(CPV) - The United Nations in Vietnam congratulated the Government and National Assembly on June 25th 2012 for passing a number of important laws during its recent session. The new laws and revisions will benefit the health and wellbeing of Vietnamese women, men and children and will help advance the development aspirations of Vietnam.
“We highly commend the Government and National Assembly for their very important decisions, which will bring tangible benefits to the lives of many Vietnamese. Many of the laws and revisions passed also bring Vietnam into line with some of its international commitments,” said Ms Pratibha Mehta, UN Resident Coordinator in Vietnam.
Among the new laws is the Law on the Handling of Administrative Sanctions, which ends the practice of detaining sex workers in administrative detention centres and will lead to the closure of these centres for sex workers (also referred to as ’05 centres’). The law also introduces a number of reforms to the juvenile justice system, including that the best interests of the child should be of paramount consideration and that reform schools should only be used as a measure of last resort. The adoption of the law marks an important step forward in bringing Viet Nam’s legal and policy framework into line with its international human rights commitments.
The Law on Advertisement includes a ban on the marketing of breastmilk substitutes for children under 24 months. The Law now fully complies with the Convention on the Rights of the Child and the International Code of Marketing of Breastmilk Substitutes.
The new Labour Code has extended maternity leave from four to six months, which will also help to promote breastfeeding and better safeguard the wellbeing of mothers and children. The new Code also introduces a new way of fixing the minimum wage, and in an effort to normalize industrial relations makes it mandatory for enterprises to establish a social dialogue mechanism. In addition, the new Labour Code recognises “labour sub-leasing” as a new employment practice and extends protection to part-time and domestic workers.
The new Law on the prevention and control of tobacco related harm bans smoking in public places and all tobacco advertising. The law also approved a health promotion fund, requires prominent pictorial health warnings and makes it illegal to sell tobacco products to anyone under 18 years old. It is in line with the majority of articles of the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control.
Throughout the drafting process of these new laws, National Assembly members reviewed international practices. The UN in Viet Nam was very pleased to provide technical assistance and analysis of best practices and facilitated international experience sharing and dialogue.
“The UN in Vietnam will continue working with the Government and National Assembly to improve the related legal and policy frameworks and, where necessary, build capacity for an effective implementation of the new law provisions,” Ms Mehta said./.