Legal review on social work in Viet Nam

Implementing agency: legal department

Legal review on social work
UNICEF Viet Nam\Truong Viet Hung


In Viet Nam, the support services such as support for the elderly, orphans, disabled, and those in difficult circumstances implemented by individuals and organizations such as the Red Cross, Women Union, Youth Union… have been developed from very early time. If the services include the activities of thousands of pagodas in Viet Nam - which have carried out activities of bringing up orphans, homeless people, providing food and shelters for street persons; providing medical care for sick people; providing counseling, psychological and spiritual support for Vietnamese families and communities since Buddhism was introduced to Viet Nam at around the second century, it can be considered that the social work-related activities has appeared in Viet Nam very early. This process looks similar to social work development in many developed countries in the world such as England, USA, where most of the activities were orgined from spontaneous and voluntary activities implemented by religious organizations in the spirit of helping people and compassion. Although these activities at the beginning were mainly charitable, not being recognized as a profession with specialized knowledge and competences, and not clearly known as social work, they essentially set up a basis for the development of social work.

From 1945 to now, due to the chaos of historical situation, the legal frame in a certain historical period was not comprehensively and completely developed. For example, during the years of American War, the Northern government introduced legal documents, policies, and programs related to social work to help the poor, the disabled, wounded and sick soldiers…; whereas, in the South, the Republic of Vietnam’s government also enacted a number of laws and opened social work schools under the management of the Ministry of Social Affairs. Since the reunification of Viet Nam (1975), under the leadership of the Communist Party through direction and guidelines (shown in the resolutions and policies of the Party), the support activities relating to social work in our country achieved great achievements contributing to the victory of the Vietnamese revolution. The orientation of Communist Party and the needs of society have directed the institutionalization of State legal documents in different fields, including field of social work.

Legal review on social work
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