• Improve interagency cooperation to effectively implement the anti-trafficking national action plan, including by clarifying the roles of national and provincial-level government entities, fully integrating trafficking data collection into law enforcement efforts, and allocating sufficient resources to the national action plan. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States. NGOs and the media in Japan reported Vietnamese workers pay $7,000 to third party brokers in Vietnam before entering the TITP program and then often must pay $4,000 to $5,000 if they break their contracts, trapping them in debt bondage. Updated country policy and information note on trafficking, Vietnam for April 2020. Protecting states’ security against human trafficking is also about helping them fight other associated crimes, including smuggling, prostitution, organ trafficking, and money laundering. Child sex tourists, reportedly from elsewhere in Asia, the United Kingdom and other countries in Europe, Australia, Canada, and the United States, exploit children in Vietnam. Reports continued of poor migration management and poor regulation of the labor broker industry leading to debt bondage and exploitation of Vietnamese citizens abroad. Article 150 criminalized labor and sex trafficking of adults and prescribed penalties of five to 10 years imprisonment and fines of 20 million to 100 million Vietnamese dong (VND) ($880 to $4,400). Traffickers increasingly exploit girls from ethnic minority communities in the northwest highlands, including in sex trafficking and domestic servitude, by channeling their criminal activities through the traditional practice of bride kidnapping. The women's unions, in partnership with NGOs and with foreign donor funding, continued to operate three shelters in urban cities, including one dedicated to trafficking victims. Lack of awareness and a low education level also contribute to the dire situation of human trafficking in Vietnam. In August 2018, there were reports that 200 individuals who escaped a government-run drug treatment center claimed authorities forced them to work eight hours a day without compensation and subjected them to punishment, including beating, if they “misbehaved.” Vietnamese law allows for obligatory manual labor for prisoners, which allows forced labor to be used as a means of punishment for political and religious dissidents. Authorities reported distributing 25,000 copies of awareness materials in border areas and 900 handbooks in particularly vulnerable communities. Vietnam also is a destination for children who are trafficked for the sex industry. Vietnam has been one of the top three countries in the world for trafficking into the U.K. for the past six years. North Korean restaurants operating in Vietnam may exploit North Korean workers in forced labor. Despite continued reports of official complicity, the government did not report any investigations, prosecutions, or convictions of officials complicit in trafficking offenses. These penalties were sufficiently stringent and, with regard to sex trafficking, commensurate with other serious crimes, such as rape. Traffickers increasingly use the internet, gaming sites, and particularly social media to lure potential victims into vulnerable situations; men often entice young women and girls with online dating relationships and persuade them to move abroad, then subject them to forced labor or sex trafficking. Unlike most trafficking victims, Do was able to choose from a line of potential husbands who came to her sister's house. As reported for the last five years, Vietnam is a source and, to a lesser extent, a destination country for men, women, and children subjected to sex trafficking and forced labor. A new cybersecurity law entered into force in January, aimed at restricting human rights online. The Ministry of Labor, Invalids, and Social Affairs (MoLISA) and government-affiliated Women’s Unions often referred victims to NGOs depending on their individual needs. Several countries including China, Cambodia, Thailand, Malaysia, South Korea, and the United Kingdom receive Vietnamese who have been trafficked for sexual and labor exploitation. Some traffickers pose as police officers on social media networks to gain victims' trust. The Government of Vietnam does not fully meet the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. The government was unable to complete some NAP activities absent the approval of implementation circulars. The procuracies (prosecutor’s office) reported initiating the prosecution of 194 defendants for trafficking offenses (245 in 2017, 295 in 2016, 442 in 2015, 472 in 2014) and the court system secured 213 convictions (244 in 2017, 275 in 2016); sentences ranged from less than three years to 20 years’ imprisonment, however some prison sentences were suspended. Participants said human trafficking in Vietnam tends to be on the rise. Authorities continued to develop a national database on trafficking statistics for the fourth year, but did not make demonstrable progress on bringing it closer to integration with law enforcement efforts or judicial proceedings. Insufficient time has passed since