China is main destination for Vietnamese trafficking victims: official

By Viet Tuan   August 24, 2018 | 12:04 am PT
China is main destination for Vietnamese trafficking victims: official
Young girls of Vietnam's northern highlands are vulnerable to human trafficking. Photo by AFP
Around 75 percent of trafficking victims in Vietnam, mostly women and children, are taken to China and sold there, officials said.

Most of them are trafficked to be adopted in the case of children, as brides in the case of women or work as slaves or have their organs harvested, Nguyen Van Pha, deputy head of the National Assembly’s Justice Committee, told a meeting Thursday.

Vietnamese victims are being trafficked to China using different ploys.

Some traffickers would get acquainted with poor women and girl students in the northern mountainous region and tempt them to work as prostitutes at restaurants and karaoke and massage parlors in China across the border, Pha said.

Others would impersonate police or border officers to approach the victims for identification papers checks before kidnapping them, he said.

Some victims later join trafficking gangs themselves to trick others.

Deputy Minister of Public Security Lieutenant General Le Quy Vuong said the police have received reports of more than 3,000 people trafficked in the past five years, 2,500 of whom have been rescued or escaped.

“The remainders are mostly in China but we don't know their exact locations so we cannot send rescue forces yet," Vuong said.

Vietnam reported 670 human trafficking victims last year, down almost half from 1,128 in 2016.

Uneducated women and children from poor areas and ethnic minority groups in the northern highlands are mainly targeted, Pha said.

Many of the trafficked children were approached through social networks such as Facebook and Zalo, the popular Vietnamese messaging app.

Besides financial difficulties, police also blame negligence, easy immigration procedures and gender imbalance in destination countries as the major reasons for the increasing incidence of trafficking.

China suffers from one of the worst gender imbalance rates in the world as families prefer male children, and high demand for Vietnamese brides among Chinese men has exacerbated the trafficking of women.

Some lawmakers said the process of sending Vietnamese workers abroad must be made foolproof to prevent trafficking.

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