Vietnam ministry asks for more time to revise bill on associations
By Nguyen Hoai - VnExpress.net
October 26, 2016
Legislators discussed the bill on Tuesday and suggested a number of changes.
The Ministry of Home Affairs has requested more time to redraft a bill on associations, which has been put in front of legislators for discussion multiple times over the past decade.
Reviewing the latest version on Tuesday, many members of the National Assembly continued to call for many parts of the bill to be changed or improved.
The Minister of Home Affairs, Le Vinh Tan, then asked for more time to review all the new suggestions and revise the draft.
The first draft of the bill was completed 10 years ago, but after many debates year after year, lawmakers still feel it's not ready.
The latest version includes rules about running associations in Vietnam and the local government’s management of such associations, including foreign non-government organizations and not religious groups.
Many legislators at the meeting said the law should create a better working environment and guarantee people’s freedom.
Deputy Duong Trung Quoc from the southern province of Dong Nai said the law should focus on the right to form associations rather than on security for the society, which is guaranteed by other laws.
The United Nations last Friday issued a note recommending that the law should minimize restrictions to the right to freedom of association because that freedom is international norm.
The note said the Law on Associations will be a “fundamental legislation” to guarantee the right to freedom of association stated in Vietnam’s Constitution, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and international human right treaties ratified by Vietnam.
It recommended that the law give everyone the right to form, join or lead an association without any discrimination of age, nationality, ethnicity, language, religion, political or other opinion, property, gender, health conditions, birth or other status.
Any association should have the right to access funding and resources to help secure their autonomy, the U.N. said.