the close of the reporting period to evaluate if the circular sufficiently addressed the legal discrepancy in the treatment of 16- and 17-year-old children in sex trafficking cases as adults. Human trafficking on the rise in Vietnam Human trafficking in Viet Nam was on the increase because it was difficult to control, according to experts. Some children are subjected to forced and bonded labor in informal garment and brick factories, in urban family homes, and in privately run rural gold mines. Vietnam Narrative. In 2017, the government entered into a Memorandum of Cooperation with the Government of Japan to improve protections for Vietnamese participants in Japan's Technical Intern Training Program (TITP). It identified significantly fewer victims than in previous years. They said the crime especially targeted women and children. The government maintained common victim identification criteria as part of the Coordinated Mekong Ministerial Initiative against Human Trafficking (COMMIT) and maintained its own formal procedure for victim identification, but it did not proactively or widely employ either mechanism among such vulnerable groups as women arrested for prostitution, migrant workers returning from abroad, and child laborers. During the reporting period, the Ministry of Information and Communications directed state-run media to air more than 1,000 documentaries and news stories to raise public awareness on trafficking. The Ministry also held workshops on international migration and human trafficking prevention to improve the capacity of desk officers at the ministry and localities in Vietnam. Last week Taiwan hosted the 2018 International Workshop on Strategies For Combating Human Trafficking (IWSCHT). ... , human-trafficking, human, vietnam. MoLISA operated a 24-hour hotline for trafficking victims; authorities reported receiving approximately 2,010 calls to this hotline (2700 in 2017) and referring 30 cases to NGO and government services (65 cases referred in 2017). The government decreased efforts to protect victims. However, the government did not meet the minimum standards in several key areas. The Ministry of Justice (MOJ) reported distributing updated legal documents on Articles 150 and 151 and training judges nationwide on their application. Child sex tourists, reportedly from elsewhere in Asia, the United Kingdom and other countries in Europe, Australia, Canada, and the United States, exploit children in Vietnam. Some officials cited an increase in forced labor and noted incomplete data collection and poor interagency cooperation led to low victim identification. Some traffickers pose as police officers on social media networks to gain victims’ trust. • Amend the penal code to criminalize sex trafficking of 16- and 17-year-old children, consistent with international law. The law protected victims from prosecution for crimes committed as a result of having been subjected to trafficking, but NGOs reported victims were less likely to come forward about their abuses in a judicial setting due to fears that they may face arrest or deportation. The causes of human trafficking in Vietnam are vast. Although the government reports that it no longer subjects drug users to forced labor in rehabilitation centers, there has been no independent verification of these claims, and international organizations and media report that authorities continue the practice. This, this lack of awareness, is how the crime of human trafficking goes on raking in over $32 billion dollars every year and devastating roughly 21 million lives, including the lives of 5.5 million children, right underneath our noses. Phuong Vu VNA Monday, July 30, 2018 21:33 Related News In September 2018, the Supreme People’s Court issued a circular detailing the trial procedures dealing with cases involving victims under the age of 18, designed to make court proceedings more child-friendly. The government continued efforts to reduce the demand for commercial sex acts. In January 2018, penal code amendments criminalizing all forms of labor trafficking and most forms of sex trafficking came into effect. Psycho-social services for victims remained underdeveloped, with training needed on trauma-informed approaches for all actors engaging with victims, including social workers, front-line officers, and the judiciary. Complicit Vietnamese officials, primarily at commune and village levels, facilitate trafficking or exploit victims by accepting bribes from traffickers, overlooking trafficking indicators, and extorting money in exchange for reuniting victims with their families. Observers noted many high-risk communities found it difficult to connect with the content of these awareness campaigns, indicating a need for improved localization. ... , human-trafficking, human, vietnam. International observers reported government officials often blamed Vietnamese citizens for their exploitative conditions abroad or suggested victims inflate abuses to avoid immigration violations. National broadcaster Vietnam Television (VTV), who was first to break the story, also said it received confirmation of the document’s authenticity from a police station. Girls from ethnic minority communities in the northwest highlands are increasingly subjected to forced services, including sex slavery and domestic servitude, by traffickers channeling their criminal activities through the traditional practice of bride kidnapping. Pacific Links Foundation leads counter-trafficking efforts at the frontiers of Vietnam by increasing access to education, providing shelter and reintegration services, and enabling economic opportunities. The government did not provide statistics disaggregating cases by type of trafficking, victim age or gender, source, or destination. 