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Street Children

Human Trafficking & Modern-day Slavery

Poverty drives the unsuspecting poor into the hands of traffickers

Published reports & articles from 2000 to 2025                         

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

Vietnam is a source and destination country for men, women, and children trafficked for forced labor and commercial sexual exploitation. Women and children are trafficked to the People’s Republic of China (PRC), Cambodia, Thailand, the Republic of Korea, Malaysia, Indonesia, Taiwan, and Macau for sexual exploitation. Vietnam is a source country for men and women who migrate for work through informal networks and through state-owned and private labor export companies in the construction, fishing, or manufacturing sectors in Malaysia, Taiwan, South Korea, the PRC, Japan, Thailand, Indonesia, Western Europe, and the Middle East, but subsequently face conditions of forced labor or debt bondage. Labor export companies may charge workers as much as $10,000 for the opportunity to work abroad, making them highly vulnerable to debt bondage.   - U.S. State Dept Trafficking in Persons Report, June, 2009   Check out a later country report here and possibly a full TIP Report here



CAUTION:  The following links 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 or even false.  No attempt has been made to verify their authenticity or to validate 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 Human Trafficking are of particular interest to you.  Would you like to write about Forced-Labor?  Debt Bondage? Prostitution? Forced Begging? Child Soldiers? Sale of Organs? etc.  On the other hand, you might choose to include precursors of trafficking such as poverty and hunger. There is a lot to the subject of Trafficking.  Scan other countries as well.  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.

HELP for Victims

International Organization for Migration
83 822 2057
Country code: 84-



The Plight Of Vietnamese Women

Nguoi Viet , Commentary, New America Media, Hoi Trinh, Apr 02, 2005

[accessed 28 August 2011]

[accessed 3 March 2019]

There are, at present, around 200,000 Vietnamese women in Taiwan.  Most of them are 17- and 18-year-old girls trying to escape poverty by agreeing to marry Taiwanese men of various shapes and sizes. These grooms may be old and crippled.  Even when the girls’ families end up with only $500 most of the brides said that they would still do it again despite their black years in Taiwan.  They would do it for their peasant families in rural Viet Nam, leaving aside the cosmic question of how one could practically sell oneself for a mere $500.

Trafficking of men appears in border provinces

VietNamNet Bridge, September 27, 2007-- Source: VTV

[accessed 15  August 2012]

Two months ago, a woman came to Phu’s hamlet to recruit workers to work in China with a monthly income of VND3.6 million ($220). Eight young boys, including Phu went with the woman to China but only Phu and another boy named Phan Van Lin could escape from the brick kiln.  “We didn’t know that we were sold till we arrived at the brick kiln. If we didn’t work, we would be beaten by the brick kiln owners,” he said.

Trafficking of women is popular but trafficking of men is still very strange to both the people and state agencies. Young boys like Diu and Phu want to denounce the woman who sold them to China but the Vietnamese laws don’t have regulations on this crime yet.

Deputy PM asks for more focus on human trafficking prevention

Vietnam News Agency, 08/04/2007

[accessed 3 May 2012]

Apart from women and girls, men and boys are also being trafficked for forced labour overseas.  Most of the victims, who were sent across the country's borders for prostitution or child adoption purposes, are from remote, mountainous and underprivileged regions.


*** ARCHIVES ***

Man arrested for selling teenage girl to China

Hai Binh, VN Express International, 25 December 25, 2020

[accessed 25 December 2020]

The Nghe An Province police have arrested a man for allegedly tricking a 14-year-old girl and trafficking her to China.

Cut Van Ut, 32, of Tuong Duong District faces charges of child trafficking.

According to investigators, he was hired by a Vietnamese woman living in China, identified only by her given name, Van, to traffic women to her.

For every woman he sent, Ut was to be paid VND5 million ($216.24).

In April last year he met a 14-year-old ethnic Khmu girl, whose identity has not been disclosed to protect her, in a remote commune in the central province's Ky Son District.

She had dropped out of school.

Ut told her he had contacts and could get her a job with decent wages in southern Vietnam. The girl believed him and agreed to leave home with him.

He then sent her straight to Van in China, and she sold her to a Chinese family for VND140 million for marriage to a man in that family.

