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Foundation fights human trafficking

Update: October, 21/2007 - 00:00

Foundation fights human trafficking

(22-10-2007)

Visitors look at paintings related to human trafficking in Ha Noi. — VNA/VNS Photo Duong Ngoc

HCM CITY — Now that human trafficking has become a global concern, the HCM City Child Welfare Foundation has asked non-government organisations to join hands to prevent the trafficking of children and women.

Speaking at a seminar on enhancing capacity against trafficking in women and children in HCM City yesterday, the deputy chairwoman of HCFC, Nguyen Thi Ngoc Anh, said traffickers had become more sophisticated in their methods.

Ngoc Anh quoted relevant authorities, saying that 4,527 Vietnamese women and children were reported trafficked, including 3,826 abroad from 1998 to 2007.

According to figures from the Viet Nam Women’s Union (VWU), for the first six months of this year, 740 Vietnamese women and children were trafficked.

In addition, some 900 were reported missing by provincial authorities and believed to have been trafficked abroad.

Ngoc Anh said between 200,000 and 300,000 children and women from Southeast Asian countries, especially poor countries including Indonesia, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Viet Nam, were trafficked every year.

Ngoc Anh said up to 60 per cent of them were trafficked to big cities where they were forced to work as sex workers and beggars.

The HCM City situation

According to the VWU’s reports, the traffickers maximised the disadvantages of the women and children living in poor rural areas, both hindered by poor education, difficult economic circumstances and unemployment.

They would promise to find suitable light jobs in cities and towns for poor women and children and then take them across the border to sell them into brothels or foreign crime organisations, taking advantage of gaps in laws on marriages with foreigners, orphan adoption, tourism, visits with relatives and working abroad.

They can also take advantage of Viet Nam’s open policies to encourage international integration.

Nguyen Ngoc Thanh, head of the HCM City Department for Preventing and Combating Social Evils, said on September 20 that the city police raided a gang who were forcing homeless children to work as beggars.

Sixteen children aged 10 to 14 years were released from the gang, who had forced these chidren to ‘earn’ from VND200,000 to VND400,000 per day. Many of them had been badly beaten when they could not offer the money the gangsters wanted.

According to Tran Quang, a representative of the HCM City Police Department, HCM City is a transit spot, rather than a destination for trafficking rings to recruit women and children.

Measures to be taken

To achieve results in preventing the trafficking of women and children, especially as Viet Nam integrates into the global community, Ngoc Anh said it was necessary to combine economic, administrative and legal measures.

Ministries and local departments at all levels should co-operate closely within the framework set up and co-ordinated by the Government and the HCM City People’s Committee, she said. — VNS

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