|Policemen and other forces patrol the border to combat human trafficking (Photo: cand.com)
With a long borderline and dangerous terrain, Vietnam has to regularly deal with human trafficking. The Ministry of Public Security says that a large majority of the Vietnamese victims are trafficked to countries that share a border with Vietnam. Only 20% are trafficked to other countries, via land, air, or sea routes. Since 2011 Vietnam’s police force has rescued thousands of victims of human trafficking.
In the first half of this year, the Ministry of Public Security investigated 33 cases and arrested 75 human traffickers. 66 victims were rescued and supported. The Ministry of National Defense has stepped up patrols and strictly controlled borders, border gates, and sea areas in order to promptly detect illegal cross-border immigration. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has closely coordinated with domestic and foreign agencies to rescue, protect, and repatriate victims. In July the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of National Defense rescued 7 people trafficked to Cambodia for forced labor.
These results demonstrate that Vietnam does not tolerate human trafficking as the US Department of State claims.
Dang Xuan Hong, Chief of the Office of the Government's Human Rights Steering Committee, said: “The Vietnamese State strictly punishes human traffickers by law. The US report this year gives biased and misleading assessments of Vietnam's efforts to prevent and combat human trafficking.”
|Border guards rescue and return young men to their families in Kloong village, Ia O commune, La Grai district, Gia Lai province, after they were trafficked to Cambodia (Photo: Hong Diep/VNA)
Vietnam has constantly improved its legal system to combat human trafficking and forced labor, support victims, and protect children in cyber space. On February 9, 2021, the Prime Minister issued a Decision approving the Program on Human Trafficking Prevention and Combat in the 2021-2025 period and orientation to 2030. On January 1, this year, the Law on Vietnamese People Working Abroad under Contracts began to take effect. This law protects the legal rights and legitimate interests of overseas Vietnamese workers and outlaws human trafficking.
Vietnam also improves its international cooperation in human trafficking prevention and combat. Vietnam is a member of the UN Convention against Transnational Organized Crime and the ASEAN Convention against Trafficking in Persons, especially women and children (ACTIP). Vietnam has made an effort to implement the Global Agreement on Legal, Safe, and Orderly Migration (GCM) to ensure a transparent migration environment and prevent human trafficking during international migration.
But Vietnam’s human trafficking prevention and combat efforts have not been thoroughly and correctly assessed by the US Department of State’s annual report. Mr. Hong said the report contains unverified information which does not fully and correctly describe the situation in Vietnam.
“The information used in the report has been collected from unofficial sources, including organizations unfriendly to the Vietnamese Government, such as Human Rights Watch, Boat People SOS, and the Viet Tan terrorist organization. The assessment of the US, which is groundless, ignores the efforts of the Vietnamese Government and people to fight human trafficking, towards eliminating human trafficking in Vietnam. The US and hostile forces use human trafficking as a pretext to criticize and distort the human rights situation in Vietnam and intervene in Vietnam’s internal affairs in violation of international law,” said Mr. Hong.
The UN has identified human trafficking as one of the four most dangerous crimes included in the Global Crime Prevention Program. In Vietnam, July 30 is observed as National Day to Prevent and Combat Human Trafficking.
Last month, the Ministry of Labor, Invalids, and Social Affairs, the Ministry of National Defense, the Ministry of Public Security, and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs signed a coordinating regulation on protecting and supporting human trafficking victims. It’s an important document affirming Vietnam’s determination to combat human trafficking, protect the legitimate rights and interests of victims, and resolve arising problems.