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Vietnam ready to confer with US on human trafficking, religious freedom

Vietnam ready to confer with US on human trafficking, religious freedom

Friday, July 05, 2024, 22:40 GMT+7
Vietnam ready to confer with US on human trafficking, religious freedom
Spokesperson for the Vietnamese Ministry of Foreign Affairs Pham Thu Hang. Photo: Ministry of Foreign Affairs

The U.S. has provided objective assessments of Vietnam's efforts to combat human trafficking, but it has issued subjective comments regarding the country's religious freedom situation, according to Vietnam's foreign ministry, which affirmed that Hanoi is prepared for bilateral discussions on these matters.

Spokesperson for the Vietnamese Ministry of Foreign Affairs Pham Thu Hang made the remarks at a press briefing in Hanoi on Thursday in response to reporters’ queries regarding the 2023 Report on International Religious Freedom and the 2024 Trafficking in Persons Report, both issued recently by the U.S. Department of State.

Hang stated that Vietnam welcomes the U.S. for its objective assessments of Vietnam's positive achievements in preventing and controlling human trafficking.

Over the past years, Vietnam has stepped up the fight against human trafficking in the wake of adjustments to the 2011 Law on Human Trafficking Prevention and Control, and through the strengthening of investigation, prosecution, and handling of human trafficking cases.

The Southeast Asian country has also set out key tasks and solutions in its anti-human trafficking program for 2021-25 with a vision until 2030, said the spokeswoman. 

Vietnam has detected and supported victims of human trafficking, while promptly dealing with new challenges to the human trafficking combat in the region.

In order to strengthen the transparent migration environment, protect the legitimate rights and interests of migrants, and prevent the risk of human trafficking in international migration activities, Vietnam is expending efforts to realize the goals of the Global Agreement on Lawful, Safe, and Orderly Migration, according to a plan issued by the prime minister on March 20, 2020. 

“In that manner, we hope that Vietnam and the U.S. will continue their close cooperation and increase exchange and dialogue to comprehensively and positively evaluate Vietnam's efforts and achievements in human trafficking prevention, in accordance with the spirit of the comprehensive strategic partnership between the two countries,” the spokesperson stated.

Regarding the 2023 International Religious Freedom Report, which includes Vietnam in a special watch list, Hang, “We regret that although recognizing some progress by Vietnam in protecting and promoting freedom of religion and belief, this report gives unobjective comments based on unverified and inaccurate information about the actual situation in Vietnam,” the spokeswoman said.

As a multi-ethnic and multi-religious country with a diverse belief and religious landscape, Vietnam consistently upholds its policy of respecting and guaranteeing the rights to freedom of belief and religion, Hang stressed.

Clearly enshrined in Vietnam’s 2013 Constitution, its 2016 Law on Belief and Religion, and related legal documents, these rights are respected in practice.

“No one is discriminated against on the grounds of religion and belief, and the operation of religious organizations is ensured in accordance with laws and regulations,” the spokesperson stated.

Hang announced that Vietnam stands ready to engage with the U.S. in discussions on mutual concerns, including areas of divergence, with a spirit of frankness, openness, and mutual respect, all aiming to enhance the comprehensive strategic partnership between the two countries..

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Vinh Tho - Duy Linh / Tuoi Tre News

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