March 3, 2009: The US State Department just released its 2008 report on the state of human rights in countries around the world, and the Vietnamese government’s performance is summed up as”unsatisfactory.” Parts of the report confirm the findings of the Coalition to Abolish Modern-day Slavery in Asia, e.g., the statements about trafficking of Vietnamese workers to Malaysia.
The report goes into detail on human trafficking, noting that “[Vietnam] was a significant source for trafficking in persons. Women were trafficked primarily to Cambodia, Malaysia, China, Taiwan, and South Korea for sexual exploitation. Women also were trafficked to Hong Kong, Macau, Thailand, Indonesia, the United Kingdom, Eastern Europe, and the United States. There were reports that some women going to Taiwan, Hong Kong, Macau, South Korea, and China for arranged marriages were victims of trafficking. Women and children also were trafficked within the country, usually from rural to urban areas. Men were trafficked regionally to work in construction, agriculture, fishing, and other commercial enterprises.”
The new report also states that “Poor women and teenage girls, especially those from rural areas, were most at risk for being trafficked. Research by the MPS and the UN Children’s Fund indicated that trafficking victims could come from any part of the country but were concentrated in certain northern and southern border provinces, especially the Mekong Delta and 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 daughters 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, family members, and employers.”
To read the complete report on Vietnam’s human rights situation, including more extensive analysis of the human trafficking problem, click here.