Reintegration shelter for human trafficking victims in Lao Cai

Lao Cai, Vietnam News Service VNS & Vietnam News Agency VNA, 29 December 2019

[accessed 3 January 2020]

Nguyen Thi Van (not her real name) from the northern mountainous province of Lao Cai was lured across the border to China and sold off as a wife when she was 16 years old.

Three months later, she escaped from her husband and returned to Vietnam, but it was not easy for her back in her hometown where villagers criticised her for going in the first place.

Between 2015 and October 2019, the province welcomed home 436 trafficking victims from China.

Most of the victims are forced to work as prostitutes for no money, while others are sent to labour in the farms or forests unpaid. Others go to work in China legally then change jobs with the promise of higher salaries, but end up trapped by the traffickers, according to local authorities.

Vietnam human trafficking worth billions of dollars a year

Phan Anh, VN Express International, 1 December 2019

[accessed 1 December 2019]

While exact numbers are not available on profit derived from human trafficking activities in Vietnam, the ministry has identified several transnational organ trade and surrogacy rings in the past few years worth hundreds of thousands of dollars, and these form just a part of the whole human trafficking family, Nhan said.

Vietnam has recorded over 3,400 victims of human trafficking since 2013, over 90 percent of them women, children and people from ethnic minority communities, said Nguyen Xuan Lap, head of the Department of Social Issues Prevention, at the conference. Many of them are from rural communities or poor areas, who either work in agriculture, are uneducated or unemployed, he said.

2020 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices: Vietnam

U.S. Dept of State Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, 30 March 2021

[accessed 29 June 2021]


Labor recruitment firms, most affiliated with state-owned enterprises, and unlicensed brokers reportedly charged workers seeking overseas employment higher fees than the law allows, and they did so with impunity. Those workers incurred high debts and were thus more vulnerable to forced labor, including debt bondage.


Illegal child labor was reported in labor-intensive sectors, such as construction, production of garments and textiles, bricks, fish, furniture, footwear, and leather goods, agriculture, and some manufacturing. Local media also reported children working as beggars in gangs whose leaders abused the children and took most of their income. Some children started work as young as 12, and nearly 55 percent of child workers did not attend school.

In the garment sector, children as young as age six reportedly produced garments in conditions of forced labor. The most recently available information from government raids, NGOs, and media reports during the year indicated this was most common in small, privately owned garment factories and informal workshops.

Freedom House Country Report

2020 Edition

[accessed 10 May 2020]


Human trafficking remains a problem in Vietnam, although the government has made some efforts to boost antitrafficking efforts. Internationally brokered marriages sometimes lead to domestic servitude and forced prostitution. Male and female migrant workers are vulnerable to forced labor abroad in a variety of industries. Enforcement of legal safeguards against exploitative working conditions, child labor, and workplace hazards remains poor.

"Vulnerability' To Human Trafficking: A Study Of Viet Nam, Albania, Nigeria And The UK

Patricia Hynes, Report of Shared Learning Event held in Tirana, Albania: 24-26 October 2017

[Long URL]

[accessed 13 February 2022]

This report describes the first stages of an ethically-led, two-year research study into understanding the causes, dynamics and ‘vulnerabilities’ to and resilience against human trafficking in three source countries– Albania, Viet Nam and Nigeria – plus the support needs of people from these countries who have experienced trafficking when identified as potential ‘victims’ of trafficking in the UK.

Boycott "Blood Cashews" From Vietnam

Press Release, BPSOS - Boat People SOS, June 13, 2012

[accessed 16 February 2016]

[accessed 3 March 2019]

At a recent hearing before the US Congress, Dr. Nguyen Dinh Thang, Executive Director of Boat People SOS (BPSOS), reported that Vietnamese prisoners, including political prisoners, have similarly been subjected to forced labor:   "One Montagnard, jailed from 2002 through 2009, had to do this for 7 years.  His hands were injured by the caustic resin from the cashew nuts because he was not allowed to wear gloves."

Speaking for CAMSA, Mr. Vu Quoc Dung, Secretary General of Germany-based International Society for Human Rights, denounces the dangerous cashew work in prisons such as the Z30A Prison in Xuan Loc, where political prisoners are forced each to process 32 kg of class B cashews daily. Some prisoners have developed blindness as a result. Many have suffered injuries to their faces and hands. Those failing to meet the assigned quota would be beaten with a whip and kicked. Political prisoners who oppose forced labor have reportedly been shackled and held in solitary confinement.

