03/24/2019 Vietnam (International Christian Concern) – Religious minorities in communist Vietnam are facing systematic discrimination due to their faith. UN needs to step in to address the issue, according to a human rights group.
At the 40th session of the UN Human Rights Council on March 13, the president of Boat People SOS (BPSOS), Dr. Nguyen Dinh Thang, called on the UN Special Rapporteur to intervene for the Hmong and the Montagnard ethnic minorities who are “stateless” due to their Christian faith.
According to Dr. Thang, there are at least 2,000 households, totaling about 10,000 people from the Hmong and the Montagnard communities who are denied the most basic civil rights because they followed Christianity. Those who refused to renounce their faith as requested by the government were deported from their villages.
Their rights to ‘hukou’ (household registration) and national ID are subsequently repudiated. As a result, they cannot move freely and have no access to public benefits including education and healthcare.
Undocumented married couples would not be issued a marriage certificate, and their children may not have birth certificates. Oftentimes, their children would be denied education from the state.
Dr. Thang calls on the Special Rapporteur to work with relevant UN officials to ensure that the Vietnamese government deals with the situation promptly, efficiently and fairly for those Hmong and Montagnard Christians and immediately halt the policy of forcing them to renounce their faith.
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Author: Anna Grebeniuk