Vietnamese citizens live under a repressive regime that habitually imprisons dissenters, assaults peaceful activists, restricts freedom of speech and curbs many other fundamental human rights. VOICE (Vietnamese Overseas Initiative for Conscience Empowerment) aims to build a vibrant civil society in Vietnam to combat this repression and hold the government accountable to its citizen and to their human rights protected under international law.
VOICE invests its resources in capacity-building programs, advocacy, civil society support to achieve its vision. VOICE also continues refugee resettlement work to support the vulnerable and to remember its roots.
Our six-month internship program is designed to train committed human rights social activists from Vietnam and to equip them with new tools to become more effective leaders in civil society when they return. We provide the activists with more robust knowledge on content areas such as Vietnamese history, global political ideologies, international advocacy, human rights mechanisms, English lessons, as well as to develop functional skills according to the interns’ capacity and interests, such as in communications, multimedia skills, and project management, etc.
We run specific campaigns aimed at promoting fundamental rights in tandem with our in-country partners and INGOs using UN human rights mechanisms and dialogues between Vietnam and Australia, the US, and the EU.
Additionally, by providing a space for networking in our capacity-building program, VOICE connects the Vietnamese HRDs to representatives from regional and international mechanisms, enabling further opportunities for advocacy.
Civil society support
We assist in the creation and management of civil society projects in Vietnam, especially those engineered by our former and current interns.
We advocate and find durable solutions for refugees from Vietnam who have to seek asylum due to their persecution from the Vietnamese government for their human rights work and peaceful activism. In our refugee work today, we remember the roots of our organization which began as a legal aid office to assist almost 3,000 stateless Vietnamese refugees in the Philippines gain asylum from 1997 to 2009.
The VOICE team leverages in-depth country knowledge to identify synergy between the Vietnamese overseas community, its international partners and local Vietnamese civil society leaders’ needs to deliver on our four main programs. VOICE’s efforts are assisted and enhanced by our independent affiliates, which share our mission. Our partnership comprises of the following organizations: VOICE Australia, VOICE Canada, VOICE Norway, VOICE U.K.