Practice Relating to Rule 134. Women
In 2015, in a statement before the UN Security Council during the High-Level Review of UN Security Council Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security, made on behalf of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), the permanent representative of Viet Nam stated:
4. Although much progress has been made in key aspects of the landmark Resolution 1325 and subsequent relevant resolutions, gaps in implementation still need to be addressed even as we tackle new challenges.
Indeed, today’s security environment differs dramatically from that of fifteen years ago. ASEAN is deeply concerned by the unprecedented threats posed by wars and conflicts ravaging many states and regions, the rise of violent extremism, and the increasing number of refugees and internally displaced people. We are particularly alarmed by the horrendous phenomenon of widespread sexual violence against women and girls.
7. ASEAN is gravely troubled by the violation of the rights of women and girls, in conflicts and by extremist non-state actors. We particularly deplore sexual violence against women and girls, especially when it is deployed as a tactic of war. Women and girls in conflicts are also being deprived of their most basic needs, including shelter, food, water and healthcare. We call on the United Nations and the international community to take immediate action to end all acts of conflict-related sexual violence and provide protection and support to women and girls in conflicts.
Viet Nam’s Penal Code (1999) provides that the death penalty “shall not apply to … pregnant women and women nursing children under 36 months old at the time of committing crimes or being tried”.
Viet Nam’s Criminal Code (2015), which includes war crimes, states:
Article 40. Death sentence
1. [The d]eath sentence is a special sentence imposed upon people committing extremely serious crimes that infringe national security, human life, drug-related crimes, corruption-related crimes, and some other extremely serious crimes defined by this Code.
2. [The death sentence] shall not be imposed upon juvenile offenders, women who are pregnant or raising children under 36 months of age, and people [who were] 75 years of age or older when they commit[ted] the crime or [at the time of] trial.
3. The [death] sentence shall not be executed in any of the following cases:
a) The convict is pregnant or a woman raising a child under 36 months of age;
4. In the cases specified in Clause 3 of this Article or [if] the death sentence is commuted, the death sentence shall be replaced with life imprisonment.