Jun 22, 2018 / 15:43

Human trafficking remains a headache in Vietnam and Southeast Asia

Human trafficking remains an unsolved issue in Vietnam in particular and Southeast Asia in general.

The statement was affirmed in the regional workshop on prevention strategies to combat trafficking in persons (TIP), especially for women and children in Hanoi on June 21-22. 
The event is part of the framework of the priority program 2018 by the ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights (AICHR).
Human trafficking remains a big issue in Southeast Asia
Human trafficking remains a big issue in Southeast Asia
At the workshop, participants have the legal system and regional policy for anti-trafficking in persons, human rights-based approach in developing and implementing human anti-trafficking strategies, challenges and orientations for promoting international and regional cooperation in enhancing access to information and community protection system in the fight against TIP, especially women and children.
In her opening speech, Ambassador Nguyen Thi Nha, representative of Vietnam to the AICHR, said that Vietnam attached importance to promoting and protecting human rights. This has been fully reflected in Vietnam's policies, laws and action programs.
"In Southeast Asia, human trafficking remains a big problem. Therefore, this workshop will be a useful opportunity for us to strengthen cooperation in promoting and protecting the rights of vulnerable groups and people who can easily become targets of human traffickers,” said Ambassador Nguyen Thi Nha.
“The results of the workshop will help achieve the goal of assisting victims and vulnerable groups of human trafficking, especially women and children. Accordingly, the workshop will inform and protect them better at the risk of falling into the hands of human traffickers in ASEAN countries and throughout the region," Nha added.
Addressing the workshop, Assistant Minister Pham Sanh Chau from the Vietnamese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, affirmed that Vietnamese government 
determines to keep effective implementation of anti-trafficking policies and measures, calling for international cooperation, regional and resource mobilization to promote these efforts.
Assistant Minister Pham Sanh Chau from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Vietnam
Assistant Minister Pham Sanh Chau addresses the workshop
The Vietnamese government has not yet met the minimum standards for the abolition of human trafficking. However, compared with the report for the previous period, the Vietnamese government has made more efforts. 
The government demonstrates more efforts by identifying victims, expanding training programs on human anti-trafficking and awareness campaigns for law enforcement officers, local officials. Moreover, the government provides guidance to relevant ministries, provincial leaders on the national action plan against human trafficking.
However, the government has failed to tacke a number of issues. Efforts against human trafficking have been hampered by lack of cooperation among sectors, provincial officials who have not yet fully grasped the anti-trafficking law, victim identification procedures, and inadequate data.

According to the results of the anti-trafficking program, in 2017, Vietnam detected 376 cases, with 991 human trafficking victims. Compared with the previous year, the number decreased 1.8%. Victims were mainly women and children in the age of 15-30, with limited awareness of the law.
Participants said that the anti-trafficking strategy must be closely linked to other aspects of human trafficking, requiring an interdisciplinary approach and joint effort not only by governments, professional agencies, but also related parties in the region and in the world, organizations and individuals in the society.
As a result, ASEAN countries welcome the related parties to develop regional guidelines and procedures to better identify and address the needs of trafficked victims, and encourages practitioners within government and civil society to provide better and more consistent support services and programs to address the needs of victims.
In recent years, ASEAN countries have become a formally recognized economic community, increasing the already expansive cross-border flows of goods, services and people in the region. 
While the further integration of ASEAN countries will continue to create new opportunity, it will also increase prospects for transnational crimes such as TIP. Inadequate or non-existent reintegration programs can keep victims in a cycle of re-trafficking and stifle their chances for normal, healthy futures.