49 171 Government of Vietnam (2009), “National Report submitted in accordance with paragraph 15(A) of the annex to Human Rights Council resolution 5/1”, para 36 172 Government of Vietnam (2013), “National Report submitted in accordance with paragraph of the annex to Human Rights Council resolution 16/21”, para 47 167 55 Vietnam’s consistent perception and policy regarding the right to employment is to assist workers, reduce unemployment and provide better working conditions for the people The right to education receive special attention from the State of Vietnam as indicated in the Reports National Report 2009 stated education as one of the priorities of the State173 and the country sees investment in education and training as investment for developments Vietnam has completed the universalization of primary education and was carrying out universalization of lower secondary education Similar viewpoint on the right to education was manifested in the National Report 2013 Ensuring the right to healthcare has been a consistent policy of Vietnam National Report 2009 stated that Vietnam creates the necessary conditions for the people to enjoy their right to healthcare, with priority given to women, children and ethnic minority people.174 National Report 2013 continued to stress that Vietnam indetifies public healthcare as a top priority in its development strategies, national goals programmes and has achieved considerable progress in this area.175 National Report 2013, for the first time, included the right to social welfare176 and the right to housing177, extending the traditional perception of Vietnam regarding the economic, social and cultural rights In conclusion, Vietnam pays special attention to the implementation of policies and programmes aimed to promote the economic, social and cultural rights This consistent approach manifests Vietnam perception of the importance of these rights in the promotion of human rights as a whole 2.2.4.3 Vietnam’s perception of right of vulnerable groups Besides the traditional civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights, UPR also review the implementation of international standards of rights of vulnerable groups such as women, children, persons with disabilities… by States Accordingly, the perception of Vietnam regarding these rights can be found in both National Reports Government of Vietnam (2009), “National Report submitted in accordance with paragraph 15(A) of the annex to Human Rights Council resolution 5/1”, para 29 174 Government of Vietnam (2009), “National Report submitted in accordance with paragraph 15(A) of the annex to Human Rights Council resolution 5/1”, para 35 175 Government of Vietnam (2013), “National Report submitted in accordance with paragraph of the annex to Human Rights Council resolution 16/21”, para 54 176 Government of Vietnam (2013), “National Report submitted in accordance with paragraph of the annex to Human Rights Council resolution 16/21”, para 44 177 Government of Vietnam (2013), “National Report submitted in accordance with paragraph of the annex to Human Rights Council resolution 16/21”, para 13 173 56 Vietnam’s perception of the rights of women was expressed extensively in both Reports The National Report 2009 stated that Vietnam is committed to supporting the advancement of women and gender equality, considering its an importan instrument to achieve equality and sustainable development.178 The National Report 2013 emphasized that the Government of Vietnam attaches great importance to creating and developing gender equality policies and programmes, and ensuring women’s rights.179 Accordingly, Vietnam has built an extensive legal framework on women’s rights and gender equality as well as enacted many programmes to promote the rights of women As a consequence, Vietnam has made important achievements in promoting women’s rights and the country is determined to address the remaining problems regarding gender disparity and women’s rights.180 In terms of children’s rights, Vietnam is committed to protecting children’s rights and interests and facilitating children’s exercise of those rights.181 Vietnam’s consitent policy of promoting children’s rights resulted in many strategic programmes and policies to promote children’s rights in the areas of education and healthcare.182 Vietnam has recorded ecouraging achievements in guaranteeing children’s rights and interests Regarding the rights of persons with disabilities, National Report 2009 emphasized that Vietnam encourages and creates favourable conditions for persons with disabilities to exercise, on an equal basis with others, their political, social, economic and cultural rights, stabilize their life, integrate into the community and participate in social activities.183 This policy was reaffirmed in the National Report 2013, which added that persons with disabilities are supported by the State and the society in healthcare, rehabilitation, appropriate job creation and enjoy other rights in accordance with the laws.184 This perception is in line with CRPD, which Vietnam is a State Party Government of Vietnam (2009), “National Report submitted in accordance with paragraph 15(A) of the annex to Human Rights Council resolution 5/1”, para 43 179 Government of Vietnam (2013), “National Report submitted in accordance with paragraph of the annex to Human Rights Council resolution 16/21”, para 59 180 Government of Vietnam (2009), “National Report submitted in accordance with paragraph 15(A) of the annex to Human Rights Council resolution 5/1”, para 47 181 Government of Vietnam (2009), “National Report submitted in accordance with paragraph 15(A) of the annex to Human Rights Council resolution 5/1”, para 39 182 Government of Vietnam (2013), “National Report submitted in accordance with paragraph of the annex to Human Rights Council