Posted by: BPSOS | August 19, 2009

Key Briefs & Reports: August 19, 2009

Radio France International interviews Dr. Nguyen Dinh Thang, BPSOS Executive Director and co-founder of CAMSA, about the conditions of the 15 Vietnamese workers brought to Malaysia to work at Sony plants in Penang and Bangi.

Dr. Thang took the opportunity to call on listeners to join the campaign to bring justice to these victims of labor trafficking.

The full interview is available at:  ttp://www.rfi.fr/vietnamien/actu/articles/116/article_4621.asp

Posted by: BPSOS | August 17, 2009

Key Briefs & Reports: August 17, 2009

Dr. Nguyen Dinh Thang, BPSOS Executive Director and co-founder of CAMSA, gave an interview on a radio program that broadcasts to Australia and New Zealand about the Sony – JR Holdings case.

Several listeners volunteered to send in donations to support the campaign targeting Sony and others offered to widen the letter writing campaign to Australia, New Zealand, Canada and Europe.

“We count on such rippling effects to get Sony to do the right thing,” said Dr. Thang.

Posted by: BPSOS | August 12, 2009

Key Briefs & Reports: Meeting with Senate Staffer

Dr. Thang Nguyen, Executive Director for BPSOS, a CAMSA Coalition founder, met with a staffer at the Senate Foreign Relations Committee to discuss labor trafficking issues in Vietnam.

The staffer took great interest in the case and informed Dr. Thang that he will bring this case up before the Vietnamese officials when he meets with them later this month.

During discussions on Vietnamese law, Dr. Thang brought up the Sony-JR Holdings case in which 15 Vietnamese women workers were trafficked to Malaysia to work for Sony.  As part of a three pronged approach, Dr. Thang has brought this case up to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and the State Department, and will meet with Ambassador-at-Large Louis CdeBaca, the Director of the Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons (G/TIP), to brief him on the case before the latter heads to Malaysia.

Tracey's photos 176 CAMSA Champion Team- DC Metro Area

The CAMSA Champion Team for the DC Metro Area held a meeting on Tuesday, August 11, 2009, to discuss fundraising ideas and advocacy efforts on behalf of the 15 Vietnamese workers working for Sony Electronics in Malaysia. These women have been trafficked by JR Holdings, a labor resource company that was used by Sony to recruit workers for their operations in Malaysia.

Team Captain P.K. Tran went over the agenda and brainstormed some ideas on raising $50,000 by the end of the year. Duc Truong, Advocacy Coordinator at BPSOS, gave the team members an update on the Sony case and where it stood.

“We have to work to show Sony that it is not ok for them to be doing business with a company that is involved in labor trafficking,” said Mr. Truong. “To do this, we need to launch a second wave of publicity campaign among college students and young professionals.”

So far, the DC CAMSA Champion Team has raised nearly $8,000 dollars from two different fundraising events.

“Our fundraising efforts have yielded some impressive results,” said Mr. Truong. “But in order to show Sony that we’re serious about pursuing this case to completion, we must raise more to support a law suit against JR Holdings, Sony’s labor supplier.”

“It typically takes about $50,000 a year to run our CAMSA office in Malaysia,” said Tracey Le, a CAMSA Intern. “With our fundraising and a match by an anonymous donor, I believe we can reach that goal by the end of the year.” She put together the CAMSA Champion Team in DC Metro Area.

Stressing about final exams, paying my bills on time, searching for a post-graduate career, and ways to support my family were a few things I used to stress heavily about prior to my trip to Malaysia. They are legitimate concerns; however, all of it became trivialized by the experience I underwent, the stories I heard, and the people I met.

Upon arriving into Penang, Malaysia, I was warmly hosted by Boat People SOS (BPSOS) and its organizational partner, Tenaganita. My primary objective was to visually document the stories of Vietnamese labour emigrants through a series of video interviews and photojournalism. Just twenty-four hours after my arrival, I dove in head first and began working immediately with these individuals unsure of what I would uncover. Little did I know the things I would be exposed to in the following weeks would come to change my life forever.

