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Protecting and promoting human rights under COVID-19

Hannah Nguyen Hannah Nguyen

ngminhphuong26@gmail.com

December 16, 2020 | 06:55

Vietnam’s commitments and efforts in protecting and promoting human rights amid COVID-19, notably the implementation of recommendations under the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) mechanism, third cycle, were acknowledged in speeches by delegates at a workshop in Hanoi.

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Protecting and promoting human rights under COVID 19
Assistant to the Minister of Foreign Affairs Pham Quang Hieu speaks at the event. Photo: baoquocte.vn

Protecting and promoting human rights in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic was the theme of a workshop jointly held by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) on December 15, reported VNA.

Attended by more than 100 representatives of ministries, departments, and localities, along with research institutes, social organisations, and the foreign diplomatic corps in Vietnam, the workshop marked Human Rights Day on December 10.

Speaking at the event, Assistant to the Minister of Foreign Affairs Pham Quang Hieu touched on the major challenges brought about by the pandemic in the world and in Vietnam over the last year that have disrupted the enjoyment of fundamental human rights.

In such a context, the Vietnamese Government has rolled out policies and measures in a prompt and transparent manner, with the priority on bringing the pandemic under control to protect citizens’ health and on fully implementing international commitments on human rights, including recommendations it accepted under the UPR mechanism, Hieu noted.

He affirmed that the Vietnamese Government has paid due attention to protecting and supporting the vulnerable during the pandemic and introduced ideas to bolster international cooperation in battling COVID-19.

Of particular note, the country proposed the International Day of Epidemic Preparedness be observed annually on December 27, in an attempt to raise public awareness and cooperation in epidemic preparedness and fighting.

Protecting and promoting human rights under COVID 19
At a quarantine facility in Hoa Lu, Ninh Binh. Photo: VNA

The resolution was approved by the UN General Assembly on December 7 and co-sponsored by 107 nations.

Vietnam’s commitments and efforts in protecting and promoting human rights, notably the implementation of recommendations under the UPR mechanism, third cycle, were acknowledged in speeches by delegates at the workshop.

Delegates also discussed legal issues surrounding human rights restrictions during the time of the pandemic, the enjoyment of human rights in cyberspace, and the role and contribution of every element in society in observing COVID-19 preventive measures.

They shared information and experience and put forward solutions to protect and promote human rights against the backdrop of COVID-19, which will be integrated into the implementation of recommendations under the UPR mechanism.

The MoFA has joined hands with the UNDP in Vietnam to organise workshops commemorating Human Rights Day since 2015.

A total number of 2,220 Vietnamese citizens were brought home from the US, Singapore, UAE, India, Malaysia, Australia, New Zealand, Angola and Myanmar from December 6-13, according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The passengers included children under 18 years old, the elderly, the sick, stranded tourists, students who completed their courses and could not have their visas extended, businessmen, intellectuals and other disadvantaged cases.

Three Vietnamese people repatriated from Myanmar and the US become the latest cases of COVID-19, bringing the patient tally to 1,405.

The same day, six more patients were declared free of the virus, raising the total recoveries to 1,251.

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Hannah Nguyen