175 referrals were for adults with 53 referrals for children in 2018 Labour exploitation was the most common type of exploitation for adult males in 2018 (86%, 93) Law enforcement efforts were impeded by the delayed release of formal implementation guidelines on Articles 150 and 151 of the penal code. 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Vietnam has an internal trafficking problem with women and children from rural areas trafficked to urban centers for commercial sexual exploitation and forced labor. MoLISA collaborated with media agencies in publishing 300 news articles on rules and policies for migrant workers, organized training courses for officials and labor-recruiting businesses, and addressed laborers complaints. This is not a UNHCR publication. The government maintained efforts to prevent trafficking. While Vietnam continues to develop economically and implement welfare programmes meant to lift people out of poverty, not everyone has benefited from these changes. The National Referral Mechanism shows that in 2018 6993 potential victims were referred into the system, up from 5142 in 2017, and 3804 in 2016. We follow the at-risk population and spread of human trafficking to best respond to their needs. Inconsistent with international law, Article 150 required a demonstration of force, fraud, or coercion to constitute a sex trafficking offense involving children between the ages of 16 and 17 years old; it therefore did not criminalize all forms of child sex trafficking. Unlike most trafficking victims, Do was able to choose from a line of potential husbands who came to her sister's house. Women are trafficked as brides to neighbouring countries, as well as further afield, with incidents of trafficking that reach as far as Europe. In March 2018, at the Fifth Meeting of National Authorities of the Americas on human trafficking, OAS member states reviewed progress made in the implementation of the Second Work Plan to Combat Trafficking in Persons in the Western Hemisphere (2015-2018), the only region in which every country is party to the Palermo Protocol. A 2014 legal provision requires a judicial proceeding before detention of drug users in compulsory drug rehabilitation centers and restricts detainees' maximum workday to four hours. The procuracies reported initiating the prosecution of 245 defendants for trafficking offenses (295 in 2016) and the court system secured 244 convictions (275 in 2016); sentences ranged from less than three years to 30 years imprisonment. • Vigorously prosecute all forms of trafficking and convict and punish traffickers, including in cases involving forced labor or complicit officials. Police continued efforts to mainstream trafficking content into the training curriculum for new recruits; the MPS organized 12 trainings for 500 police officers, and in cooperation with an international donor, organized trainings on child sexual assault, including child sex trafficking. Some Vietnamese women who travel abroad for internationally brokered marriages or jobs in restaurants, massage parlors, and karaoke bars – including to China, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, and Taiwan – are subjected to domestic servitude or forced prostitution. Pronounced social stigma associated with prostitution, especially in Vietnam's rural areas, complicates protective service provision for female victims of sexual exploitation, and places them at higher risk of recidivism. Attached new guidance on Hoa Hao Buddhism. The government decreased efforts to protect victims. Despite these efforts, unscrupulous third-party recruiting organizations often placed migrant workers in debt. When junior Tram Nguyen first came to America from Ho Chi Minh City in southern Vietnam to start her education at Liberty University, she did not have a … There were no government shelters designated exclusively for male or child victims, although existing shelters assisted all victims as needed. There were reports of children as young as six producing garments under conditions of forced labor in small privately owned garment factories and informal workshops, and that children as young as 12 worked while confined in government-run rehabilitation centers. Inconsistent with international law, Article 150 applies to children between the ages of 16 and 17 years old, and requires a demonstration of force, fraud, or coercion to constitute a sex trafficking offense; it therefore did not criminalize all forms of child sex trafficking. Article 151 criminalized labor and sex trafficking of children under the age of 16 and prescribed penalties