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Vietnam Human Rights Act of 2011

Vietnam Human Rights Act of 2011
Prime Sponsor: Rep. Chris Smith (NJ)
Co-sponsors: Reps Lofgren, Loretta Sanchez, Wolf

Summary of Main Provisions

Section 3

• The U.S. Government is prohibited from providing non-humanitarian assistance to the Government of Vietnam over FY11 levels unless:

- Levels of increased non-humanitarian assistance are commensurate with U.S. funding for human rights and democracy programming in Vietnam

- The President determines and certifies to Congress that Vietnam has dramatically improved its human rights record including:

* Releasing all political and religious prisoners
* Respecting the right to freedom of religion and returning confiscated church properties
* Respecting the right to freedom of expression, assembly, and association
* Substantial progress towards repealing or revising laws that criminalize democracy related activities
* Allowing Vietnamese nationals access to U.S. refugee programs
* Respecting the human rights of all ethnic and minority groups
* Ending severe forms of trafficking in persons

• Grants the President the ability to waive the prohibition, if such a waiver would promote the purpose of the act or is in the national interest of the United States

Section 4

• Authorizes the President to provide assistance to promote internationally recognized human rights in Vietnam

Section 5

• States the policy of the United States to overcome the jamming of Radio Free Asia and to promote educational and cultural exchange programs with Vietnam

Section 6

• Reinstates U.S. policy to provide refugee resettlement to Vietnamese nationals

Section 7

• Requires the Secretary of State to submit a report to Congress on the progress of human rights in Vietnam