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Cablegate: Recent Gvn Successes in Combating Trafficking In

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.




E.O. 12958: N/A

REF: Hanoi 1143

1. (U) Summary and Comment: Vietnam, grimly aware of its
humiliating status as a source country for trafficking in
persons, continues to make a strong effort to combat the
crime and has racked up an impressive number of trafficking
prosecutions and convictions. Security officials have
identified trafficking routes and begun to accumulate data
on trafficking while stepping up their enforcement of
Vietnam's anti-trafficking laws and pursuing closer
bilateral cooperation with destination countries Cambodia
and China. International cooperation, mostly with the UN
and international NGOs, forms an important part of Vietnam's
antitrafficking efforts. Although Vietnam has made
relatively significant strides in combating trafficking in
persons, it is still in the early stage of the fight. Lack
of equipment and resources and low capacity in the legal,
law enforcement and prosecution arenas remain obstacles to
Vietnam's success in the trafficking effort, along with the
practical socioeconomic realities in this developing
country. End Summary and Comment.

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Country Background

2. (U) The GVN sees trafficking in persons as an evolving
and emerging crime in Vietnam. Vietnam's long, hard-to-
control borders with China and Cambodia facilitate
trafficking of women and children not only via the official
border gates but also along numerous forest paths.
According to one Border Army officer, border forces have
identified more cases along the Vietnam - China border than
the Vietnam - Cambodia border, partly owing to more
effective cooperation between Vietnamese and Chinese
authorities. Vietnam acknowledges that trafficking data is
lacking, and is attempting to rectify that. According to
Colonel Nguyen Manh Te, Deputy Director General, Department
for Order and Social Crimes Investigation, Ministry of
Public Security (MPS), MPS is currently working on
establishing a national-level trafficking-in-persons data
center at the instruction of the Office of the Government.
The center would help make trafficking-in-persons statistics
available to better serve international cooperation, Te

Vietnam's Determination to Tackle Trafficking

3. (U) The Vietnamese government is frank and open about its
vulnerability to TIP. A GVN spokesperson said at a major
international conference, "trafficking has been a major
problem in Vietnam since the border with China opened up in
the early 1990s. The GVN is making real efforts to tackle
human trafficking by introducing programs to raise awareness
amongst rural women and policing the border areas."

4. (U) In March 2005, the Ho Chi Minh City Police Department
for Order and Social Crimes Investigation held a conference
to discuss the implementation of the 2004 - 2010 TIP plan of
action. Maj. General Pham Xuan Quac, Director General of
the MPS Department for Order and Social Crimes Investigation
(the central government-level parent of the HCMC Department
hosting the conference), described TIP as "a national pain
and ignominy" and said Vietnam will strive to reduce
trafficking by 20 percent during the 2004 - 2006 period and
solve "most of the problem" by 2010.

Law Enforcement Efforts

5. (U) MPS has had some success in enforcing TIP laws.
During the March conference in Ho Chi Minh City, Major
General Quac reported that between 1998 and 2005, MPS
detected 1,434 trafficking cases throughout Vietnam
involving 2,488 suspects. Quac confirmed that the China and
Cambodia border areas are centers of TIP activity.

6. (U) Most recently, according to Major General Cao Ngoc
Oanh, Deputy Director General, General Department of
People's Police, the police have uncovered Vietnam's largest-
ever woman trafficking ring, which was believed to have
lured 40 women to prostitution dens in China. The ring, led
by Le Quoc Dzung, born in 1978 in Thanh Hoa Province,
committed 21 cases, with seven cases in Thanh Hoa. The raid
was successful and benefited from the effective cooperation
between the Vietnamese local police and Chinese
counterparts, said Oanh. Further investigation into the
case also led to the discovery of a number of other
trafficking rings, rescuing 60 victims and arresting 27

7. (U) In a separate case, in March 2005 police in Hanoi
arrested four people accused of human trafficking and are
currently seeking two of their accomplices, according to
Nguyen Van Thanh, Deputy Director of Dong Da District Police
(in Hanoi). The arrest came almost a month after a 25-year-
old woman was reported missing to local police. Two of the
alleged traffickers admitted to taking the woman across the
border in Lang Son, 154 kilometers northeast of Hanoi, where
they sold her for 5000 Chinese Yuan (equivalent to USD 580).
Thanh said the four men confessed to deceiving and selling
seven women to agents in China in the past three months.
The seven victims are believed to still be in China.

Cooperation Between Vietnam and its Neighbors

Vietnam - China

8. (U) A Chinese spokesman quoted in the Vietnamese press
stated that China has always attached great importance to
the protection of the rights and interests of women and
children. He said, "China has made great efforts in
cracking down on trafficking of women and children. Those
held responsible will be punished in accordance with Chinese
laws and regulations. The Chinese government is willing to
cooperate with relevant countries to crack down on border
criminal activities."

