Project information

Standing up for Ethnic Minorities in Vietnam

The project aims to promote the rights of ethnic minorities in Vietnam through building the capacity and voice of ethnic minority communities in the country to realise their basic human rights, and by building links with key stakeholders in the media and in local/national government.

3 years

Charity information: Minority Rights Group International (MRG)

Minority Rights Group International (MRG) logo
  • Need


    Adherence to international standards Vietnam has signed up to has been weak in many cases and the implementation of development initiatives has often not reached the most vulnerable ethnic minority communities. They continue to be discriminated against by state and non-state actors and remain marginalised from development programmes and from decision making processes. Ethnic minorities suffer from poor access to education, land, markets, financial services and employment.


    lThe proposed project will build the capacity of ethnic minority representatives to understand their rights under Vietnamese laws and international norms, and to understand the areas in which they can influence key decision makers. It will also strengthen the capacity of ethnic minority representatives to work together to secure their rights through both direct and indirect interaction with government stakeholders and with the media – who have the ability to shape and influence public opinion.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    Increased capacity of civil society organisations and ethnic minority leaders.


    » Capacity-building training for 50 ethnic minority leaders on poverty alleviation, domestic and international human rights frameworks & advocacy.
    » Community outreach for 500 ethnic minority households.

    Success will be when civil society organisations and ethnic minority leaders strengthen their capacity to advocate for the rights of ethnic minorities.

    Aim 2

    Increased commitment from national & regional decision-makers to improve minority rights in Vietnam.


    » Training for 25 local/national government officials to build their awareness of their obligations under international human rights instruments.
    » Field visits by 10 government officials to ethnic minority locations and visit to Vietnam by a 4-member foreign delegation
    » National & regional advocacy consisting of 2 roundtables in-country and 2 meetings with ASEAN/ SAARC members with government officials in Vietnam.

    Success will be when national & regional decision-makers take more affirmative actions on improving the situation of ethnic minorities in Vietnam.

    Aim 3

    Better cohesion between ethnic minority activists/ leaders.


    » A network of 45 ethnic minority activists & leaders will be developed in order to strengthen coalition-building and negotiation with government.

    Success will be when ethnic minority activists/ leaders become more skilled in coalition-building and negotiating with the government.

    Aim 4

    More sensitive and positive coverage in the media about ethnic minority issues.


    » Training and sensitization for media (15 journalists) on minority rights.
    » 1 briefing and 1 report published on minority rights issues in Vietnam.

    The project contributes to a more pronounced pro-minority tone amongst media when reporting on ethnic minority issues.

  • Impact


    The initiative will increase the engagement between ethnic minorities and the government in Vietnam with a view to poverty reduction and improved land rights. The project will build the capacity of ethnic minority communities and their representatives to understand their rights and to secure them through greater coordination and communications with state and non-state actors at all levels.


    Risks include fieldwork and community based activities jeopardised by civil/political unrest. However, MRG has a contingency plan that would be put into place and would encompass this project.


    Reporting to donors will take place on an annual basis, in conjunction with our main donor’s reporting guidelines.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £13,656

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      Amount Heading Description
      £6,300 Printing and dissemination printing translations, compiling policy briefs, advocating seminar
      £4,205 Capacity building workshop, field trip to ethnic region
      £3,151 Staffing staffing and management costs
  • Background


    Vietnam, with a focus on Dak Lak Province and Lao Cai Province.


    The final beneficiaries are 44 ethnic minority groups in the Dak Lak province, which form 31.4% of the province’s population of 1,759,100, & 25 ethnic groups in Lao Cai, who form 64.09% of the total population of 602,300. These communities will benefit from the strengthened capacities of the CSOs and activists that represent them.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    There is no other NGO with MRG’s broad mandate on minority issues, nor its high reputation among minority communities, governments and UN human rights bodies. MRG has consultative status with the UN Economic & Social Council and observer status with the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights. The approach used in this work has been informed by MRG’s forty years’ experience of strengthening the rights of marginalised groups from across the world.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Institute For Studies Of Society, Economy And Environment (ISEE)

    iSEE will assist with its expertise of the situation of ethnic minorities in Vietnam and the marginalisation they experience.