Torture in  [Vietnam]  [other countries]
Human Trafficking in  [Vietnam]  [other countries]
Street Children in  [Vietnam]  [other countries]
Child Prostitution in  [Vietnam]  [other countries]

Child Prostitution

The Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children

In the early years of the 21st Century                                        

Socialist Republic of Vietnam

Since 2001, Vietnamese authorities have reaffirmed their commitment to economic liberalization and international integration. They have moved to implement the structural reforms needed to modernize the economy and to produce more competitive export-driven industries.

Agriculture's share of economic output has continued to shrink from about 25% in 2000 to less than 20% in 2008. Deep poverty has declined significantly and is now smaller than that of China, India, and the Philippines. Vietnam is working to create jobs to meet the challenge of a labor force that is growing by more than one-and-a-half million people every year.  [The World Factbook, U.S.C.I.A. 2009]

Description: Description: Description: Description: Vietnam

CAUTION:  The following links and accompanying text have been culled from the web to illuminate the situation in Vietnam.  Some of these links may lead to websites that present allegations that are unsubstantiated, misleading or even false.   No attempt has been made to validate their authenticity or to verify their content.



If you are looking for material to use in a term-paper, you are advised to scan the postings on this page and others to see which aspects of child prostitution are of particular interest to you.  You might be interested in exploring how children got started, how they survive, and how some succeed in leaving.  Perhaps your paper could focus on runaways and the abuse that led to their leaving.  Other factors of interest might be poverty, rejection, drug dependence, coercion, violence, addiction, hunger, neglect, etc.  On the other hand, you might choose to write about the manipulative and dangerous adults who control this activity.  There is a lot to the subject of Child Prostitution.  Scan other countries as well as this one.  Draw comparisons between activity in adjacent countries and/or regions.  Meanwhile, check out some of the Term-Paper resources that are available on-line.


Check out some of the Resources for Teachers attached to this website.


Desperation up close

Richard Greenberg, NBC News producer, 1/23/2004

[accessed 17 January 2011]

“New girls! New girls!” exclaimed Po, a 15-year-old pimp. What he meant was the girls filling the room had arrived recently from Vietnam. Some, especially the really young ones, age 10 and under, were sent by family members, who probably were paid a few hundred dollars in return. Many of the teenagers, we learned, had been tricked, believing they were coming to Phnom Penh to work as waitresses, and now were stuck with no way to get back home.

It came down to this: these five- to 10-year-old girls, instead of playing with dolls or learning to read, were being raped so adults could make a living. As the father of two daughters, I couldn’t fathom the kind of desperation that would prompt a parent to send a child into this situation. htcp

Vietnam: Child Prostitution

Radio Singapore International, 09 December 2003

[accessed 15 August 2011]

Nyung, which means rabbit in Vietnamese, worked as a child prostitute since the age of 12. A daughter of one of Vietnam’s university’s cook, she was the pride of her father, because she was able to earn more than anyone else in the neighborhood, working as a child prostitute.

Child Prostitution Starting To Appear In Vietnam

Reuters, Hanoi, June 10, 1999

[accessed 15 August 2011]

Christine Beddoe, tourism program director for international group End Child Prostitution, Pornography and Trafficking (ECPAT) Australia, said there was credible evidence to suggest foreign child sex tourists were active in Vietnam. ``There is really strong anecdotal evidence coming from Hoi An where it appears foreign females are abusing underage boys,'' she said. Beddoe added that the northern mountain resort of Sapa was also being repeatedly mentioned from different sources who remark on child sex abuse mostly with young girls from the Hmong ethnic minority.


*** ARCHIVES ***

Human Rights Reports » 2005 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices

U.S. Dept of State Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, March 8, 2006

[accessed 17 January 2011]

CHILDREN - Widespread poverty contributed to continued child prostitution, particularly of girls but also of some boys, in major cities. Many prostitutes in Ho Chi Minh City were under 18 years of age. Some child prostitutes, such as those from abusive homes, were forced into prostitution for economic reasons.

Some children were trafficked domestically, and others were trafficked to foreign destinations for the purpose of sexual exploitation.

Concluding Observations of the Committee on the Rights of the Child (CRC)

UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, 31 January 2003

[accessed 17 January 2011]

[49] The Committee notes with concern that a significant proportion of sex workers are under the age of 18. Furthermore, it is concerned that, although the State party recognizes trafficking in children to be a significant problem, the number of officially reported cases is very low.

Ghana: Rescuing the Child Prostitute, Whose Responsibility?

Wisdom Dzidedi Donkor, Public Agenda, Accra, 5 November 2007

[partially accessed 15 August 2011 - access restricted]

RESEARCH FINDINGS - Also in Thailand, NGOs have estimated that up to a third of prostitutes are children under 18. A study by the International Labour Organization on child prostitution in Vietnam again reported that incidence of children in prostitution is steadily increasing and children under 18 make up between 5 percent and 20 percent of prostitution depending on the geographical area.

