LIV, OpenNet, and the IJC Lobby for Vietnam’s Digital Rights During the 3rd Summit for Democracy

In: News

Legal Initiatives for Vietnam (LIV), OpenNet, and the University of California at Irvine International Justice Clinic (IJC) lobbied for Vietnam’s digital rights at the 3rd Summit for Democracy in Seoul, South Korea, from March 19 to 27, 2024. During this event, representatives from these organizations engaged with political officers from the UN Human Rights Council member countries ahead of Vietnam's Universal Periodic Review (UPR) scheduled for May 7, 2024.

LIV, OpenNet, and IJC arranged formal and informal meetings with numerous ambassadors and embassies. These sessions were marked by an exchange of briefings, presentations, and discussions concerning digital rights in Vietnam. Their engagement began on March 19 with representatives of the Freedom Online Coalition (FOC), followed by a meeting with the Human Rights Ambassador of Sweden on March 20. On March 21, they visited the Chilean and  French embassies in Seoul, continuing their diplomatic outreach. Finally, on March 27, they met the Honduran embassy. Throughout these encounters, LIV, OpenNet, and IJC provided a comprehensive list of recommendations ahead of Vietnam's upcoming UPR.

OpenNet believes this was an opportune time to pressure the Vietnamese government regarding their digital rights practices. They view the Summit as a pivotal opportunity, describing it as a "magical moment" due to the attendance of numerous representatives from Human Rights Council member countries. OpenNet reasons that engaging with these delegates before the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) is paramount, considering that most countries finalize their stances well in advance. Given the impracticality of visiting each country or their embassies, the Summit becomes the most optimal and accessible avenue for dialogue, with 24 out of the 47 member nations in attendance.

LIV has previously partnered with OpenNet concerning Vietnam’s numerous human rights violations, notably when they, alongside Article 19, submitted a List of Issues to the UN Human Rights Committee in January 2024. Through its actions and support, OpenNet has demonstrated its continued willingness to collaborate with Vietnamese civil society in the ongoing struggle against these violations.

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