Human Trafficking: An Increase in the Number of Female and Child Victims in Vietnam

66% of the human trafficking cases in the world occur in the Mekong sub-region. Vietnam is alarmed at the explosion in the numbers of women and children who trafficked to, for example, China. More than 22 000 cases of human trafficking have been identified by the country’s authorities since 2011. Alarmingly; human trafficking in this region is developing under new, troubling circumstances.


Traite des êtres humains


Increase and diversification of Trafficking

The Vietnamese Ministry of Public Security revealed that the number of cases of Human Trafficking increased by 11% between 2011 and 2015. According to a report done by the National Police, 70% of trafficked people are destined for China. Human trafficking is not limited to prostitution; it is also used to procure people for forced labour, and purchased marriages - because the demand to ‘fill’ the deficit of women in China, where men outnumber women, is great. The Vietnamese police remain alert for developments in newer forms of trafficking, like the trafficking of newborns, foetuses and organs


Read also >>> Sexual exploitation in Vietnam in The Scelles Foundation’s Global Report


Sent to China and the countries in the Mekong sub-region

Vietnamese women and children who are victims of sex trafficking are also sent to Cambodia, Laos, Russia and may eventually end up in Thailand or Malaysia.  In December 2014, a Vietnamese national who was sending women to Russia was sentenced to 10 years in prison (TuoiTre News, 18 December 2014). In January 2015, an operation headed by the Malaysian Police Force saved 136 Vietnamese women who were being used for sexually exploitative purposes in a nightclub in Kuala Lumpur (ThanNien News, 4 January 2015).


Trafficking for marriage and familial consent

Traffickers can be both individuals and organized groups. Recruiters are often related to the victim or live in his/her immediate surroundings. Consent from the victim’s family is quite common, whether actively or passively given. “Trafficking for marriage” is often a victim’s first entry into the network of sexual exploitation. People trafficked for forced marriages are sent primarily to China. Confiscating identity papers and debt bondage are widespread techniques that are used for force Vietnamese victims into prostitution. A survey done by the International Organization for Migration (IOM) on the victims of human trafficking in the Mekong region states that trafficked women are often from ethnic minorities in northern Vietnam (IOM, 2014).


Read also >>> Sexual exploitation of minorities in The Scelles Foundation’s Global Report