New US$ 1.2 million project launched to promote legal empowerment for poor and vulnerable groups in Viet Nam

Aug 28, 2012

Ha Noi – The UN Development Programme (UNDP) and the Vietnam Lawyers’ Association (VLA) announced today a three-year project that will provide US$ 1.2 million to support VLA and civil society organizations in promoting legal empowerment for the poor in Viet Nam.

Through support to the VLA, its associated Legal Consultancy Network and civil society organizations, the project aims to empower poor and disadvantaged groups to claim their rights and support their participation in the legal and judicial reform processes in Viet Nam. To this effect, VLA will join forces with civil society organizations to advocate for an enabling legal and institutional environment for civil society organizations to participate in policy discussions and social review in Viet Nam.

The project is being funded by UNDP and bilateral donors through the One Plan Fund.

"Middle-income status brings greater challenges for Viet Nam’s justice system to protect the legitimate rights of all citizens,” UNDP Country Director a.i., Mr Bakhodir Burkhanov, said. "These rights should not be the privilege of a few but everyone. Deepening of rule-of-law and access to justice, and greater legal empowerment of the poor are a prerequisite for accelerating human development and the Millennium Development Goals in Viet Nam in the years to come.” He also noted that UNDP is committed to supporting Viet Nam in these important reform initiatives.

The new project will further promote rights-based legal aid and legal empowerment of the poor. It will also help strengthen VLA’s capacity in policy advocacy and law-making through its focus on evidence-based advocacy, data collection and research. At the same time, the project is expected to increase the partnership between social organizations and the VLA to address social injustices and to advance legal empowerment of the poor.

Since 2007, UNDP has assisted the Viet Nam Lawyers’ Association to develop a strategy for the Association toward 2020, and to strengthen the capacity and participation of its members in policy advocacy on access to justice for the poor and building a rule-of-law state.

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