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March 18, 2003

Politics & Law: National Assembly Standing Committee Passes Prostitution Ordinance, Injustice Compensation Resolution

The Vietnamese National Assembly's Standing Committee yesterday passed an ordinance on prostitution prevention and a resolution on compensation for people misjudged in court trials.

The Ordinance on Prostitution Prevention, to take effect from July 1, 2003, comprises six chapters with 41 articles. After much debate, the ordinance regulates forms of punishment for sex buyers such as warning or fines . In particular, where sex buyers are State cadres or are in the armed forces, their superiors will be informed and appropriate discipline given. They will not be appointed to an equivalent or higher level position.

The ordinance also specifies the measures to be adopted by and the responsibilities of organizations, families and individuals in preventing the vice, as well as forms of punishment for sex workers and procurers.

Under the Resolution on compensation for misjudged people, the innocent who have been detained or convicted have the right to seek compensation from responsible organizations. Each day in a holding cell or in jail will be compensated a sum equivalent to three days salary, based on the minimum salary (now standing at VND290,000 per month).

Where the innocent person dies, his or her relatives will receive compensation equal to 30 years minimum salary.

The resolution particularly emphasizes the role of procuracy bodies, which must pay compensation for misjudged persons. The sum will be extracted from the State budget. Procuracy staff directly involved in injustices will be responsible for repaying the budget.

The resolution comprises six headings and 21 articles.
(The Law Mar 18 p1, Labor Mar 18 p1, Pioneer mar 18 p3).

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