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Posted by: BPSOS | August 11, 2009

Key Briefs & Reports: Champion letter sent to Sony

Concerned citizens from around the United States sent letters to Sony plants around the world asking that Sony take immediate action to protect the workers and to investigate whether they are using labor trafficked victims to produce their electronics. These letters were written by CAMSA “Champion Teams” in various states.

CAMSA is looking to set up multiple teams around the U.S. to raise awareness within the community on labor trafficking and to set up campaigns against companies that use trafficked victims. CAMSA currently has 3 Champion Teams in different states and plan to form more teams to help with the campaign against companies who traffick victims.

Posted by: BPSOS | August 7, 2009

Key Briefs & Reports: Senate briefing

Senatebriefing

On August 7, 2009, Dr. Thang Nguyen, Executive Director for Boat People, SOS (BPSOS), met with several Senate staffers to discuss several cases that CAMSA is working on. BPSOS, a CAMSA coalition member, was asked to give a briefing to the Senate staffers as they prepared for their trip to Malaysia.

Dr. Thang discussed Malaysia’s laws on trafficking. He pointed out how hard it has been to get the Malaysian government to enforce their own laws and how the laws favor the traffickers, not the victims.

He discussed the Sony, Winbond and Polar Twin Advance cases. The staff on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, stated that they will explore these cases to the Malaysian government when they meet with them the following week. The Senate staff delegation will meet with the CAMSA team in Penang and other NGOs that have partnered with CAMSA.


Posted by: BPSOS | August 6, 2009

Key Briefs & Reports: Complaints

The Coalition to Abolish Modern-day Slavery in Asia (CAMSA) has filed a labor complaint on August 6, 2009, on behalf of 11 of the 15 workers that were trafficked to Malaysia by Vietnamese state-owned labor export companies to work for Sony. Additionally, the labor officer has issued a letter to request that Sony refrain from sending the workers back to Vietnam.

On August 7, 2009, the CAMSA office in Penang, Malaysia filed a labor complaint on behalf of the remaining 4 workers in the Sony case. Both complaints were filed against JR Holdings, the Malaysian labor supply company that placed the workers with Sony.

This will prevent JR Holdings from sending the workers back to Vietnam and gives CAMSA and its team the opportunity to file suit against JR Holdings to secure the back-wages that they deserve and to press the Malaysian government for criminal investigation of the case.

Tracy's photos 358

Tuesday, August 6, 2009: Luis CdeBaca, Director of the Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons at the U.S. Department of State invited a select group of interns in the Washington, DC metro area to attend a roundtable on trafficking in persons. The discussion on human trafficking drew a wide range of responses from the participants. They were all interested in stopping what has been described as “modern-day slavery”. Tracey Le, an intern with BPSOS, led a discussion on a case involving 15 Vietnamese women who were trafficked to Malaysia to work at Sony plants. These women mortgaged their homes and farms to scrape up enough money to pay the broker fees to sign contracts guaranteeing 3 years of employment at set wages. However, Sony breached that contract and let the women go—even though they still had 20 months left on their contract. These women have been locked in a holding facility run by JR Holdings since then. Sony has refused to honor the contracts the women signed with them.

Posted by: BPSOS | August 5, 2009

Key Briefs & Reports: City Hall Presentation

Shortly after arriving back into the United States, I was contacted by a group of students (comprised from various universities and high schools) who had been working on a class project to present to Cupertino’s p class=”MsoNormal”>City Hall, along with members of the community. The project was aimed at spreading awareness about the issue of human trafficking and to try to gather community support. The students heard about my experience in Malaysia through word of mouth and asked for my help. Without a moment to lose, I spent hours sharing with them my experience accompanied by photos I took and the video Dr. Thang made for BPSOS. They used this firsthand knowledge and integrated it into their presentation. On Wednesday, August 5, 2009, the group of students gave their presentation to community leaders, including the former Mayor of Cupertino, Dr. Michael Chang, De Anza College professors, and over 50 student leaders from the Asian Pacific American Leadership Institute. Their presentation was successful. In addition, they were able to get sign-ups from people who were interested in getting involved or at the very least just wanted more information regarding the issues. I was able to get a hold of the list and plan to use this as the bases for outreaching to hopefully create a Northern California CAMSA Champion Team.

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