Senator Ngo urges Vietnam to redouble its efforts to eradicate child trafficking
[For immediate release]- September 23, 2021
Today, Senator Thanh Hai Ngo issued the following Statement in response to reports of Vietnamese minors being illegally trafficked under the false pretense of work contracts:
Alarming reports from Boat People SOS (BPSOS), a U.S.-based Vietnamese NGO which, amongst other things, seeks to rescue, protect and aid victims of trafficking – has published disturbing reports, with scathing evidence, of multiple cases of Vietnamese minors whose birth certificates have been altered to increase their age for the purpose of ‘work’ in Saudi Arabia.
A growing number of reports indicate continental Europe, the Middle East, and Pacific maritime industries as destinations for Vietnamese labour trafficking, which includes the exploitation of Vietnamese women and children in sex trafficking; many of these victims misled by fraudulent employment opportunities, and subsequently sold to brothel operators on the borders of China, Cambodia, Laos, and elsewhere in the world.
Although it is the labour recruitment networks or third-party sub-brokers that are responsible for this forgery, the complicity of corrupt officials – mainly at the commune and village levels– cannot be disregarded, which includes: accepting bribes from traffickers, deliberately turning a blind eye to trafficking indicators, and extorting money in exchange for the reunification of victims with their families. As a signatory of the United Nations Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children (Palermo Protocol), the Vietnamese government is duty-bound to implement the robust standards requisite to protect victims, especially children, and eradicate trafficking. This includes:
- Prosecuting to the full extend of the law all forms of trafficking, convicting and punishing traffickers – without sparing cases involving forced labour or corrupt officials.
- Amending the Penal Code to criminalize all forms of sex trafficking of 16- and 17-year-old minors, in accordance with international law.
- Eliminating all worker-paid recruitment fees and exploitative recruitment practices for workers migrating abroad or to Vietnam, such as by redoubling efforts to monitor labour recruitment and third-party sub-brokers, as well as prosecuting predatory or illegal sub-brokerage networks.
The government of Canada, our democratic allies and the United Nations have a duty to safeguard and uphold the international rules-based order and urge the Socialist Republic of Vietnam to ensure that its actions are consistent with its international commitments in order to protect these victims – particularly women and children – from predatory and illegal immigration and human trafficking networks.
For more information, please contact:
Office of the Honourable Thanh Hai Ngo
U.S. Department of State: 2021 Trafficking in Persons Report: Vietnam
Anti-Slavery International: Precarious journeys of Vietnamese children trafficked to Europe
BPSOS: Anti-Trafficking Efforts
Forced Migration Review, University of Oxford: Smuggling and trafficking from Vietnam to Europe
Fondation Scelles: Human Trafficking: An Increase in the Number of Female and Child Victims in Vietnam