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Justice Ministry steps in on ID debate

 The Ministry of Justice has said that birth and marriage certificates should not fall under the purview of the Citizen Identity Law that is being drafted by the Public Security Ministry.
The Ministry of Justice has said that birth and marriage certificates should not fall under the purview of the Citizen Identity Law that is being drafted by the Public Security Ministry.

Instead, it should remain within the Law on Household Registration that the Justice Ministry is drafting, officials said at a conference yesterday.

Nguyen Cong Khanh, General Director of the Civil Status, Nationality and Authentication Authority, said: "Birth and marriage certificates are two important papers that are attached to citizens for the rest of their lives."

Certification of other personal information including permanent address, place of birth and ethnic group could be stored in the Justice Ministry's database and provided on demand, Khanh said.

Ministry spokesman Tran Tien Dung said that the proposal was being made in the context of the draft Citizen's Identity Law proposing 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 marriage status.

The identity card will be issued at four different stages – under 14, 14 to 25, 25 to 70 and over 70.

However, Dung said that identification cards are typically used to distinguish a citizen from the other through his or her distinguishing features. Therefore, it would be inappropriate to issue identification cards for children under 14 since their features are not fully developed at that age.

He also said that removing birth certificates would cause Vietnamese children problems with overseas administrative procedures.

Dung later summarised the ministry's performance in the first nine months this year, especially in formulating and amending legal documents.

The Government and its agencies issued 103 documents to implement 41 valid regulations and laws, reviewed more than 92,000 legal documents and proposed to change, amend and supplement 292 documents, he said.

The Justice Ministry will continue to review and reduce the number of administrative procedures in several policies including those relating to taxes and customs.

It would also review and identify policies that need to be changed and/or supplemented in order to bring them in line with the 2013 Constitution, Dung said.

VNS/VNN

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