Vietnam’s Experiences on Protection against Violence and Discrimination based on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity

Vietnamese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, UNDP and the Norwegian Embassy jointly organized the "International Workshop on Protection against Violence and Discrimination based on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity: International and Vietnam’s Experiences" on Friday, 27 April in Hanoi.
The workshop takes place on Friday at the Intercontinental Landmark 72 Hotel
The workshop takes place on Friday at the Intercontinental Landmark 72 Hotel. Photo: Vietnamnews

Vietnamese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, UNDP and the Norwegian Embassy jointly organized the "International Workshop on Protection against Violence and Discrimination based on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity: International and Vietnam’s Experiences" on Friday, 27 April in Hanoi.

Ambassador of Norway to Vietnam, Madam Grete Løchen said “Sexual and gender diversity exists in all countries and communities. LGBTI+ people have the same right to live free from the discrimination and violence, which still persists today and becomes even worse during the pandemic.

It’s all about equal rights and being true to the SDG-principle of leaving no one behind! As a staunch supporter of UN and its SDGs, it is a Norway’s priority to increase focus on equal rights, including the issue of discrimination based on sexual orientation. For LGBTI+ people it’s to live without stigma, shame and discrimination”.

In her opening remarks, UN Resident Coordinator a.i. and UNDP Resident Representative in Viet Nam Caitlin Wiesen congratulated LGBTI organizations for their committed advocacy over the past decade which has contributed to important gains in terms of visibility and policy change to ensure LGBTI rights in Viet Nam. She commended the Government of Viet Nam institutions for their for important progress made in the legal development in domestic laws for LGBTI persons.

Vietnam’s Experiences on Protection against Violence and Discrimination based on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity
Ms. Caitlin Wiesen, UN Resident Coordinator a.i and UNDP Resident Representative, delivering her speech at the workshop

Inclusive, sustainable development is best served when policy dialogue at all levels practices the core principle of ‘nothing about us without us’, which is particularly crucial for policies focused on minority groups in society,” said Ms. Wiesen. “Meaningful participation of the LGBTI community is vital for effective and inclusive policymaking. The development or reform of any laws and policies concerning the human rights of LGBTI persons cannot be genuine and complete without meaningful engagement and consultation with the persons and communities they will affect”.

The United Nations in Viet Nam commends Ministry for Foreign Affairs and other Ministries for taking UPR recommendations regarding the rights of LGBTI persons ad organizations to heart with this workshop as one of the first steps for their implementation. As such, we recommend that the reporting on UPR implementation in the current cycle features the good progress as well as areas for improvement on the protection of the human rights of LGBTI persons and organizations. In the UPR reporting on the implementation of supported recommendations by Viet Nam, it is important to include the vulnerabilities of the LGBTI community”.

Delegates of the Institute for Human Rights of the Ho Chi Minh National Academy of Politics also introduced updated progress on policies and efforts of Vietnam in LGBTQ+ rights. The speakers called for Vietnam to continue effectively updating and executing legal and policy documents, as well as development plans and education on human rights, especially on anti-discrimination.

NGOs and research organisations, including ones led by LGBTQ+ people in Vietnam, also spoke highly of the workshop, saying that this is a chance for Vietnamese organizations and partners to continue to enable related actors to contribute to building and perfecting the legal and policy frameworks .

The workshop is also one of Vietnam's effective collaborations with UN agencies on protecting and promoting human rights. These collaborations are in line with Vietnam's progress to join the OHCHR's UPR as well as joining and executing International Conventions on Human Rights.

The workshop agencies witnessed the attendance of many delegates from government, international organizations and ambassadors from Cuba, Argentina and South Africa.

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