On July 31st, Mr. Heiner Bielefelt, U.N. Special Rapporteur on freedom of religion or belief shared with the press about the initial results in his working visit to Vietnam from July 21st to July 31st under the invitation of the Government.
Mr. Bielefelt said in meetings with representatives of religious communities, he received positive feedback on conditions for practicing religious freedom in recent years.
Vietnam has ratified the international human rights instruments, including the Convention on Civil and Political Rights, where its Article 18 provides for general protection on freedom of thought, conscience, religion or belief.
Mr. Bielefelt talked about positive the changes of Constitutional 2013 on human rights, basic rights and duties of citizens. In particular, Article 24 of the Constitution provides that everyone has the right on freedom of belief and religion, to follow or not follow a religion. Mr. Heiner Bielefelt commented that this is an interesting point and an improvement, because not only the Vietnamese citizens but also foreigners in Vietnam shall be able to enjoy freedom of belief and religion.
He highly appreciated the efforts of the Government to improve the situation of religious freedom in Vietnam. Rapporteur Heiner Bielefelt said he will complete his report and consult with the Government of Vietnam and submit to the plenary session of the U.N. Human Rights Council on May 3rd, 2015.
According to the Government Electric Magazine