NA deputies discuss Press, Childcare Laws hinh anh 1Nguyen Bac Son, Minister of Information and Communications, speaks at the discussion (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) - Members of the National Assembly Standing Committee on February 18 discussed amendments to the current Law on Press and the Law on Child Protection, Care and Education.

During their discussion on changes to the Law on Press, the deputies agreed on most of the proposals suggested by the law compiling committee. However, some people expressed their anxiety about the inclusion of online social networks and internet services under the jurisdiction of the Law on Press.

They argued that operation of these networks and services had already been covered in the Government Decrees 72 and 174 promulgated in 2013.

In his opinion, KsorPhuoc, Chairman of the Council of Ethnic Affairs, said it was very difficult for Vietnamese authorities to control information provided on online social networks or the internet as the information either comes from either web hosting abroad or from internet service providers inside Vietnam.

"If these networks or services are not covered in the Press Law, I'm afraid to say the law will cover only about 40 percent of its designed mission on press management," KsorPhuoc said.

Nguyen Bac Son, Minister of Information and Communications said, "If we include the online social networks or internet in the law, it means that we acknowledge them as a form of our formal press."

He further added it may be, in a near future, that we should elevate Decree 72 into a law.

Nguyen Sinh Hung, Chairman of the National Assembly, raised the idea that social networks and internet are common among Vietnamese people nowadays, so they should be covered in a law, not in an under law document as Decree 72 or 174.

Child law

Also on February 18, the deputies discussed proposed changes to the current Law on Child Protection, Care and Education, particularly the Article on raising the age of a child in Vietnam from 16 to 18 to make it conform to the United Nations' International Convention on the Rights of the Child which defines that a person aged under 18 as a child.

Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan, Vice Chair of the National Assembly, and many other deputies agreed on the proposal to raise the age of child to under 18.

Dao TrongThi, Chairman of the NA Commission for Culture, Education, Youth and Children said that raising the age of a child to under 18 would not cause any problem to the Law on Youth or the Statute of the Ho Chi Minh Communist Youth Union.

At present, Vietnam has about 4.4 million children under 18 years old. So if the law changes the definition of a child to under 18 years old, they all will enjoy legal treatment as children.

In the afternoon, the National Assembly Standing Committee discussed a draft report on the mission of the Inspectorate General of the Supreme People's Procuracy in the period from 2011-16 and a report on staff proposals for senior inspectorates in the People's Procuracy sector.-VNA