The fact shows that the absence of a specialized monitoring agency will reduce the effectiveness of ensuring the rights of ethnic minorities.

After more than 30 years of renovation and institutionalization of the Party's policy on development policies for ethnic minorities and mountainous areas, the National Assembly, Government, ministries, branches and localities have issued many specific policies, including the policies that giving priorities for ethnic minority areas, covering political, economic, social, cultural, education, health fields, and national defense and security. The implementation of those policies have obtained remarkable results.

However, in the context that the country still faces many difficulties, the implementation of human rights in general and the rights of ethnic minorities in particular will also face many challenges. Identifying these challenges in order to have appropriate responses is essential.

There are still many barriers to access to rights

First of all, we should consider the challenges in having access to the right to live, the right to have a job and the guarantee of minimum conditions.

Ethnic minorities mainly live in mountainous areas, the regions with difficult and extremely difficult socio-economic conditions with poor infrastructure, underdeveloped production, so the ability to access and enjoy basic conditions. Conditions to ensure foo and safe accommodation remain a challenge for some regions and groups of people living in areas with unfavorable natural environments.

The quality of education, human resources are limited and the distance is quite far from the general level of the society; the ratio of people in the working age who are vocationally trained is low; there is still a proportion of the population that are illiterate or re-illiterate, along with low educational level, which limits their ability to access and enjoy development achievements associated with the criteria of basic rights.

Therefore, the ability of individuals to protect fundamental rights and citizenship by law is also limited. The grassroots political system and the capacity of officials are weak, many urgent problems are slowly solved, creating loopholes for the hostile forces to take advantage of inciting and causing divisions in some ethnic minorities.

The second is the challenge to have access to education and healthcare services.

The educational ground and educational level of ethnic minorities still have a significant gap with the Kinh ethnic group. The quality of human resources of ethnic minorities is still limited, the contingent of ethnic minority officials is inadequate and a number of professional qualifications are weak.

Xây dựng cơ quan giám sát chuyên trách để tăng hiệu quả bảo đảm quyền các dân tộc thiểu số

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Ethnic education management has not kept pace with the practice of educational development in ethnic minority and mountainous areas; the management is inflexible while administrative procedures are still cumbersome; advisory work to issue a number of specific policies is inconsistent with the actual situation.

Schools for ethnic minority students still lack classrooms, accommodations, kitchens, sanitation facilities and other living and learning conditions. The contingent of teachers and administrators are insufficient in terms of quantity and capacity; part of teachers have a difficult life, so they could not devote their heart and mind to work.

Regarding the right to access to medical and health care, due to uneven economic development conditions between regions and regions, there is increasing inequality in access to and enjoyment of social services, including health care services that ethnic minorities are in great need. Disease and epidemic prevention has not met the requirements because of the limited awareness of the people and outdated customs and practices.

Due to the lack of information about the health insurance policy, the frequency of medical examination and treatment under health insurance policy among people is low, the balance of the health insurance fund is large, while the people do not have access to adequate technical services in basic health care. Child marriage and close-to-blood marriage in some ethnic groups still occur, requiring timely interventions to improve the quality of the population in ethnic minority areas (under 10,000 people).

The third is the challenge to have access to the right to participate in state and social management, and access to information.


As for the right to participate in state and social management, the proportion of ethnic minority cadres, civil servants and employees in the political system is still very low compared to the Kinh in most provinces. According to the data of the General Statistics Office and the National Assembly’s Ethnic Affairs Committee, the percentage of ethnic minority cadres in the People's Committee of provinces or districts is only 11.32%.

The capacity and education level of the contingent of cadres of villages and hamlets are low. The people in ethnic minority areas with university and postgraduate degrees only reach 2.8%, with ethnic minorities accounting for about 1.1%, 4 times lower than the national level.

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Access to information: For the program of distributing free newspapers, research shows that the policy of distributing free newspapers, magazines and legal leaflets is impractical and wasteful. A major reason is that the majority of ethnic minorities in the working age, middle-aged, and old people cannot read, including their own scripts.

The ethnic language teaching programs lack a specificity, radio programs in ethnic languages are generally monotonous; each program is only broadcasted within 30-45 minutes, with only one program per day, so the structure of the 12 programs of 12 ethnic languages on the Voice of Vietnam (VOV) is relatively similar, with little change over the years.

The fourth is the challenge for having access to the right to enjoy traditional cultural and language values. The identity and core traditional cultural values of ethnic minority groups have not yet made a solid bridge, close connection between ethnic groups; In many regions, culture has not shown both as an objective and a driving force for development. Traditional cultures of some ethnic minorities have been eroded, their identity and language is being lost.

At the same time, new social evils have appeared, such as: drugs, prostitution, and HIV infection rapidly increasing; crime such as theft, robbery, gambling, kidnapping women, children are very complicated. These have made adverse impacts on customs, ethics, lifestyles and the social life of ethnic minorities as well as the rights of ethnic minorities.

There should be a specialized monitoring agency

This article does not go into specific solutions but mainly deals with general solutions and foundations. Accordingly, in order to handle the above challenges, we need to effectively implement a number of solutions.

Firstly, legal recognition: The rights of ethnic minorities must be recognized, respected and protected in the Constitution and relevant laws (the promulgation of a law on ethnic groups is always encouraged). The regulations must ensure compatibility with international human rights conventions to which Vietnam is a member. The standards and principles of the rights of ethnic minorities must be specified in accordance with the current conditions of Vietnam.

Secondly, institutional building: Building a specialized agency to oversee the rights of ethnic minorities is necessary. This is consistent with Article 2 of the 1965 International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination, which allows states to take special measures to ensure the full and equal enjoyment of human rights and fundamental freedoms of ethnic minority groups. The fact also shows that the lack of a specialized monitoring agency will reduce the effectiveness of ensuring the rights of ethnic minorities.

Thirdly, building a strategy to integrate the rights of ethnic minorities: The rights of ethnic minorities must be integrated into the activities of public agencies, social organizations, educational, media, and socio-economic development strategies, especially in areas with large communities of ethnic minorities.

This is to meet the purpose: social development and management must be in line with the requirements of ensuring the rights of ethnic minorities as stipulated in Article 2 of the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination 1965.

Fourthly, implementing research activities on ensuring the rights of ethnic minorities: The authorities need to create opportunities and conditions for these research activities (and other related studies) to promote understanding on ensuring the rights of ethnic minorities in society.

Fifthly, building a comprehensive information system on ethnic minorities: it is impossible to develop appropriate and quality laws and policies without mechanisms and measures to collect data and objective information on all aspects of ethnic minorities. On the other hand, the results of ensuring rights must also be reflected through such information systems. This system often includes assessments of ethnic minority groups, assessments of state agencies, social organizations, and international organizations.

Ngoc Chau