March 25, 2009: Students at Georgetown University’s School of Law on March 24 learned about the gritty inner workings of human trafficking syndicates, including the one that moves Vietnamese workers abroad to exploit their labor.
Speaking in front of a group of campus activists and concerned law students, human rights advocate Dr. Nguyen Dinh Thang outlined the highly successful model that the Coalition to Abolish Modern-day Slavery in Asia (CAMSA) uses to handle human trafficking cases.
Thang, the executive director of the national nonprofit Boat People SOS, illustrated the CAMSA approach by recounting the campaign to persuade W&D Apparel, a Taiwanese-owned clothing factory in Jordan, to stop abusing its Vietnamese guest workers. To drive home the urgency of assisting W&D’s victims, Thang presented a video of the abuse suffered by W&D’s workers. The video footage, which was captured by several of Vietnamese women on cellphone cameras, documents mistreatment that culminated in beatings by factory security guards.
“We’re thankful for the level of campus activism around human trafficking, especially our hosts, the Asian Pacific American Law Students Association, Amnesty International, and Human Rights Action,” Thang said after the event. “It has been great working with all the groups and individuals who have put time and energy into helping the victims at W&D, and we appreciate their efforts to draw the connection with Aramark, a multinational that buys W&D products.”
After the presentation, a short question-and-answer session began with students asking questions related to Taiwan’s new human trafficking law, for which BPSOS provided special input.
BPSOS, a founding member of CAMSA, is grateful to the Georgetown student leaders who helped put together this event.