The workshop saw the attandance of Lieutenant General Nguyen Ngoc Anh, director general of Legal and Administrative, Judicial Reform Department under the Ministry of Public Security, UNDP Country Director for Vietnam Caitlin Wiesen and representatives from UN agencies, civil society and development partners.
Scene at the workshop. Photo: Anh Kiet
The workshop aims at consulting experience and collecting multi-dimensional opinions of domestic agencies, organizations and individuals as well as international experts and organizations to complete protection record for Vietnam’s initial report.
Making opening remarks, UNDP Country Director in Vietnam Caitlin Wiesen said that the workshop is part of the ongoing support provided by UNDP to strengthen Vietnam’s capacity to engage with international human rights mechanisms.
“The Vietnamese government continued commitment to engage with the UN human rights mechanisms. Vietnam has an impressive record when it comes to ratification of international human rights treaties and is now a party to seven of the nine core treaties,” she added.
She added that Vietnam ratified the Convention against Torture in 2015. This convention was adopted by the UN General Assembly in 1984. Since then, it has become of the most widely ratified human rights treaties, demonstrating the international consensus on the prohibition of torture. There are now 164 states parties to this Convention and more states are looking to ratify it soon.
UNDP Country Director in Vietnam Caitlin Wiesen made opening remarks
The scope of the convention goes beyond the issue of torture. The convention also seeks to prevent and prohibit cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment. This has allowed states parties to address a range of situations which now include treatment such as domestic violence, Caitlin Wiesen stressed.
For his part, Lieutenant General Nguyen Ngoc Anh said that the Ministry of Public Security has engaged in a number of activities to train law enforcement officers on the convention. Additionally, police officers have received more training sessions on improved interviewing and investigating skills as a means to prevent torture and ill-treatment.
Anh emphasized that Vietnam submitted its initial report under the Convention against Torture last year. “This report will be examined by the committee against torture on November 14-15 in Geneva. It will be an important moment for Vietnam for several reasons. Firstly, it is the very first review of Vietnam under the Convention against Torture. Secondly, there will be much interest in this review as it comes just before the 3rd Universal Periodic Review of Vietnam which is scheduled in January 2019,” he noted.
Anh also stressed that this workshop provides an excellent opportunity for the Vietnamese government and other stakeholders to take stock of where Vietnam stands when it comes to the implementation of the Convention against Torture.
The reporting process is an opportunity for Vietnam to reflect on its achievements to date and to showcase these achievements. Reporting is also an opportunity for Vietnam to identify areas where further action is required to implement the rights protected in the treaty, he added.
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