People in central Nghe An Province are told about family planning. Photo: VNA
Vietnam’s population policy overhaul should work towards maintaining the birth rate at 2.1 and gender balance to provide a workforce that can drive the economy forwards.

The view was presented by Chairman of the Vietnam Fatherland Front Central Committee (VFFCC) Nguyen Thien Nhan at a policy dialogue jointly held by the VFFCC and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) in Hanoi on September 17.

Nhan spoke of the need to make a complete overhaul of the population policy after the country already achieved the replacement fertility rate in order to ensure the sustainable social-economic development after 2015.

He recommended renaming the National Target Programme “Population and Family Planning” into “Sustainable Population and Happy Family” and establishing a national committee on sustainable population and happy family headed by the Prime Minister or a Deputy PM.

According to Ritsu Nacken, interim head representative of the UNFPA in Vietnam, in its population policy, Vietnam should shift from managing population to integrating population variables into development-planning process.

Forthcoming policies and law on population must respect and protect reproduction rights and freedom of choosing reproduction methods.

Vietnam should have priorities on policies and interventions that help reduce inequality in sex and reproduction healthcare for vulnerable groups like ethnic minorities, migrants, and young people, according to the UNFPA official.

Vietnam is at an important stage of planning strategies for social-economic development, including population policy, for the upcoming years, and the UNFPA is always ready to provide the country with technical assistance, she said.

Participants agreed that the 12-year-old Ordinance on Population is out of date and called for the making of a law on population to meet changes in reality.

They also suggested quality sex education at school and on communication channels.-VNA