ICNL and Law Reform in Vietnam

6 July 2005

ICNL has continued its on-going role as primary technical advisor to the Vietnamese government and civil society organizations as the process of study and consultations moves toward drafting of a new Law on Associations in Vietnam. Partnering with the US-based organization, Viet-Nam Assistance for the Handicapped (VNAH), ICNL has visited Vietnam twice in the past few months to lead workshops on general principles of NGO law drafting and taxes and tax administration of NGOs, using international examples and models. In addition, the Vietnamese drafting committee visited ICNL's offices in June for extensive discussions. The dialogue between the Vietnamese and ICNL will continue as the draft progresses toward an expected final proposal late in the year.

The Vietnamese seek to enact a law that will enable and encourage associations to actively provide services and to participate more fully in the rapid development of the country. The work accomplished has been made effective through VNAH's efforts to gain as much public participation in the process as possible, with additional regional and local meetings planned in the near future. Through this energetically inclusive program, the broadest possible involvement of groups and organizations throughout the nation has contributed to the discussions leading to the drafting of the law.

Participants in workshops and the study tour expressed their appreciation for "ICNL's expertise, steady support, and hospitality" in the process.

VNAH President Ca Van Tran added, "ICNL's cooperation and its diplomacy in providing expert technical assistance has been vitally important in achieving the progress made so far. We look forward to a long and productive collaboration in Vietnam and elsewhere in improving the legal environment for civil society."