of seven to 12 years imprisonment and fines of 50 million to 200 million VND ($2,200 to $8,810). National authorities did not devote adequate funds for victim protection, encouraging provincial governments to use their own funds for trafficking programs to further decentralize this responsibility, and relied heavily on civil society to provide protection services with limited in-kind support. These missions could provide basic provisions, transportation, and healthcare to Vietnamese citizens subjected to trafficking abroad. A lack of interagency coordination and unfamiliarity among some provincial officials with anti-trafficking law and victim protection continued to impede anti-trafficking efforts. Coordinator for the Arctic Region, Bureaus and Offices Reporting Directly to the Secretary, Office of the Coordinator for Cyber Issues, Office of the U.S. Vuong and her team tirelessly serve and protect communities in Vietnam’s Mekong Delta, along the northern, central, and southern borders of the country, and in industrial zones, providing vocational and educational opportunities, safe housing, and healthcare services to at-risk youth and trafficking survivors. Traffickers have created many trans-provincial and transnational rings that take advantage of social networks to make acquaintance with and trick women and girls into illegal marriage, surrogacy, prostitution and forced labour. Within the country, Vietnamese men, women, and children – including street children and children with disabilities – are subjected to forced labor, although little information is available on these cases. During the reporting period, the government signed a bilateral anti-trafficking agreement with the United Kingdom to improve law enforcement coordination, and with the Republic of Korea to enhance cooperation between judicial officials, including training Vietnamese prosecutors. The Law on Human Trafficking Prevention and Control was implemented in 2011. The Ministry of Information and Communication and the Vietnam Women’s Union organized public awareness campaigns focused on high-risk groups such as female migrant and agricultural workers, construction workers, and communities sending migrant labor abroad, as well as targeting schools in high-risk communities. Foreign victims, including children, remained at high risk of deportation without screening or referral to protective services. Despite continued reports of official complicity, the government did not report any investigations, prosecutions, or convictions of officials complicit in trafficking offenses. National authorities did not devote adequate funds for victim protection in 2017 and reportedly began encouraging provincial governments to use their own funds for trafficking programs to further decentralize this responsibility. As reported for the last five years, human traffickers exploit domestic and foreign victims in Vietnam and traffickers exploit victims from Vietnam abroad. The government continued to support more ethnic minority’s languages on the hotline including English. The government encouraged trafficking victims to assist in judicial proceedings against traffickers and offered them some protection and compensation, including child-friendly courtrooms and not requiring victims to be present at trial; however, the government did not report the extent to which they applied these measures. Authorities did not report how many victims received government cash subsidies for food, clothing, and other essential needs. Develop and train officials on implementing guidelines for Articles 150 and 151 of the new penal code, with a focus on identifying and investigating forced labor and internal trafficking cases; vigorously prosecute all forms of trafficking and convict and punish traffickers, including in cases involving forced labor or complicit officials; strengthen efforts to monitor labor recruitment companies and enforce regulations prohibiting the imposition of recruitment fees; align and implement policies to identify and assist victims among vulnerable groups, such as migrant workers, individuals in prostitution, and child laborers, and train relevant officials on these procedures; amend the penal code to criminalize all forms of child sex trafficking consistent with international law; improve interagency cooperation to effectively implement the anti-trafficking national action plan, including by clarifying the roles of national and provincial-level government entities, fully integrating trafficking data collection into law enforcement efforts, and allocating sufficient resources to the national action plan; develop programs that reduce stigma and promote reintegration of trafficking returnees; in consultation with civil society, tailor awareness-raising campaigns to geographic- and sector-specific vulnerabilities and evaluate them to ensure maximum benefit to high-risk communities; allow independent verification that Vietnamese drug users are no longer subjected to forced labor in government-run rehabilitation centers; and expand training for consular officials on worker rights and international labor standards. 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