Vietnam ministry halts ID card pilot amid criticism

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The Ministry of Public Security has halted its plans to introduce a new ID card in Hanoi, following criticism claiming it would "inappropriately" reveal too much information about the cardholder's family.

Under the latest order issued by Lieutenant-general Pham Quy Ngo, Deputy Minister of Public Security, the General Department of Administrative Management will not issue the new ID card in several Hanoi districts this month as had been previously planned.

The ministry said it will cooperate with the Ministry of Justice to adjust the newly designed card, which was criticized for including the names of cardholders' parents.

In an interview with Thanh Nien early this week, Le Hong Son, chief of the Legal Documents Assessment Bureau at the Ministry of Justice, said the new card possessed problems in terms of legality and reasonability.

Including information about one's parents on an ID card violates the child protection regulations stipulated in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, to which Vietnam was a signatory, Son said.

The regulations state that no children may be subjected to any arbitrary or unlawful interference with his or her privacy, family or correspondence, as well as unlawful attacks upon his or her honor and reputation, the official said.

Meanwhile, the country's Civil Code said that mothers have the right to keep information about their children's father secret, he added.

According to the official, those people who were born to powerful parents could benefit from such an ID card, while those whose parents have tarnished reputations could be negatively impacted.

It would also create "trouble" for people conceived via in vitro fertilization, and the children of single mothers, Son was quoted as saying in VnExpress.

Meanwhile, speaking to the Phap Luat Viet Nam (Vietnam Law) news website, Tran That, chief of the Department of Administrative Justice under the Ministry of Justice, said: "It's already the best to manage people with fingerprints; to add the names of [ID cardholders'] parents does not improve management, but instead makes it appear inappropriate and violates human rights."

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