May 5, 2009: The bad news keeps getting stranger when it comes to Vietnam and human trafficking, whether it’s Vietnam morphing into a trafficking destination country for Filipinos, or Vietnamese youths trafficked to America.
The first piece of news comes from a May 2 article in the Manila Bulletin, which recounts how the Philippines’’ immigration authorities are scrutinizing a labor recruiter allegedly responsible for luring several Filipinos to Vietnam on the pretense of lining up high-paid jobs.
According to the article, a Filipina named Rowena Guillermo said she paid the recruiter, Melchora Gabog, US$100 to stake her claim to a supposedly good job in Vietnam. However, “upon reaching Ho Chi Minh City, she discovered that her recruiter had also “hired” six other Filipinos who [were] staying in a rented house.”
The article does not detail the “jobs” actually lined up for the woman and her six compatriots, but other reports certainly substantiate a thriving sex trade in Vietnam, as well as the exploitation of domestics and other laborers.
Meanwhile, human trafficking of Vietnamese is making even the local news, in this case, in Elgin, a suburb of Chicago. The Courier News leads a May 3 article with the allegation that “An elderly man from Elgin flies to his native village in Vietnam and marries his 18-year-old grand-niece. He brings her back to America and uses her for sex, housework and paychecks to cover his debts.”
According to the article, the human trafficking problem goes far beyond the Vietnamese community and touches people in many walks of life.
The article goes on to quote a range of local leaders and details their efforts to fight a problem that looms even in a relatively quiet suburb in the American heartland.