resolution 16/21”, para 64 183 Government of Vietnam (2009), “National Report submitted in accordance with paragraph 15(A) of the annex to Human Rights Council resolution 5/1”, para 53 184 Government of Vietnam (2013), “National Report submitted in accordance with paragraph of the annex to Human Rights Council resolution 16/21”, para 66 178 57 Consequently, Vietnam has developed an extensive legal framework and programmes to assist persons with disabilities in enjoying and exercising their rights Vietnam is a multi-ethnic country and the issues of ethnic minorities’ rights have received special attention from the State Vietnam’s consistent ethnic policy is to promote equality, unity, mutual respect and cooperation fof mutual development.185 This policy was affirmed in both National Reports Consequently, Vietnam has contiuously improved its legal system and documents to better ensure the rights of ethnic minorities in all respects from civil and political areas to economic, social and cultural fields Furthermore, numerous programmes have been carried out by the State to assist the ethnic minorities to better enjoy and exercise their rights The National Report 2013 included the rights of the elderly for the first time, taking into account the growing number of older population in Vietnam Vietnam’s general policy towards the elderly is to ensure their participation in the society and to take care of them In conclusion, Vietnam has attached great importance to the rights of vulnerable groups The country has continuously modifed its legal framework and enacted programmes to ensure that these vulnerable groups can enjoy and exercise their rights in line with international standards 2.3 Vietnam’s perception of UPR mechanism Vietnam’s general perception of UPR is that UPR is an obligation under international human rights law, conducted under the supervision of the HRC As a member of the UN, Vietnam is obligated to participate in this mechanism to fulfil its obligation In the commitments section of National Report 2009, with regard to cooperation within human rights mechanism, Vietnam committed to actively participate in a number of UN human rights mechanisms, such as the HRC.186 As a consequence, Vietnam perception of UPR as a human rights mechanism under which Vietnam is obligated to participate in order to deliver its commitments under international law With regard to to drafting process of the National Report, National Report 2009 and 2013 were drafted in accordance with Resolution 5/1 and Resolution 16/21 of HRC, respectively The consultation process in the two Reports is also different The consultation process of National Report 2009 only involved governement and the mass Government of Vietnam (2009), “National Report submitted in accordance with paragraph 15(A) of the annex to Human Rights Council resolution 5/1”, para 48 186 Government of Vietnam (2009), “National Report submitted in accordance with paragraph 15(A) of the annex to Human Rights Council resolution 5/1”, para 88 185 58 organizations This process in 2013, however, was extended to include local authorites, professional organizations, NGOs and the people.187 This extension showed a change in perception of the State of Vietnam regarding the drafting of the Report By including more stakeholders in the process, Vietnam showed its commitment to make the process more transparent and objective, thus resulting in a more comprehensive and thorough Report Government of Vietnam (2013), “National Report submitted in accordance with paragraph of the annex to Human Rights Council resolution 16/21”, para 187 59 CONCLUSION Chapter one of the thesis has researched at length the concept of human rights and its content Accordingly, human rights perception is the mental activity of perception subject to reflect the content of human rights into the subject’s mind Human rights can be perceived by individuals, groups and States There are many theories regarding human rights perception, notably universalism, cultural relativism, Marxist approach and Asian approach With the focus on the State perception of human rights, the main content of human rights perception includes: (i) perception of human rights core values and characteristics, (ii) perception of State’s obligation in relation to human rights and (iii) perception of the content of specific human rights In conclusion, Chapter one has set forth the main content of State human rights perception which is used to apply in the case of Vietnam’s perception of human rights in the National Reports at UPR in Chapter two Chapter two explored Vietnam’s human rights perception in the two National Reports at the latest HRC mechanism, the UPR To conclude, Vietnam adopts the theory of cultural relativism, with influence from Marxist theory and Asian values Regarding the human rights perception content, the overall trend is that Vietnam is moving in line with international standards and perception of human rights The country perception of human rights characteristics were echoed in both Reports as universal and indivisible Vietnam perceived State’s obligations concerning human rights to include the obligations to respect, protect and fulfil Last but not least, Vietnam attached great importance to implement the international standards of human rights in terms of civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights From analysing the human rights perception of Vietnam at UPR, the author makes the following recommendations for Vietnam First, to contiuously and fully implement the international standards of human rights in the treaties to which Vietnam is a State Party Second, to consider acceding to the remaining core international human rights instruments such as CPED and ICRMW to fully incorporate all the human right standards into its legislation and practice Third, to