Vietnam goes Down Under to explore justice approaches
In September, a Vietnamese delegation consisting of representatives of Vietnam’s Ministries of Public Security, Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs, Health, Justice and the Department of Social Affairs of Vietnam’s National Assembly Office had a study visit in Melbourne and Victoria, Australia.
Advocacy in practice
The study visit, sponsored by the Center for Supporting Community Development Initiatives (SCDI) and co-ordinated with the Neighbourhood Justice Centre (NJC) in Collingwood, Victoria, comes at a key moment. SCDI will soon present its proposals on the new law on transgender and a new pilot diversion programme for police officers to the government. The diversion programme, a globally recognised practice regards people who use drugs as patients and not criminals. Currently, the programme is being piloted in Ho Chi Minh and Hanoi and SCDI seeks to secure government’s support for the future implementation of the model throughout Vietnam.
Learning from best practices
The Vietnamese delegation met with magistrates, police, academics, policy makers and advocates and visited the Richmond Police Station and the Turning Point Alcohol and Drug Treatment Centre. The Vietnamese delegation then provided an introduction to their Alcohol diversion programme.
The Vietnamese police force will continue working with their Australian counterparts to advocate for the uptake of diversionary approaches. Plans are already in motion for the Australian delegation to visit Vietnam.
PITCH strongly supports this inspiring imitative of SCDI in building justice approaches in Vietnam and looks forward to the improvement of health and community outcomes for key populations.