February 27, 2009: Would you put your fingers to the keyboard for a moment to save human beings who are virtually enslaved, vulnerable to everything from assault to rape? There’s a short window of opportunity for human rights advocates like you to help free some of the world’s most abused human trafficking victims!
How can you make a difference? Each year, thousands of young Vietnamese women are trafficked to Malaysia by the local firm Winbond. They’re promised decent work and wages as maids. But upon arriving, they are overworked, subject to mental, physical, and even sexual abuse, and locked behind walls, both literally and legally.
“We’re putting pressure on Winbond to free these young women, who are virtual slaves,” said Dr. Nguyen Dinh Thang, BPSOS executive director. “The best way to stop Winbond is to cut off their supply of young workers from the Vietnamese labor export firm SONA.”
Will you help us turn up the heat on SONA, which has rejected past pleas to stop trafficking young women to Malaysia? Today is the critical day to join faith-based organizations, student associations, labor union activists, and other human rights advocates in sending a message directly to SONA’s online inbox, per the sample below:
Dear SONA Managers:
It has come to my attention that Vietnamese guest workers exported by your firm are being victimized both in Malaysia and Vietnam. In Malaysia, those contracted out through the firm Winbond are suffering a variety of abuses by their employers, and it is my understanding that your firm could play a much larger role in eliminating such mistreatment. In Vietnam, there are reports that SONA is demanding that workers who manage to escape from Winbond pay 30 million dong for leaving their jobs before their contract’s expiration.
This state of affairs is an affront to human dignity and an embarrassment to SONA and Vietnam itself. Your role in shipping these workers abroad for your own profit, under the false pretense that they will be treated well, amounts to human trafficking. I call upon you to act immediately to ensure that the workers you export are free of both abuse abroad and punitive action by SONA at home.
Thank you for your attention to these matters. I look forward to your immediate action and a response explaining your firm’s conduct.