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|Making preparations for fresh free trade climate, illustration photo|
According to the National Assembly Office, the ninth session of the 14th National Assembly (NA), which will take place from May 20 to June 19, is expected to see debate and adoption of 10 draft laws and seven draft resolutions (see box) including three draft resolutions on passing the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA), the EU-Vietnam Investment Protection Agreement, and Convention No.105 on Abolition of Forced Labour of the International Labour Organization (ILO).
In late May at the NA Standing Committee’s 44th session, the committee agreed that Vietnam’s entry into Convention 105 is “essential and significant in political, socio-economic, and legal aspects as the country beefs up its international integration and national industrialisation and modernisation”.
Created in 1957, Convention 105, one of the eight fundamental ILO conventions, prohibits the use of any form of forced or compulsory labour as a means of political coercion or education, punishment for the expression of political or ideological views, workforce mobilisation, labour discipline, punishment for participation in strikes, or discrimination.
In Vietnam’s legal system, forced labour is entirely prohibited in all forms and punishment of all violations has been clearly prescribed in the Constitution, the Criminal Code, and the Labour Code.
According to the State President Office, Vietnam’s access to and implementation of Convention 105 will contribute to staying dangers of forced labour, protecting legitimate rights and benefits of labourers, and stabilising and harmonising the country’s labour climate, accordingly helping increase labour productivity and facilitating Made-in-Vietnam goods and services to have a better access to international markets, especially the US and Europe. This will also help ensure national sustainable economic development and ensure better social equality in the context of globalisation.
“Entry to Convention 104 will facilitate enterprises’ goods exported to foreign markets to shun risks of being boycotted by the importing nations. Not using forced labour in the process of producing goods and services will also be a passport for goods and services from Vietnam to be exported to global markets, especially the EU and the US,” stated Minister for Labour, Invalids, and Social Affairs Dao Ngoc Dung.
Nguyen Van Giau, Chairman of the NA’s Committee for External Relations also said, “Entry to Convention 105 is necessary now, especially when Vietnam has been implementing commitments in the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) and is going to realise commitments in the EVFTA expected to take effect in July.”
The CPTPP embraces specific requirements on labour rights and work conditions to ensure that the free flow of trade will contribute to sustainable development, and enable workers and businesses to enjoy their fair share of economic gains, according to the ILO.
Meanwhile, Vietnam’s EVFTA labour commitments are not subject to specific standards but only reaffirm its respect, promotion, and effective implementation of four basic standards under the ILO 1998 Declaration, including respecting, promoting freedom of association and effectively recognising collective bargaining rights between workers and employers; eliminating all forms of forced and compulsory labour; eliminating child labour; and eliminating discrimination in employment.
“The EU welcomes the plan of the government of Vietnam to submit ILO Convention 105 to the National Assembly of Vietnam for ratification procedures,” stated a press release from the European Commission.
Ten draft laws and four draft resolutions to be discussed and adopted
- Law on amendments to the Law on National Assembly Organisation
- Law on amendments to the Law on Enacting Legal Documents
- Law on Young People (amended)
- Law on Public-Private Partnerships
- Law on Mediation and Dialogue at Court
- Law on amendments to the Law on Judicial Expertise
- Law on amendments to the Law on Preventing Natural Calamity and the Law on Dyke
- Law on Construction (amended)
- Law on Investment (amended)
- Law on Enterprises (amended)
- Resolution on a programme on building up law and ordinances in 2021 and adjusting a programme on building up law and ordinances in 2020
- Resolution on a supervision programme of the National Assembly in 2021
- Resolution on piloting the urban government model in the central city of Danang
- Resolution on exemption of agricultural land use tax
Six laws to be discussed
- Law on Vietnamese People Working abroad under Contract (amended)
- Law on Vietnam Border Defence
- Law on International Agreements
- Law on amendments to the Law on Environmental Protection
- Law on amendments to the Law on Administrative Violation Punishment
- Law on Residence (amended)
- Moreover, the legislature will also review, debate and give opinions on a report on the socio-economic and state budget situation of 2020, including the discussion about COVID-19 prevention.