17.10.2020, 22:12

Freedom of movement guaranteed in times of COVID-19

Freedom of movement guaranteed in times of COVID-19
Vietnam is tightening up prevention and control measures against COVID-19. Photo: Huy Hùng /VNA /CVN

Article 13 of the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights states that everyone has the right to move freely, to leave " Any country, including his own" and come back to his country. Therefore, foreigners legally present in the territory of a country have the right to move freely within that country without being subject to arbitrary restrictions.
Freedom of movement enables individuals to enjoy their civil, political, economic, social rights, and thus contributes to national socio-economic development and international trade. Irrational restriction of this freedom would not only undermine human rights, but also undermine social development. Echoing the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, article 23 of the Vietnamese Constitution of 2013 stipulates that " The citizen has the right to move freely and to reside in the country, to go abroad and return to the country ".
The movement and residence rights of Vietnamese and foreigners in Vietnam are specified in the Civil Code, nationality, investment, residence and other laws. The Vietnamese government has signed 78 bilateral conventions and agreements on visa waivers for nationals of certain countries and territories as well as on border management, all of which aim to facilitate the movement of people.
Freedom of movement
At the height of the COVID-19 epidemic, the government decreed social distancing, which was a necessity under article 12 of the 1966 International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which provides that these rights, including freedom of movement, may be restricted to protect " national security, public order, public health or morals, or the freedoms of others" . This provision was confirmed in paragraph 2 of article 14 of the Vietnamese Constitution of 2013.
Checking the body temperature of passengers at Nôi Bài International Airport, Hanoi. Photo: VNA /CVN

The government's decision to use social distancing, which has enjoyed full support, has proven effective in curbing the spread of the coronavirus.
As of March 18 at 12 a.m. and for 30 days, Vietnam suspended the issuance of visas to foreigners. There too, it was a measure in accordance with international law, the Commission on Human Rights having in fact decided, in 1999 that a State had the right, according to its national law and its international duties, to '' whether or not to authorize a foreigner to enter its territory.
As international airlines were virtually suspended due to the pandemic, Vietnam scrambled to repatriate nearly 50000 of its nationals from 48 countries and territories.
After successfully controlling the epidemic in its territory, on September 15 Vietnam reinstated flights to some Asian countries and territories, including Japan, the Republic of Korea and Taiwan.
The Communist Party and the Vietnamese State are committed to guaranteeing the fundamental rights of citizens, including freedom of movement, on the basis of national and international law, contributing to peace, stability, prosperity and to the development of Humanity.