An Analysis of Human Trafficking for Sexual Exploitation in the Socialist Republic of Vietnam and a Comprehensive Approach to Combating the Problem

Charles Tucker, University of California Davis Journal of International Law & Policy, 2010

[Long URL]

[accessed 13 February 2022]

The paper addresses various multi-disciplinary initiatives that could be helpful for the Vietnamese government to reduce human trafficking. Section I of the paper outlines the background of human trafficking in Vietnam, examining demand factors, vulnerability of victims, and the consequences of trafficking to victims and Vietnamese society. Section II analyzes the existing Vietnamese legal framework – nationally and regionally. Section III analyzes the international legal framework concerning human trafficking. Section IV presents the authors’ normative policy prescriptions, including legal recommendations, anti-trafficking initiatives, and victim protection initiatives. Section V concludes with a summary of the recommended anti-trafficking measures.

Trafficking victims try to remake lives

Monica Rhor, Associated Press AP, April 13, 2009

[accessed 18 June 2013]

[accessed 20 February 2018]

Like dozens of other workers from Vietnam and China, Tiep Ngo had been lured to the Daewoosa clothing factory in American Samoa by hollow promises of good pay. She left behind her child, her husband and her parents and paid $5,000 for her job contract, only to be starved, beaten and cheated of wages.   For nearly two years, Ngo labored in the stifling, overcrowded factory, subsisting on meager portions of rice and cabbage and longing for her family.

Malaysia, Viet Nam police to investigate human trafficking

Vietnam News Agency

[access date unavailable]

[accessed 20 February 2018]

Malaysian Deputy Inspector-General of Police Ismail Omar said that scores of young women from the Cuu Long (Mekong) Delta region in Viet Nam had been enticed by promises of well-paid work as waitresses in Malaysia.  The trafficking ring allegedly organised their passports and flight tickets and then forced them into prostitution.  If they refused, they were locked up, beaten and starved, according to the report.

Vietnam man arrested for human trafficking, Hanoi, 05 January 2008 – Source:,23599,23011635-23109,00.html

[accessed 17 January 2011]

[accessed 20 February 2018]

[accessed 3 March 2019]

The Hanoi man, identified as Nguyen Anh Tuan, allegedly befriended the women through internet chatrooms, then enticed them to travel to northern border areas from where they were sent to China, the Than Nien daily said.

Most Vietnamese women and children who fall victim to trafficking are sent to neighbouring China or Cambodia for arranged marriages or prostitution.

Human trafficking crackdown

Vietnam News Agency, December 26, 2007

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

[accessed 13 September 2011]

As many as 900 human trafficking cases involving 1,600 traffickers and 2,200 smuggled women and children were detected from 2005-2007.  Police and border guards have also uncovered several rings that trafficked women and children from Vietnam via Laos to Thailand, Africa or Europe to be sex workers.  Economic difficulties, unemployment and poor education, especially in mountainous and remote areas, were the major factors in the trafficking increase.

Southern Africa: Human Trafficking Concern for 2010

Tonya Graham, Gender Links Opinion and Commentary Service, November 29, 2007

[accessed 17 January 2011]

[accessed 20 February 2018]

Human trafficking is a pervasive global problem, and strong laws are vital to preventing and prosecuting it, as well as caring for survivors. Take the case of Mary Jiang* who left her home in Vietnam to go and work in Taiwan, anticipating a good job with a salary that would give her the chance to improve her life and that of her family.  However, when she arrived she found the promises were false, and she suffered inhuman treatment by her employers who forced her to work gruelling 16-hour days. When one of the 20 machines she worked on at once caught Jiang's hand, she waited 45 minutes before her hand was freed, suffering sever injuries.  After two days in hospital her employers told her to sign some forms, they were taking her to a better hospital. Once signed, they took her back to a company building and locked her in a small, dirty room.

Vietnam, Cambodia to battle human trafficking

Thanhnien News, -- Source: HLHPN VN

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

[accessed 13 September 2011]

Of the 639 human trafficking cases in Vietnam since 2006, 1,287 human traffickers had sold 2,137 women and children overseas, according the Ministry of Public Security.  Most cases took place in the nine provinces that share borders with Cambodia.

