In the morning of September 28th 2015 at VLA Head office, the signing ceremony of the cooperation agreement on the implementation of the project “Legal Assistance to Contract Farming” between Vietnam Lawyers Association (VLA) and Agricultural Development Denmark Asia (ADDA) toke place.

Attending in the ceremony, there were Mr. Nguyễn Văn Quyền, Party Committee Secretary cum Chairman of VLA, Mrs. Lê Thị Kim Thanh, Vice Chairman of VLA cum Head of Foreign Relations and International Cooperation Mrs. Arafa Ayoub Khatib, Country Representative of ADDA Representative Office in Hà Nội and representative from Lawyers Associations in Lai Châu, Lào Cai, Sơn La and Legal Consulting Centers directly under VLA

In the opening speech at the Ceremony, Mr. Nguyễn Văn Quyền emphasized that legal dissemination, education and free consultancy for the poor and policy beneficiaries is a priority for the Vietnamese Government. A big program of the Government has been set forth since 1990 in order to support poor population, policy beneficiaries and marginalized social groups to have access to legal information and free services. This policy of the Party and Government appropriated funds with UN to enhance social equality, human rights, protection and development. This has been appreciated by the international community and supported positively. In the Direction No.56/CT-TW dated 18/8/2000 issued by the former Political Ministry on strengthening Party guidance on legal dissemination VLA was assigned to provide free legal aid for the poor and social beneficiaries. At the same time, in the implementing program the Decree No.49-NQ/TW dated 02/6/2005 of the former Political Ministry on Judicial Reform Strategy to the year 2020, VLA was assigned to preside over construction and implementation of the Project on Socialization of Legal Education, Dissemination and Legal Aid.

In recent years in collaboration with ADDA, VLA has implemented the project “Legal aid to rural population” the 1st phase from 2008 - 2010 in Dien Bien, Lai Chau, Lao Cai and the 2nd phase from 2011 -  2014 in Dien Bien, Son La and Hoa Binh. The first project was funded by the Danish Embassy in Vietnam and the second phase funded through the Danish Development Agency DANIDA.

During the period of the two former projects VLA and ADDA recognized that there is a need among farmers and agro-industrial companies for mediation in the collaboration between farmers and companies. The project “Legal Assistant to Contract Farming” among Ethnic minority in the North of Vietnam has now been funded by the Danish organization CISU.. The project is being implemented in 3 provinces: Lao Cai, Lai Chau and Son La, over 3 years from August 2015 to July 2018. The project objective is to strengthen legal capacity in order to protect legal right and benefits for the stakeholders involved in contract farming within ethnic minority areas in Northern Vietnam.

Through VLAs Legal Consulting Center for the poor and community development and in coordinating with Provincial Lawyer Association in Lao Cai, Lai Chau, Son La project activities will be organized with support and consulting from ADDA's advisors.

Mrs. Arafa Ayoub Khatib mentioned that there is still a strong need for support for the rural population in Northern Vietnam despite the general economic growth in Vietnam. VLA and ADDA will continue to to support the rural population in Vietnam and draw donors attention to the continued need for focus in this area. Mr. Triệu Viết Hanh, Chairman of Lao Cai Lawyer Association also noted in the ceremony that each province in average have 20 ethnic minority groups.The legal knowledge is very low for these groups. Currently, thanks to interest of VLA and ADDA to conduct the project in this area, they promised to create favorable condition to organize, disseminate mobilize and educate legal knowledge for local people so that the project will be implemented in the most effective way.