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Vietnamese Ministerial Study Tour – NGO Law

As part of the NGO Law Reform Project, a collaborative effort between VNAH and the International Center for Not-for-Profit Law (ICNL), representatives of the Vietnamese Ministry of Home Affairs and local governments visited Washington in March 2003, on a study tour on best practices and principles of NGO law.  The ministerial group visited NGOs, law firms, tax specialists, and US government officials, and participated in seminars on NGO legislation in the US and other countries. 

The purpose of the study tour was to provide a variety of perspectives for their work in drafting a unified NGO law for Vietnam and to provide a sound legal framework for the growth and provision of desired public services by Vietnamese civil society organizations.  Such a framework will enable organizations to operate smoothly, become self-sustaining and accountable, and work in partnership with Vietnamese citizens, the government, and donors in achieving a better life for the people of Vietnam.
ICNL is a Washington-based international organization whose mission is to facilitate and support the development of civil society on a global basis. ICNL, in cooperation with other international, national, and local organizations, has worked in over 70 countries providing technical assistance for the creation and improvement of laws and regulatory systems that permit, encourage, and regulate the NGO sector.

Before the study tour, ICNL led seminars in Vietnam on good practices in NGO regulation.  The study tour represented a hands-on follow up to those seminars, providing direct contact with experts on taxation, economic activities of NGOs, transparency and oversight, and models from other countries.
The Vietnamese participants requested additional follow-on work with VNAH and ICNL in Vietnam, and funding for this work has been requested by the collaborating organizations. Both VNAH and ICNL hope to continue their work to help assure that progress toward establishment of a modern regulatory regime for Vietnamese civil society organizations.

Stephan Klingelhofer
President ICNL

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