Foundation fights human trafficking

Source: Viet Nam News, October 22, 2007

[accessed 17 January 2011]

[accessed 4 September 2012]

[accessed 20 February 2018]

[accessed 3 March 2019]

The HCM City situation - Nguyen Ngoc Thanh, head of the HCM City Department for Preventing and Combating Social Evils, said on September 20 that the city police raided a gang who were forcing homeless children to work as beggars.  Sixteen children aged 10 to 14 years were released from the gang, who had forced these children to earn from VND200,000 to VND400,000 per day. Many of them had been badly beaten when they could not offer the money the gangsters wanted.

Foundation begins project to end human trafficking in Viet Nam

Vietnam News Agency, 1 June 2007

[access date unavailable]

[accessed 20 February 2018]

[accessed 3 March 2019]

Female students at secondary and high school education levels as well as those young girls who are studying at vocational training centres will be taught about safe migration, thereby they will be able to lead a safe livelihood when choosing to live far away from home.

Many believe girls are often trafficked by people within their own community and sometimes even by family members, making it critical to involve communities as the first line of defence in preventing trafficking.  Many women and young girls are trafficked as they migrate from Viet Nam to Cambodia or from rural to urban areas within Viet Nam in an attempt to seek better economic opportunities.

Vietnam Justice Department Issues Regulations on Foreign Marriages

Stop Violence Against Women, The Advocates for Human Rights, July 30, 2007

-- Source: "Ha Noi Reins in Marriages to Combat Human Trafficking," Viet Nam News, 19 July 2007

[accessed 17 January 2011]

In an effort to combat trafficking in women and sexual exploitation, the Ha Noi Justice department has strengthened its efforts to investigate new marriages with foreign citizens by promulgating new regulations. Three hundred officials were informed of the procedures to interview applicant couples and verify the authenticity of their unions. The regulations, which are part of the National Programme on Crime Prevention, seek to prevent fraudulent marriages that conceal human trafficking.

Forum urges regional powers to battle human trafficking

Vietnam News Agency

[access date unavailable]

Khiet said that for Viet Nam, most of the victims were poor, unemployed and uneducated. "Most come from rural areas and are lured by promises of jobs, marriage or adopting agencies into moving to other cities in the country where they are sucked into illegal work," she said.

Vietnam’s human trafficking plague still on the rise Adapted from:Thanh Nien News, 6 April 2007

[accessed 17 January 2011]

The trafficking of Vietnamese women and children, mainly across borders with China and Cambodia, has continued increasing as perpetrators have come to disguise their trade more cleverly.  Over the past two years, human traffickers have sent thousands Vietnamese women and children abroad, using cunning tricks to lure victims. Many victims are told they will be happily married, visit lost relatives, or work and travel leisurely on the other side.  But most of the cheated women and children are then sold to brothels, forced to work as sex slaves or work hard labor.

Protecting young women from human trafficking in Viet Nam

Steve Nettleton, UNICEF, 7 December 2006

[accessed 17 January 2011]

[accessed 3 March 2019]

In 1991,  Phuong was lured to the border by traffickers and taken against her will to China, where she was dragged to a house in a small town and sold to become an older man’s wife.

“I didn’t know how old he was or the name of the place we lived,” she said. “I lost my freedom. I had to go everywhere with his family or else I was locked in a room. I had to work hard. When I was tired or sick, they didn’t let me stop working.

Commune fights human trafficking

Vietnam News Agency - 08.10.06

[accessed 17 January 2011]

[accessed 20 February 2018]

"What will you do if a strange woman asks you to go with her to Lang Son with promises of a good job?" a child in the jury asks of another contestant of the same age.

"I would say no definitely," responds the other side.

The community has dedicated its time to fighting human trafficking, a topic not discussed much in the past, with the best possible weapon: an education.

Anti human trafficking steering committee debuts

Radio The Voice Of Vietnam, VOV News, 10/01/2006

[accessed 18 June 2013]

The Steering Committee for the implementation of the Coordinated Mekong Ministerial Initiative Against Human Trafficking (COMMIT) made its debut in Ha Noi on Sept. 29.

