Land-related Corruption Still a Problem

Before the 8th dialogue on anti-corruption, the Swedish Embassy, the Transparency International, Denmark, UNDP and the World Bank organized a talk on strengthening transparency in land management in Vietnam on November 18.

For the purpose of the dialogue, the Swedish Embassy in Vietnam conducted a survey on corruption in land management in Vietnam, the way ordinary people experience it. The survey was carried out in Hanoi, HCM City and Bac Ninh.

One of the survey conclusions is that land-related corruption erodes people’s trust in the public system forcing them to solve land-related conflicts themselves.

The Swedish Embassy’s first secretary Elsa Hastad and expert Joel Borgstrom who joined the survey talked with VietNamNet.

Elsa Hastad: We agree that corruption is bad for the people, the society, the government and it hurts the poor. Is there corruption in land management in Vietnam? Yes – but where?

According to the survey, the people were willing to pay unofficial fees to quickly fulfil procedures to get the land use right certificate.

In terms of gender, only 35 percent of the land use right certificates in rural Vietnam note the names of both the wife and the husband. In the past, the law didn’t allow to note the names of both the wife and the husband in this certificate. Since the law was amended and allows this, women want to have their names on the certificate.

To have their names on the certificates, people have to pay unofficial fees. It is a common situation in Vietnam that the legal framework for land management is very good but the implementation of the law is not.

According to the survey, up to 90 percent of complaints are related to land but only one percent of plaintiffs are satisfied with the results. People’s  trust that land-related management would be solved at court reduces and therefore they look for the waysto solve the conflicts out of court.

Joel Borgstrom: Whenever people go to state agencies to solve land-related issues, they tend to “go on the left side”, meaning paying unofficial fees.

Vietnam has a system of advanced legal regulations that emphasize the equality between men and women in land-related issues. However, with the tradition of paternity, land is often descended from fathers to sons.

Though there are difficulties in verifying whether there is corruption in the process of revoking the land or not, low compensation for people whose land is revoked is a matter.

Corruption in land revoke makes direct impacts on families through the reduction of the compensation. Low compensation and highly official and unofficial administrative fees force poor families to take drastic measures that sometimes push them to the poorer situation.


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