Five Years After Stockholm [PDF]

ECPAT: Fifth Report on implementation of the Agenda for Action

ECPAT International, November 2001

[accessed 13 September 2011]

[B] COUNTRY UPDATES – VIETNAM – Three plans incorporating CSEC already exist in the country. These are: the National Plan of Action to Protect Children in Especially Difficult Circumstances, the new National Program of Action for Children for 2001-2010, which includes the protection of children from sexual abuse and exploitation, and the National Programme of Action against Prostitution for 2001-2005.

Vietnam Action Plan

[accessed 15 August 2011]

Vietnam encourages the participation of international agencies such as UNICEF and local NGOs to work with local-level child protection networks to protect and prevent Vietnamese children from being trafficked to China, Cambodia and other countries in the region. Information about commercial and sexual exploitation of women and children is also regularly disseminated through newspapers and TV.  Workshops have been organized with the aim of preventing sexual abuse and child prostitution, and government personnel participated in these workshops.

Trafficking and Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children

Save the Children - Our Work in Vietnam - Key Issues

[accessed 15 August 2011]

At the moment, the sexual abuse and exploitation of children continues to be a considerably under-reported offence. One reason for that is the lack of experience dealing with this issue. Though its Government has started to seriously look at the issue and have an explicit or coherent policy to combat it, as yet, the Government has not introduced any program to help victims prepare for their return and reintegration.

Viet Nam children in prostitution in Hanoi, Hai Phong, Ho Chi Minh City and Can Tho: a rapid assessment

L. B. Duong, International Labour Organization ILO, 2002

At one time this article had been archived and may possibly still be accessible [here]

[accessed 15 August 2011]

This Rapid Assessment provides some insight into the situation of young people involved in prostitution in Viet Nam. The bulk of the information is based on interviews with 122 children, with brothel owners and with pimps. The report more generally provides in depth understanding of the issues of children in prostitution.

The Modern Scourge of Sex Slavery

Dr. Martin Brass, Soldier of Fortune Magazine, September 2004,13190,SOF_0904_Slavery1,00.html

[accessed 17 January 2011]

[Photo Caption] Cambodian policeman escorts 11-year-old Vietnamese girl from brothel in Toul Kork red-light district of Phnom Penh: Six girls from 11-13 years of age were rescued from brothel that offered only young children. Trafficked from Vietnam, children were rescued during sting operation involving Cambodian Interpol and local police, led by End Child Prostitution, Pornography and Trafficking (ECPAT)

Street Kids Wear Scars Of Abuse

Viet Nam News VNS, Hanoi, February 18, 2004

At one time this article had been archived and may possibly still be accessible [here]

[accessed 15 August 2011]

Many children, girls particularly, abandoned by their parents, or tricked into taking jobs under false pretenses, end up abused, begging, and often forced into prostitution.

Sister's Love Reaches Out To Street Children Of Vietnam

Catholic Leader, Brisbane, issue of  4 Apr, 2004

At one time this article had been archived and may possibly still be accessible [here]

[accessed 15 August 2011]

In Ho Chi Minh City alone there are an estimated 25,000 children living on the streets. Many of these children get caught up in the underworld of drugs and prostitution as they move into the bigger cities. The high unemployment and overpopulation in rural areas forced many families to migrate to the big cities, leading to the break-up of families with the resulting loss of role models for the children. In some cases children ended up being 'sold' or abandoned. 'They sleep on the streets and become scavengers, beggars, shoe-shiners, market laborers, carriers, dishwashers and prostitutes,' Sister Franklin said.

China, Vietnam Cooperate to Halt Human Trafficking

China Internet Information Center, June 4, 2004

[accessed 4 September 2012]

The trafficking of girls over the Vietnam-China border has been a problem since the two countries normalized relations in 1989. In recent years evidence indicates that the girls have been getting younger and more are being sold into prostitution, rather than as wives as in the past.

Worst Forms of Child Labour Report 2005 - Vietnam

Global March Against Child Labour, 2005

[accessed 13 September 2012]

CHILD PROSTITUTION AND PORNOGRAPHY - NATIONAL STATISTICS - A report presented to the International Young People's Participation conference in Manila in May 2000 stated that "based on reports by the Social Evil Prevention Department of the Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs, there were from 5000 to 7000 children involved in commercial sexual exploitation in 1998." (ECPAT, CSEC Database,

All material used herein reproduced under the fair use exception of 17 USC § 107 for noncommercial, nonprofit, and educational use.  PLEASE RESPECT COPYRIGHTS OF COMPONENT ARTICLES.  Cite this webpage as: Patt, Prof. Martin, "Child Prostitution - Vietnam",, [accessed <date>]



Torture in  [Vietnam]  [other countries]
Human Trafficking in  [Vietnam]  [other countries]
Street Children in  [Vietnam]  [other countries]
Child Prostitution in  [Vietnam]  [other countries]