VINH LONG — The exploitation of poor Vietnamese women through rushed marriages to foreigners, kidnapping and slavery – otherwise known as human trafficking – has raised public concern.
The situation has raised fears that women and children in many poor areas of the country are not safe from predators.
This was revealed at a workshop yesterday in the southern province of Vinh Long.
The two-day seminar, organised by the National Assembly's Social Affairs Committee, has drawn 100 participants, mostly NA female deputies, and members of peoples' councils from the provinces of Lam Dong, Binh Duong, Can Tho, Dong Thap, Bac Lieu and Ca Mau. HCM City officials were also represented.
Ministry of Justice statistics show that while, in recent years, a total of about 200,000 Vietnamese women have been married to foreigners and overseas Vietnamese, many of these marriages have been carried out by illegal brokers.
These brokers allow foreigners to select a bride from a group of young women paraded in front of them in an undignified manner.
The workshop was told that this way of selecting a future bride was against the country's customs and practices.
Even worse, some of the women "selected" this way were later taken overseas and forced to work in brothels and massage parlours – a form of modern-day slavery.
Participants also discussed ways of protecting the interests and rights of these Vietnamese women and their children.
Another topic for discussion was the problem of supporting victims of human trafficking if they escape or are found and returned home.
Many victims have found that on their return, they are shunned by their families and other villagers because they are "tainted."
The workshop also said that the Ministry of Justice could do more to protect the interests of women and children involved and help re-integrate them back into society when necessary.
The workshop will enable female deputies from the National Assembly to modify the laws on marriage and improve regulations governing marriage to foreigners. — VNS