Introduction and Vietnam’s Commitment to ILO Standards

In 2023, during a meeting with foreign experts, officials-in-charge from the Ministry of Labour, War Invalids and Social Affairs (MOLISA) announced the anticipated ratification of Convention No. 87 (Convention 87) of the ILO concerning Freedom of Association and Protection of the Right to Organise. This ratification is expected to occur in October 2024.

As a member of the ILO, Vietnam is obligated to uphold the core labour principles outlined in the 1998 ILO Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work. This declaration designates Convention 87 as one of the ten essential conventions. As of October 2022, 157 out of the ILO’s 187 member states have ratified Convention 87, and Vietnam has faced persistent encouragement from other member countries to join suit as soon as feasible.

Key provisions of Convention 87

It is worth noting that Convention 87 establishes the following fundamental rights:

(i) Employee Right to Unionize: Employees have the right to freely establish and join trade unions of their choosing without seeking prior permission.

(ii) Trade Union Autonomy: Trade unions have the right to conduct their internal affairs independently, including the issuance of charters and the implementation of internal regulations, electing representatives, and developing and implementing work plans.

(iii) Right to Join Higher-Level Organizations: Trade unions have the right to join higher-level labor organizations, aligned with their occupational and regional spheres, both domestically and internationally. These higher-level organizations enjoy the same rights as grassroots unions.

(iv) Protection from Government Interference: Labor organizations have the right to operate without being dissolved or suspended by the government’s competent authorities.


In summary, the anticipated ratification of Convention 87 by Vietnam signifies their commitment to upholding core labor rights and aligning themselves with international labor standards.

We will keep you updated on any relevant information on this subject as it becomes available.


Please do not hesitate to contact Dr. Oliver Massmann under omassmann@duanemorris.com or any other lawyer listed in our office list if you have any questions on the above. Dr. Oliver Massmann is the General Director of Duane Morris Vietnam LLC.

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The opinions expressed on this blog are those of the author and are not to be construed as legal advice.

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