The committee will focus on identifying victims and arresting criminals, building a legal framework and national action plans, and promoting bilateral and multi-sectoral cooperation in the fight against human trafficking.

Vietnam, China boost ties to combat human trafficking

Lien Chau , Thanhnien News, August 28, 2006

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

[accessed 13 September 2011]

Trafficked young girls have been forced into the sex trade or forced to marry older men.  Vietnamese and Chinese police raided more than 30 human trafficking gangs in July and August alone this year.

Govt crack down on human trafficking in border provinces

Tien Phong, vietnamnet, 14/08/2006

[accessed 17 January 2011]]

Eight government working groups will visit five border provinces this month to investigate allegations of trafficking of women and children.  The five provinces are Lang Son, Cao Bang, Quang Ninh, Thanh Hoa and Lao Cai.

Vietnam youth union boosting anti-human trafficking advocacy

Thanh Nien Daily, July 21, 2006

[access date unavailable]

In Vietnam, human trafficking is sometimes disguised under form of arranged marriages that frequently result in the women becoming domestic slaves rather than wives.  Other victims find themselves in the sex trade instead of the factory job they were promised.

According to sources from UNICEF and Vietnam's Ministry of Justice, as many as 400,000 Vietnamese women and children have been trafficked overseas since 1990. That's around 10 percent of trafficked women and children worldwide.

More co-operation needed in war on human trafficking

Viet Nam News, HCM City, 04-07-2006

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

[accessed 13 September 2011]

Reviewing the human trafficking trend in the region, Thailand’s Susu Thatun, programme manager of the United Nations Inter-Agency Project on Human Trafficking in the Greater Mekong Sub-region reported that nearly one-third of the global trafficking trade of about 200,000-225,000 women and children are trafficked annually from Southeast Asia.

While in the past women and children have been reported as trafficked victims, Thatun said that boys and men have also been identified as victims as well into the sex trade, heavy labour, begging, marriage, and the fishing industry.

Vietnam police reviews human trafficking fight

Tan Duc, Thanh Nien News, 2006-06-28 -- Source :

[accessed 17 January 2011]

Nearly 1000 Vietnamese women and children have been rescued from being sold abroad since last year, a conference on human trafficking held in the southern Can Tho city on Wednesday heard.

VN, China battle human trafficking

Le Hung Vong, Vietnam News Agency, HCM City, 2006.06.22

[accessed 3 March 2019]

More than 550 Vietnamese women and children were trafficked to China in the last two years, the Vietnamese police said yesterday in a report released at a workshop held on cross-border trafficking between the two countries.

The police said the victims were deceived by members of organised crime gangs in both countries who promised them good jobs in big cities in Viet Nam or abroad. But many of them ended up being sold to brothels in China.

Vietnam, Cambodia To Crack Down On Human Trafficking

Bernama, Ho Chi Minh City, May 18, 2006

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

[accessed 13 September 2011]

Under the campaign, part of specific activities under an agreement signed between the two governments in October 2005 regarding cooperation in eliminating human trafficking and helping victims, Vietnam will draw up a list of suspects and rings involved in trafficking women and children from Vietnam to Cambodia.

The Cambodian side will define key areas, suspects and rings engaged in trafficking Vietnamese women and children.

Mekong region govts to co-op against human trafficking

Xinhua News Agency, PHNOM PENH, May 7, 2006

[accessed 17 January 2011]]

[accessed 23 June 2017]]

Since the signing of the historic COMMIT Memorandum of Understanding in Yangon, Myanmar in October 2004, by Ministers of the six countries, the Governments have been active in laying the foundation for a network of cooperation to stop traffickers and prosecute them, protect victims of trafficking and assist them return safely home, and launch efforts to prevent others from sharing the same fate.

Trafficking Battle To Get Int’l Aid

Vietnam News

[access date unavailable]

Under a national programme on combating human trafficking, the Public Security Ministry and relevant Government agencies would intensify efforts to halve this crime by 2010, officials said.

