(VOA) – The International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) says it has filed a complaint with the European Union over its free trade talks with Vietnam.
FIDH Permanent representative to the EU in Brussels, Gaëlle Dusepulchre, says in an interview with VOA’s Vietnamese service the group wants the EU Ombudsperson to address the European Commission’s refusal to take human rights into account in negotiations with Hanoi.
She adds that a human rights impact assessment for Vietnam will help with EU trade talks elsewhere in the region.
“The [commission] is also negotiating with other countries from the ASEAN region, like Burma for example. We think the problem will be [similar] with those countries. So, if we have good recommendations for Vietnam, we will be in a better position for those countries,” said Dusepulchre.
The Associated Press quotes top EU diplomat Catherine Ashton as saying the EU was making progress in free trade talks with Vietnam, but a concerted push would be needed to reach an agreement this year. She made the remarks after meeting with officials in Hanoi on Tuesday.
The EU is already Vietnam’s largest export market, with shipments worth $28 billion last year.