Posted by: BPSOS | June 25, 2009

Key Briefs & Reports: Heartbreak and Hard Labor for Vietnamese Workers: A Report from Penang

Vietnam Vietnamese BPSOS Boat People SOS CAMSA human trafficking  Ủy Ban Cứu Người Vượt Biển UBCNVB nạn buôn ngườiMany Vietnamese women are employed as domestics in Malaysia, sweeping and cleaning in private homes while isolated from support.

June 25, 2009: Jennifer Pham, the hard-toiling volunteer with the Coalition to Abolish Modern-day Slavery in Asia (CAMSA), filed this report from Penang:

“I interviewed more workers today. Counter-productive to the mission of anti-labor trafficking, but some of the workers feel it is easier working in Malaysia than farming in Vietnam, depending on the department they get put in.

One woman went in-depth into her life with her husband and how their marriage was good for 10 years. Then he started locking her up and beating her several times a day. She stayed with him for the kids, and her first thought was for her kids. Selfless…so selfless.

Finally, her oldest child urged her to stop thinking about them and to take care of herself first. Ten days later, this lady went to Malaysia, and her husband remarried. She went into more detail, but I just keep thinking, “How can someone be so selfless and how can someone else be so uncaring and insensitive?” I just don’t get it….how do you have it in your heart to hurt someone you’ve been with for over 10 years?

This experience has given me a lot of insight into the extremely varied circumstances that the Vietnamese overseas laborers come from and the differing situations they get into once in the foreign country.”

We appreciate these ongoing insights and are grateful to have such a dedicated person on the CAMSA team, even for a short time!


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