One-quarter of Viet girls forced into prostitution to return home

Viet Chien, The Vietnam News, Thanh Nien, November 8, 2005

[Last access date unavailable]

[accessed 17 January 2011]

[accessed 20 February 2018]

SEXUAL SLAVERY AND FORCED PROSTITUTION IN VIETNAM -- Vietnamese police are to join Czech authorities to bring home 20 girls lured into the sex trade with offers of a free trip abroad, confirmed police today. Interpol Vietnam revealed the 20 girls are among 82 girls in total forced to work as prostitutes abroad. The 82 girls include 50 who were sexually abused in the Czech Republic, 20 other Vietnamese young women in Moscow, and 12 in Macao. Two suspects alleged to have tricked the girls into traveling to Europe were detained by police this week.

Vietnamese women trafficked, rescued in Czech Republic

October 11, 2005 -- Source: Nguoi Lao Dong - Compiled by Thanh Hang

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

[accessed 4 September 2011]

According to Czech police, most of young women involved came from Vietnam’s northern and central provinces of Ha Nam, Nam Dinh, Thai Binh, Hai Duong, Bac Ninh, Hai Phong, Nghe An and Quang Ninh.  They had to pay US$5,000 to $7,500 each, tricked into thinking that they were coming to Czech on legitimate terms to well-paid jobs, but instead were forced into prostitution.

Vietnam's global human trafficking an inhuman epidemic

Andrew Lam, San Francisco Chronicle, August 21, 2005

[accessed 17 January 2011]

But mostly, the "Tale of Kieu" is relevant to contemporary Vietnam because, two centuries after it was penned, it still tells the story of the Vietnamese people. In order to save their families from destitution, Kieu's contemporaries sell themselves en masse -- except now they are doing so on the global stage.  "Still, if your parents and siblings are starving, you've got to do something," said Thuy Le, who is in her mid-20s. "It's the right thing to do."

Stopping an 'Epidemic' -- Vietnamese Priest Reaches Out to Sex Trafficking Victims

Pacific News Service, by the Rev. Nguyen Van Hung, as told to Andrew Lam, Posted: Aug 02, 2005

[accessed 18 June 2013]

Vietnam signed a labor treaty with Taiwan in 1999, and that opened up a new route for desperate Vietnamese looking for work. But it also exacerbated the exploitation problem. Currently we are providing shelter for overseas female workers from Vietnam who have been victims of rape and sexual assaults by their employers, or who were tricked into prostitution and managed to escape from the brothels.

Border police rescue 37 in anti-human trafficking drive

Xinhua News Agency, Beijing, July 13, 2005

[accessed 16 February 2016]

The women were saved thanks to a joint operation between Guangxi and Viet Nam authorities, the release said, calling the rescue a good start to a two-month joint anti-abduction campaign from July to September.

Cambodian police rescue 88 sex workers

Australian Broadcasting Corporation ABC Radio Australia, 26/06/2005

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

[accessed 13 September 2011]

[scroll down]

Police in Cambodia have rescued 88 sex workers and detained the four men who allegedly coerced them to work.  Police have raided a massage parlor at a hotel in Phnom Penh, rescuing 56 Cambodians, 28 Vietnamese and four Chinese sex workers.

Vietnam To Tackle `Matchmaking'

Cody Yiu, Taipei Times, Mar 16, 2005

[accessed 17 January 2011]

"It's good news, actually, as this measure aims to crack down on human trafficking while safeguarding legitimate matchmaking activities," a ministry spokesman said.

Human Trafficking Issue Tackled At Ha Noi Meeting

Vietnam News VNS, Ha Noi, 31-03-2005

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

[accessed 13 September 2011]

The six Mekong nations will build a cooperative network and undertake measures to prevent and combat trafficking, to prosecute human trafficking criminals, to help trafficked people repatriate to their homelands, and to protect victims.  Speaking at the conference, Viet Nam’s Deputy Minister of Public Security Nguyen Van Tinh said it’s difficult to define the number of trafficked victims but the trend in the world and the region is that the crime is increasing.

Over 300 Trafficked Women Rescued

Vietnam News Agency

[access date unavailable]

Last year, over 300 women, who had been trafficked to China, were rescued.  Also last year, Viet Nam and China launched a joint campaign to curb cross-border human trafficking.  The two countries have set up centers for rescuing trafficked children at the common border area.

