Vietnam opens first regular media briefings on human rights

By Viet Anh   May 26, 2016 | 01:23 am PT
The Ministry of Information and Communications yesterday officially launched a communication initiative to allow the media to access information on human rights and encourage reporting on these issues.

A workshop is expected to be held on a monthly basis to publicize information on human rights and allow open debate among experts.

This is the first time the Standing Office of the Government’s Steering Committee for Human Rights has organized such an event for experts and the media to discuss the issue publicly.

Minister of Information and Communications Truong Minh Tuan pointed out that the publication of information on human right issues has been lacking due to loose cooperation between agencies, a passive response to distorted information and limited resources to report on these issues.

The ministry is planning training courses for journalists and creating more connections between the media and authorized agencies to ensure information on human rights issues is kept up to date. It also encourages news agencies to report on human rights issues as well as religious issues, children’s rights, the Law on Press and the Law on Access to Information.

“The provision of timely and accurate information about both violations and the protection of human rights in the country via the media should help boost people’s awareness and promote their participation in this area,” Tuan said.


Minister Truong Minh Tuan speaks at a conference on May 25. Photo by Ministry of Information and Communications

He also urged authorities at all levels to create favorable conditions for people exercise their human rights and report any violations to the media.

The country has signed and ratified seven out of the nine core UN human rights treaties, including the Convention on the Rights of the Child, of which the country was the first nation in Asia and second in the world to sign, together with the two latest conventions on the rights of persons with disabilities and the prohibition of torture, according to the ministry.

Vietnam is now a member of the Human Rights Council and has been contributing to protecting and advancing the value of human rights since it joined in 2014, the ministry said.

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