Birth certificate status to stay, NA deputies agree

Members of the National Assembly yesterday agreed that a birth certificate should continue to be issued under the draft Law on Household Registration.

Prior NA discussions were carried out on whether the birth certificate should be replaced by the citizen identity card under Citizen Identity Law.

The lawmakers agreed that a birth certificate was the first official document issued by the Government to recognise a person's rights as a human being and citizen and should be used as the first legal document for the issuance of other documents needed in the governing process.

Lawmaker Ho Thi Thuy of Vinh Phuc Province agreed that requiring a birth certificate was in line with the International Convention on Children's Rights and Protection, which could be used as basis for the issuance of a citizen identity card when they reach the age of 14.

Most of the lawmakers agreed that the citizen identity card should only be issued for children after they reach the age of 14.

NA member Dieu Huynh Sang of Binh Phuoc Province said the physical features of children aged less than 14 years changed quickly, and it would be very difficult to record these changes in the identity card.

The draft Citizen Identity Law proposes the replacement of birth certificates with identification cards for newborn babies.

Under this draft, identity cards will carry comprehensive personal information, including date of birth and civil status. The identity card will be issued at four different stages: under 14, 14 to 25, 25 to 70 and over 70.

The NA members also discussed the Citizen Identity Law and expressed concern over public perception of this card, which would supposedly replace all other papers.

They also urged that the draft law indicate how information on children under the age of 14 would be kept and integrated, so they could be used as basis for issuing new identity cards to the children by the time they reach 14.

According to lawmaker Dang Thi Kim Chi, from Phu Yen Province, careful planning must be done since at least VND650 billion (US$30.6 million) might be spent to issue identity cards to about 20 million people.

NA members also discussed progress in the creation of a draft Law on the Promulgation of Legal Documents.

According to a report from the Justice Ministry at the session yesterday, an estimated 23,600 state agencies in Viet Nam are authorised to issue legal documents, many of them at the local level.

The Law on the Promulgation of Legal Documents, also known as The Law or the Law of Laws, was first introduced in 1996, amended once in 2002 and replaced by a new version in 2008.

The Law, together with the Law on the Promulgation of Legal Documents by People's Councils and People's Committees issued in 2004, formed a legal framework for the lawmaking activities of central and local state agencies.

Since 2004, the Justice Ministry estimates that nearly 290,000 documents were issued, of which about 284,500 were from local state agencies. The draft law seeks to ensure that many of these documents will not overlap, thereby making the system more transparent and coherent.

Most members agreed that numerous legal documents issued at the local level overlapped with those at the higher level, further causing ineffective law enforcement.


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