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)

The Exploitation of Women and Children: A Comparative Study of Human Trafficking Laws between the United States-Mexico and China-Vietnam

Christina T. Le, Hauser Global Law School Program, August 2007

[accessed 17 January 2011]



This study is the profile overview of the human trafficking situation from Vietnam to China.  It discuses the various international treaties the countries have or have not signed, and it also looks at the bilateral treaties between the two countries to combat human trafficking.  Research information on the Vietnam-China cross-border trafficking problem is difficult to come by as most sources are in Chinese or Vietnamese.  This study publication is a wonderful asset for the researcher to understand the China-Vietnam situation and see the types of bilateral efforts sustained in the process.  Furthermore, the study leads to specific treaties and agreements to aid the research.

Attempts to prevent human trafficking are making conditions worse for voluntary migrants

The Medical News, 5 June 2004

[accessed 17 January 2011]

In interviews and discussions with 100 Vietnamese women, only six reported having been "tricked" into sex work. Most knew before they left Vietnam that they would be engaged in sex work and some showed clear ambition to travel for economic incentives and an independent lifestyle.

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.

In 2002, 141 Vietnamese girls were rescued and repatriated in Dongxing city alone, compared with just 15 in 2001. The number of traffickers arrested rose from seven to 33 in the same period.

China, Vietnam join hands to fight cross-border trafficking of women

The National Working Committee on Children and Women Under the State Council

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

[accessed 13 September 2011]

A DIFFICULT FIGHT - Yuan Guangrong, director of the Public Security Bureau of Guangxi Autonomous Region, explains that in most of these cases, Vietnamese women were trapped by phony promises of jobs or marriage. "Nowadays," he says. "Traffickers often use violence to force their victims into submission. In some cases, the victims were duped when they were kidnapped. There are also cases in which rape or even group rape was committed.

"What's more, he adds. "The destination for trafficking has extended from border regions to inland provinces such as Henan, Hebei, Anhui, Jiangsu and Guangdong."

According to the official, most proven human traffickers are Vietnamese. More often than not, they gang up with Chinese criminals in human trafficking, targeting Vietnamese women who are in China without legal papers. Places like railway and bus stations are their hunting grounds. Some women are victims of human trafficking themselves but end up by committing the crime against other women.

Girls trafficked to China starting to get official help

Ho Binh Minh, Reuters , Mong Cai, Vietnam, Jun 24, 2004

[accessed 17 January 2011]

Hoang Hong Tham thought she was going to China for a holiday with a family friend.  Instead, the Vietnamese teenager was sold off in late 1999 to a Chinese farmer to be his bride. It was the beginning of a nightmare for a young woman who didn't know the man's language, culture and was unable to contact her family.  Tham, now 23, is among thousands of Vietnamese trafficked into China in recent years, a lucrative trade driven in part by a shortage of women in China but also by the promise of jobs and a better life.

Women and child trafficking reported

VietnamNet , 28/Jun/2004

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

[accessed 13 September 2011]

A total of 1,758 Vietnamese women and children were reported taken from 16 provinces and cities last year, reported the police at a regional meeting on fighting against trafficking of women and children held in Hanoi last week.

Of that figure, 263 were juveniles, including 11 who were under 10 years old. Some 870 people managed to return home. The women and children were sold abroad, mainly China, Cambodia, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Malaysia and Singapore, to work in the sex industry, unwilling brides or as slaves.

Desperation up close

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

[accessed 17 January 2011]

[accessed 3 March 2019]

 “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. - htcp

Trafficking in Persons: Myths, Methods, and Human Rights

Melanie Orhant, Population Reference Bureau, December 2001

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

[accessed 13 September 2011]

[see charts]  To China (marriage), To Taiwan (marriage), To Cambodia (sex industry)

Vietnam jails baby smugglers

BBC News, 31 March, 2000

[accessed 17 January 2011]

A court in the northern Vietnamese province of Ninh Binh has sentenced 12 people for their roles in selling children for foreign adoption.

The judge in the trial said the group bought more than 170 new-born babies from unmarried Vietnamese women and desperate families in several northern provinces and then sold them to foreigners.

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.

