EU Approval of Trade Pact Will Give Vietnam Green Light to Continue Violations: HRW

A European Union approval of a landmark free trade deal with Vietnam, absent any concrete improvement to its human rights record, would give Hanoi carte blanche to continue with violations, a rights group warned Monday, on the eve of an EU vote on the pact.

The EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA), inked in June, would eliminate 99 percent of tariffs on goods between the bloc and Southeast Asian country, although some would be reduced over a 10-year period and others will be limited by quotas.

The European Parliament is scheduled to vote to approve the agreement on Tuesday over the objections of international and Vietnamese nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), who last week urged lawmakers to postpone consent on the EVFTA until Vietnam’s government agrees to protect the rights of laborers and ensure human rights.

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