establish an independent National Human Rights Institution to facilitate and observe the implemenation of human rights treaties in Vietnam v Fourth, to enact education programmes on human rights to raise awareness among its people regarding human rights vi LIST OF REFERENCES List of legal documents Charter of the United Nations The Universal Declaration on Human Rights International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights Convention on the Rights of the Child Convention on the Rights of the Disabilities Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women Books, articles, essays and other written documents 2.1 Vietnamese materials G Berkeley (1978), An Essay towards a New Theory of Vision, Moscow V E Davidovich (2003), Under the Philosophical Kaleidoscope, National Politics Publishing House, Hanoi Tran Ngoc Duong (2004), Human rights, citizen rights in the Socialist State of Vietnam, National Politics Publishing House, Hanoi Faculty of Law, Hanoi National University (2011), Textbook on the theory and law of human rights, National Politics Publishing House, Hanoi Government of Vietnam (2005), White Book on Human Rights Achievement in Vietnam, available at Hanoi Law University (2016), Textbook on International Law, People’s Police Publishing House, Hanoi Hoang Van Hao (2003), Human Rights in China and Vietnam, National Politics Publishing House, Hanoi Karl Marx and Ph Engels (1995), Works Vol.2, National Politics Publishing House, Hanoi V I Lenin (2005), Works Vol 29, National Politics Publishing House, Hanoi 10 Phan Nhat Thanh (2013), Customary Law and Human Rights, Hong Duc Publishing House, Ho Chi Minh City 11 Nguyen Huu Vui (1998), History of Philosophy, National Politics Publishing House, Hanoi vii 2.2 English materials Joanne R Bauer and Daniel A Bell (1999), “The East Asian Challenge for Human Rights” Roger Lloret Blackburn (2011), “Cultural Relativism in the Universal Periodic Review of the Human Rights Council”, ICIP Working Papers Ole Bruun and Michael Jacobsen (2000), Human Rights and Asian Values: Contesting National Identities and Cultural Representation in Asia, Curzon Press Bilahari Kim Hee P.S Kausikan, “An East Asian Approach to Human Rights” (1995-1996) Buffalo Journal of International Law C Cerna (1994), “Universality and Cultural Diversity: Implemenation of Human Rights in Different Socio-Cultural Context”, Human Rights Quarterly Jack Donnely (1984), “Cultural Relativism and Universal Human Rights”, Human Rights Quarterly Jack Donnely (2013), Universal Human Rights in Theory and Practice 3rd edition, Cornell University Press Anteneh Geremew (2015), “Marx and Human Right”, available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2442165, last access dated 16 July 2017 Government of Vietnam (2009), “National Report submitted in accordance with paragraph 15(A) of the annex to Human Rights Council resolution 5/1” 10 Government of Vietnam (2013), “National Report submitted in accordance with paragraph of the annex to Human Rights Council resolution 16/21” 11 General Assembly of the United Nations (1993), “Report of the Regional Meeting for Asia of the World Conference on Human Rights” 12 United Nations Human Right Committee (1984), Siracusa principles on the limitation and derogation provisions in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, available at https://www.icj.org/siracusa-principles-onthe-limitation-and-derogation-provisions-in-the-international-covenant-oncivil-and-political-rights/ last accessed dated 15 July 2017 13 Human Rights Council (2009), “Report of the Working Group on Universal Periodic Review Viet Nam”, Geneva 14 Human Rights Council (2014), “Report of the Working Group on Universal Periodic Review Viet Nam”, Geneva 15 Eckart Klein, “General Comments on the Universality of Human Rights”, Presentation at the Conference on the Universality and Particularity of Human Right 2010, Hanoi viii 16 Karl Marx (2000), Karl Marx: Selected Writings, Oxford University Press 17 Korean Bar Association (2015), “Report on Human Rights in North Korea 2014”, Seoul 18 Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (2000), A Basic Handbook for UN Staff, 19 D Otto (1998), “Rethinking the Universality of Human Rights Law”, Human Rights Quarterly at 20 Franciszek Przetacznik (1977), “The Socialist Concept of Human Rights: Its Philosophical Background and Political Justification”, De la Revue Belge de Droit International 21 Theodor Rathgeber (2008), The HRC Periodic Review: A Preliminary Assessement, FES Briefing Paper 22 Daniel Schater (2011), Psychology, Worth Publishers, New York 23 Malcome N Shaw (2008), International Law, Cambridge University Press 24 The United Nations (1994), Human Rights: Questions and Answers, Geneva 25 United Nations (2008), “Human Rights Instruments Vol I Compilation of General Comments and General Recommendations adopted by Human Rights Treaties Bodies”, New York 26 United Nations Development Program in Vietnam (2004), “Gender Briefing Kit” 27 Matthew O Ward et al (2015), Interactive Date Visualization: Foundations, Techniques, and Application 2nd Edition, CRC Press, Florida Website https://www.upr-info.org/en http://www.ohchr.org/EN/pages/home.aspx ix ... to the life of the nation is one that affects the whole of the population and either the whole or part of the territory of the State 1.2.3.3 Limitation of certain human rights Limitation of rights, ... HUMAN RIGHTS PERCEPTION OF VIETNAM IN THE NATIONAL REPORTS AT UPR 46 2.1 Vietnam? ??s participation in UPR 46 2.2 Human Rights Perception of Vietnam in National Reports at UPR... dependent upon the realization of other human rights, as contained in the International Bill of Rights, including the rights to food, housing, work, education, human dignity, life, non-discrimination,
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