A vocational training class for people with disabilities (Photo: VNA)
 
Hanoi (VNA) – Helping people with disabilities integrate into the community has always been a priority in Vietnam’s policies towards this disadvantaged group, and the nation will continue to focus on this task in the 2016-2020 period.

Vietnam has around 7.2 million people with disabilities, accounting for 7.8 percent of the population, one of the high levels in Asia-the Pacific. More than half (58 percent) of the disabled population are women, 28.3 percent are children and 15 percent live in poverty, according to statistics in 2016 of the National Committee for People with Disabilities.

Following the previous Constitution, the 2013 Constitution continues to affirm that the State shall create equal opportunities for citizens to benefit from social welfare and adopt policies to support the elderly, people with disabilities, the poor and other disadvantaged groups (Article 59). Article 61 of the Constitution stipulates that the State shall create the conditions for the disabled and the poor to receive education and vocational training.

The legal system on people with disabilities has been constantly updated, notably the adoption of the Law on People with Disabilities in 2010 and the national blueprint on support for people with disabilities for 2012-2020 (Project 1019).

The National Assembly approved Vietnam’s accession to the UN Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities on November 27, 2014, which reiterates the country’s commitment to protecting and enforcing the rights of the disabled.

More recently, a National Committee for People with Disabilities was established in January 2016 with the task of assisting the Prime Minister in instructing and coordinating the work of ministries, agencies and localities in issues relating to people with disabilities.  

The enforcement of laws has helped raise awareness about the rights of people with disabilities in society in general and among the group in particular, and reduce social barriers, thus facilitating their integration into social life.

According to statistics of the Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs, around 900,000 people with disabilities are receiving monthly allowance. All centrally-governed cities and provinces have built rehabilitation facilities for the disabled. During 2011-2015, around 140,000 people with disabilities received vocational training and found jobs through State-sponsored programmes.

Activities supporting the disadvantaged group also receive warm response from the community. The Orphans and Disabled People Sponsorship Association has raised more than 2.5 trillion VND worth of donations and gifts for the target disadvantaged group during its 25-year operation. In addition, the association coordinated with relevant agencies and organisations to provide free treatment to more than 100,300 sight-impaired people and correcting surgery to about 17,500 patients.-VNA