|MOLISA Deputy Minister Dao Hong Lan. — Photo vov
HA NOI (VNS) — The Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs (MOLISA), in response to an article in The Guardian last weekend, which reported that 3,000 Vietnamese children had been trafficked and used for profit by Vietnamese criminal gangs in the UK, has confirmed that steps are being taken to verify the information.
MOLISA Deputy Minister Dao Hong Lan said on Monday that MOLISA is working together with the Ministry of Public Security to confirm the reported number of abused Vietnamese children in the UK.
She asserted that human trafficking, especially trafficking of children, remains one of the country's top concerns.
The deputy minister urged trafficked and or abused Vietnamese children in the UK to contact the Embassy of Viet Nam for assistance if they can.
Help for all Vietnamese nationals living abroad is also provided through the Foreign Ministry's hotline +84 4 62 844 844.
Children may also call thes hotline 18001567 to report abuse or any other mistreatment.
The Guardian's article, published on Saturday, said that Vietnamese children, on top of being trafficked into the UK, are subjected to multiple forms of abuse and exploitation.
They are forced to work for Vietnamese criminal gangs in cannabis factories, nail bars, garment factories, brothels and private homes. Some children ended up being sent to prison or youth detention centres for criminal activity.
"These children suffer high levels of neglect, emotional abuse and, in the absence of any protective factors, are highly vulnerable to physical and sexual abuse," said Swat Pandi from the UK's National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children, The Guardian reported.
The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime estimates that 30 Vietnamese children illegally arrive in the UK every month via well-established smuggling routes. — VNS