Trafficking of Vietnamese Women and Children to Cambodia

Annuska Derks, International Organization for Migration & Center for Advanced Study, March 1998

[accessed 20 February 2018]

[accessed 3 March 2019]

VIETNAMESE WOMEN TRAFFICKED TO CAMBODIA -- In this survey, we found that in most cases the recruitment of young Vietnamese women for prostitution in Cambodia operates on a small-scale level. Recruiters target one or a few girls at a time, in order to provide a family member, friend or other acquaintance some extra women in their brothel. The recruiters often approach poor, desperate or divorced women or girls who are receptive to promises of well-paid work in Cambodia. A Vietnamese woman in a karaoke shop in Kompong Som recounted that after her husband left her with her three-year-old child, a woman in her village told her to come with her to work in Phnom Penh. She and five other young women were brought to Phnom Penh, where they were all together sold to a shop in Tuol Kork. Later this woman opened her own shop using the money she got from selling the girls. A 17-year-old Vietnamese girl described, out of own experience, how the recruiters operate to recruit young girls: “The people who persuade young girls to come to Cambodia are mostly women. They are like friends, but they sell their friends. They tell the girls that they can sell merchandise or work as a waitress... They only take young girls, of 16 or 17 years old.”


Freedom House Country Report

2018 Edition

[accessed 8 May 2020]


Human trafficking remains a problem in Vietnam. The U.S. State Department’s 2017 Trafficking in Persons Report noted that while the Vietnamese government was working to identify more victims and provide guidance to local authorities to implement an antitrafficking plan, a lack of coordination between agencies, insufficient statistics, and inadequate funding are significant issues in Vietnam’s fight against trafficking. Vietnamese women seeking work abroad are subject to sex trafficking in nearby countries, and internationally brokered marriages sometimes lead to domestic servitude and forced prostitution. Male migrant workers are also vulnerable to forced labor abroad in a variety of industries. Enforcement of labor laws covering child labor, workplace safety, and other issues remains poor.

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 11 February 2020]

TRAFFICKING IN PERSONS – Some children were trafficked domestically, and others were trafficked to foreign destinations for the purpose of prostitution. An NGO advocate has estimated that the average age of trafficked girls was between 15 and 17 years of age. Some reports indicated that the ages of girls trafficked to Cambodia typically were even lower.

Individuals also were convicted in cases in which parents received payments in exchange for giving up their infant children for adoption. In addition, there was anecdotal evidence that small children and infants were sometimes kidnapped and sold to traffickers in China. Children also were trafficked to other countries; in September the press reported that Vietnamese children arriving illegally in the United Kingdom had become the victims of crime and abuse, including being forced to work in brothels, as beggars, in crime rings, or as drug traffickers (see section 5, Children). Mass organizations and NGOs continued to operate limited programs to reintegrate trafficked children into society. During the year programs designed to provide protection and reintegration assistance for trafficking victims through psychosocial support and vocational training, as well as to supplement regional and national prevention efforts by targeting at‑risk populations for similar services, continued operation in the north of the country.

There were reports that some women from Ho Chi Minh City and the Mekong Delta who married men from Taiwan were forced into prostitution after their arrival in Taiwan. There was reported trafficking in women to the Macau Special Administrative Region of China with the assistance of organizations in China that were ostensibly marriage service bureaus, international labor organizations, and travel agencies. After arrival, women were forced into conditions similar to indentured servitude; some were forced into prostitution. In 2002 the government suspended the licenses of marriage mediation services and transferred their function to the Women's Union. The services had helped to arrange marriages between women and foreigners, primarily Taiwanese men. Government officials noted that it continued to be difficult to obtain information from Taiwanese officials on cases of alleged trafficking in Taiwan.

Poor women and teenage girls, especially those from rural areas, were most at risk for being trafficked. MPS and UNICEF research indicated that trafficking victims can come from any part of the country but were concentrated in certain northern and southern border provinces as well as the central province of Thanh Hoa. Some were sold by their families as domestic workers or for sexual exploitation. In some cases traffickers paid families several hundred dollars in exchange for allowing their daughter to go to Cambodia for an "employment offer." Many victims faced strong pressure to make significant contributions to the family income. Others were offered lucrative jobs by acquaintances. False advertising, debt bondage, confiscation of documents, and threats of deportation were other methods commonly used by the traffickers, spouses, and employers.

Individual opportunists and informal networks, as well as some organized groups, lured poor, often rural, women with promises of jobs or marriage and forced them to work as prostitutes. The government stated that organized criminal groups were involved in recruitment, transit, and other trafficking‑related activities.

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