Citizens protection in 2019: Timely, definitive and effective

Update: 08:38 | 03/02/2020
TGVN. Citizens protection is always one of the focal points of the Party and the State in general and of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in particular. In 2019, citizens protection has made significant contributions to foreign affairs, contributing to the success of Vietnam's diplomacy.
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Mr. Vu Viet Anh - Director of Department of Consular - Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Complex and challenging context

From the point of view of citizens protection, 2019 can be said that the stage of international security situation evolved quickly, complicatedly and unexpectedly with many risks, crises, natural disasters spreading over most areas of the world. Along with that is the presence of Vietnamese citizens travelling, residing, working, studying in nearly 200 countries and territories, so the frequency of risks and hardships abroad increases, creating great challenges for the protection of Vietnamese citizens abroad.

The situation in the East Sea (also known as the South China Sea) also evolved complicatedly in 2019. Countries continued to increase their presence in the field, threated to use of force, frequently coerced, towed, arrested fishing boats and fishermen in overlapping and undefined sea areas, causing difficulties and complication for the protection of Vietnamese fishermen; did not enter into cooperation and humane treatment of fishermen at sea according to the provisions of international law, especially the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) 1982.

In this context, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has been proactively following developments in instability, crises, protests, natural disasters in all regions of the world and in the East Sea; promptly developed plans and carried out the protection of citizens and fishermen at sea in accordance with international and Vietnamese law.

A highlight in foreign affairs

Looking back 2019, it can be said that the protection of citizens is one of the positive highlights in implementing the functions and tasks of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Cases, especially focal, complicated and unprecedented ones, were handled promptly and completely with high efficiency, noted by the public and people.

The most important reason for this success is the efforts of the Government, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, other ministries, localities, the devotion and sense of responsibility of the direct-handling officials in the country as well as in Vietnam's representative agencies abroad, especially in the context of great challenges coming from an increase in the number of cases, the higher frequency of serious incidents than previous years. Another equally important reason is the effective operation of the Citizens’ Protection Fund which is established and operated by the Government.

In 2019, the Citizens’ Protection Fund has effectively used the fund to bring home 523 citizens and fishermen who were imprisoned, mainly focusing on fishermen of Ba Ria – Vung Tau, Kien Giang, Quang Ngai provinces,...

The protection of citizens in 2019 also has many advantages, especially the close guidance of Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh. Leaders of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs directly guided and took part in handling complicated cases. This work has also received increasing attention, support, and close cooperation from ministries, agencies, localities achieved positive results.

Continue to be a solid “cushion”

The incidents in 2019 partly reflect the great efforts of the Government and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in the protection of citizens, on the other hand, is also our concern. The risks of Vietnamese citizens abroad and the law-breaking situation of our citizens abroad are still complicated.

From the viewpoint of citizen protection, the world situation in 2020 is expected to continue with many challenges, potential risks and uncertainties for our citizens abroad. The situation of Vietnamese citizens violating law abroad and at sea is still complicated; at the same time, the increasingly sophisticated activities of related crimes, especially the crime of sending illegal migrants abroad, will continue to be challenges in 2020.

From this perspective, the work of protecting citzens in 2020 should be implemented in the direction of: attaching importance to proactive measures for prevention; bringing propaganda and warnings to people at grassroots level; promptly, professionally and effectively handle cases on the basis of Vietnamese law, in accordance with international law and relevant countries' laws.

Accordingly, proactive preventive measures are of particular interest. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has prepared a propaganda plan, implemented the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration (GCM), condemed illegal migration and violations of law abroad.

On the other hand, information technology will also be researched and integrated into the protection of citizens with the desire to bring utilities for citizens to easily access necessary information before leaving the country and during residence abroad.

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