ASEAN, the ten-member southeast Asian regional grouping congratulated Vietnam and is considering it as a model in creating fundamental conditions for ensuring human rights of its LGBT community, during the universal periodic review on human rights which took place June 20 in Geneva.
The International Lesbian and Gay Association also recognized that Vietnam does not have any discriminatory policy, according to en.nhandan.org.vn.
It however, highlighted some difficulties that gay and transgender people currently face and called for greater attention from the government, including working towards the approval of marriage between same-sex couples.
Many delegations congratulated Vietnam on its success, consenting to Vietnam’s conduct to ensure human rights for its LGBT citizens.
At the plenary session, Vietnamese Ambassador Nguyen Trung Thanh affirmed that Vietnam would strictly implement the 182 recommendations it accepted as well as other voluntary commitments.
He stressed that as a responsible member of the UN Human Rights Council, Vietnam would periodically update, share experience and hold dialogue with international organizations and NGOs to effectively enhance its people’s rights and freedoms.
The universal periodic review is a UNHRC mechanism that reviews the fulfillment of each of 193 UN member states of its obligations and commitments to ensure human rights in accordance with the UN Charter, Universal Declaration of Human Rights and other human rights mechanisms.
The review is undertaken every four years based on objective and reliable information including those prepared by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights.
Vietnam was reviewed and accepted 80.17% of earlier recommendations that include protecting the rights for vulnerable social groups such as its LGBT community.
At the session the council president asked if there were any objections before Vietnam’s report was approved. There were no objections and Vietnam’s report was approved with a “high consensus.”
Last year, the UN congratulated Vietnam on “great progress made” toward eliminating stigma and discrimination for gay people.
The last two years have seen the LGBT community become more confident and increasingly visible, with high profile activities such as flash mob performances music and photography shows, reports voanews.com.
Currently, LGBT activists are preparing for the third Viet Pride in August, which is expected to be the biggest yet since it first gay pride parade in Hanoi in 2012.
In 2012, Vietnam’s Justice Ministry suggested including same-sex couples in its overhaul of the Marriage and Family Law but when the law was finally passed last month, it removed an article that defined legal rights for cohabiting same-sex couples.