From now to the end of 2009, Vietnam will release the Human Rights Magazine, a website on human rights and prepare to join the United Nations Convention against Torture, said Deputy Prime Minister Pham Gia Khiem at a meeting of the Steering Board on Human Rights after discussing the subject with the Norwegian delegation. The Steering Board on Human Rights reviewed its works in the first half of 2009 in a meeting in Hanoi on July 28, chaired by the board’s chief, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Gia Khiem.
According to the meeting, Vietnam participated in dialogues on human rights with Norway and Switzerland in the first half of the year. The Foreign Ministry submitted the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) on human rights to the United Nations on May 8. The country also participated in regional and international forums on human rights. The Vietnamese government is implementing hunger eradication and poverty reduction programmes and projects to assist ethnic minority groups, rural people and the poor.
In the first amnesty of 2009, more than 15000 prisoners were set free, the highest number so far. Deputy PM Pham Gia Khiem said that from now to the year’s end, the board will concentrate on the following tasks: publishing the Human Rights Magazine, opening the website on human rights and preparing to join the UN Convention against Torture. The United Nations Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment is an international human rights instrument, under the review of the United Nations, which aims to prevent torture around the world.
The convention requires states to take effective measures to prevent torture within their borders, and forbids states to return people to their home country if there is reason to believe they will be tortured. It has 145 members.