Pandemic could worsen human trafficking in Vietnam

By Song Minh   November 29, 2021 | 04:38 am PT
Pandemic could worsen human trafficking in Vietnam
A Vietnamese woman who was rescued in 2018 after being sold to China. Photo by AFP/Manan Vatsyayana
The Covid-19 pandemic may step up human trafficking in Vietnam as people take risks to get life-changing opportunities abroad, the International Organization for Migration in Vietnam warns.

At a Monday conference to review the result of the Tackling Modern Slavery in Vietnam (TMSV) project, Park Mihyung, IOM Vietnam’s Chief of Mission, said Covid-19 has worsened poverty and severely impacted vulnerable communities, leading to a possible increase in human trafficking.

The project revealed that Vietnamese are the third likeliest victims of modern slavery in the U.K., with around 800 such people detected between 2009 and 2020. Most of them came from northern or north-central Vietnam.

People are much more likely to become victims of labor and sexual exploitations as economic prospects worsen, Park said.

Illegal migrations may also increase due to the Covid-19 pandemic, a representative of the Ministry of Public Security said at the conference. Some people who find it difficult to get a job in Vietnam will think of seeking opportunities in more developed countries through illegal migration, the rep said.

The conference to review the TMSV project was organized by the public security ministry and the IOM. The project had been approved by the ministry in 2019 under an anti-slavery memorandum of understanding between Vietnam and the U.K.

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