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Phan Thi Thanh Thuy & Vu Cong Giao, Vietnam National University, Hanoi Charitable Crowdfunding in Time of Emergency in Vietnam: The Policy and Legal Issues

Charitable crowdfunding has become popular in Vietnam since the 2000s. In the early stage, it was implicitly understood as a function of the organizations that belong to the socio-political system, including the Father Front, Women’s Union, Youth’s Union. Later, many foreign non-profit organizations, domestic private voluntary organizations, and individual philanthropists also actively participated in charity fundraising.

In recent emergencies, particularly in disasters and the Covid-19 pandemic, charitable crowdfunding is attracted mixed opinions. On the one hand, many charitable funds are proving to be important and timely resources to support social security and warrant human rights for the most vulnerable people in hardship. On the other hand, there are doubts about the legitimacy, transparency, and professionalism of many charitable funds, especially those raised through the social networks by famous and socially influential individuals such as singers, actors and actresses, and social activists.

These controversies also are raising questions about the significance of charitable crowd funding in protecting human rights during the time of emergency and whether the current policy and legal regulations on philanthropy are adequate to push this type of fundraising for the right purpose and to the right people in Vietnam.

To answer these questions, this article will focus on examining the actual situation of charitable crowdfunding in Vietnam within the current policy and legal regulations. From there, the paper will discover and analyze the limitations and give suggestions to improving the laws on charity in Vietnam to ensure that charitable crowdfunding is an effective tool for civil society organizations and individual donors to contribute to the protection of human rights in the country.

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