Dr. Nguyen Dinh Thang, executive director of Boat People SOS, maps out how human trafficking works for an audience of over 100 people in Orange County.
August 7, 2008: Over 100 Vietnamese Americans turned out to hear speakers from Boat People SOS (BPSOS) and the Committee for Religious Freedom in Vietnam at a special event held Saturday, August 2 in Orange County, California. The event was covered by the local Vietnamese press (click here to read the article). What follows are translations of some of the key presentations and discussions.
Dr. Nguyen Dinh Thang, executive director of BPSOS, called upon Vietnamese to protect each other, no matter where in the world. Ngo Thi Hien, who heads the Committee for Religious Freedom in Vietnam, emphasized the need to make better use of legal means to fight communism in the cause of human rights and democracy, in order to get at the root causes of human trafficking.
Dr. Thang explained the intricacies of human trafficking and asked the audience to support the Committee to Abolish Modern-day Slavery in Asia (CAMSA), an alliance of which BPSOS is a founding member.
He told the audience that each year, 100,000 Vietnamese workers go abroad, a quarter of them to Malaysia. The workers who go must put down deposits of thousands of dollars, and most mortgage their homes and properties until they are deeply in debt.
“Most of these people just aspire to accumulate a little money, help out their families, and have enough wealth to change their lives,” said Dr. Thang.