9. (U) Since early July 2005, the General Department of
People's Police has been working on a campaign against
trafficking in women and children along the border with
China. This campaign focused on six key border provinces:
Quang Ninh, Lang Son, Cao Bang, Ha Giang, Lao Cai and Lai
Chau. The campaign's purpose is to identify and eradicate
the gangs trafficking women and children to China.
Vietnamese police are cooperating with their Chinese
counterparts in order to identify and support Vietnamese
trafficked women and children (and help them return to
Vietnam) and to arrest the traffickers who are at large in

10. (U) As part of a two-month joint "anti-abduction
campaign" from July to September 2005 involving police from
China and Vietnam, 37 Vietnamese women were rescued while
eight suspects were arrested (six of them Vietnamese) for
organizing the trafficking of the victims. Combating
trafficking in persons is the first campaign under a package
of agreements between Chinese and Vietnamese police in
fighting cross-border crimes, said Zhu Yantao, a Chinese
Ministry of Public Security official, quoted in the
Vietnamese press. Joint efforts began in April, with police
from the two sides reaching agreements to cooperate on law
enforcement, information sharing and the training of
personnel. (Note: See reftel on year 2005 Chinese-
Vietnamese security cooperation. End note.) Much
trafficking involves women and girls from Vietnam who are
destined for the sex trade, experts said. In one widely
reported incident, on July 4, police in China's Guangxi
Province launched a raid to rescue 11 Vietnamese sex
workers. Besides Guangxi, Vietnamese authorities say other
trafficking destinations are Guangdong, Zhejiang, Fujian,
Shandong and Henan Provinces. MPS statistics indicate that
Guangxi has repatriated more than 1,000 trafficked women
over the past four years to Vietnam.

11. (U) According to MPS' anti-trafficking unit, during the
first six months of 2005, Vietnamese police forces in the
northern border provinces discovered 46 cases related to
trafficking women and children to China, and 75 traffickers
were arrested and 109 victims were identified. The
Vietnamese police also cooperated with Chinese police to
rescue 61 women and children who were trafficked to China
and returned them to their families. This campaign to
combat transnational trafficking in women and children in
the Vietnam - China border area was based on cooperation
between the two countries' security ministries, according to
Maj. General Cao Ngoc Oanh, Deputy Director of the General
Department of People's Police. This, he said, also supports
the activities of National Plan of Action to Combat
Trafficking in Women and Children 2004-2010.

12. (U) The Vietnamese press has featured Sino-Vietnamese
police cooperation against trafficking prominently in recent
months. According to Tuoi Tre ("Youth") newspaper, in a
recent joint effort, Vietnamese police said four people were
arrested and charged with trafficking nine women to work for
gangs running prostitution rings in China. The four
suspects, aged between 22 and 41, are believed to have taken
young women from the Central Highlands province of Gia Lai
(not normally known to be a hot trafficking source point) to
Vietnamese-run brothels in China.

13. (U) During May 25 - 27, The Asia Foundation (TAF) held a
USG-funded anti-trafficking workshop in Quang Ninh Province,
the northeastern border province famous for containing both
the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Halong Bay and the
decidedly non-UNESCO gambling and "entertainment" center of
Do Son. The workshop attracted participants from central
and local levels in China and Vietnam. As a result of the
two-day workshop, Vietnamese and Chinese officials
recommended a list of issues for the two governments' plans
of action, including: improvement of legal frameworks to
combat trafficking in persons; simplification of
administrative procedures on civil registration, residence
permits, birth registration and marriages for victims;
provision of land/housing for victims; establishment of
reception centers in both countries; issuance of special
policies or regulations to protect the rights of women and
children in the prosecution and trial process of trafficking
cases; prompt dissemination and implementation of agreements
by the two countries' security ministries; strengthening
cooperation in research on trafficking in persons between
the two countries; allocation of a budget to provide
training on legal issues and legal assistance for counseling
staff; involving participation of psychologists, lawyers in
anti-trafficking work; exchanging visits, sharing
experience; and, mobilizing financial support from
international organizations.

Vietnam - Cambodia

14. (U) Late last year, TAF also organized an international
conference on combating trafficking in women and children
across the Vietnam - Cambodia border. During the
conference, the participants discussed the trafficking
situation in both countries and preventive measures and
community reintegration. The two sides agreed to closer
coordination to promptly detect trafficking cases. Earlier,
Vietnam and Cambodia held another conference in Ho Chi Minh
City on border law enforcement, which had a trafficking

International Community also Assists

15. (U) Most recently, the UN Office of Drugs and Crime
(UNODC) pledged more assistance for the Vietnamese judicial
system and law enforcement agencies to improve their
capacity to combat human trafficking in Vietnam. An
agreement to this effect was signed on August 26 in Hanoi by
Senior Lieutenant General Le The Tiem, Deputy Minister of
Public Security, and Narumi Yamada, chief of UNODC's Vietnam
Representative Office. Under the deal, UNODC will conduct
the second phase of a project involving Vietnam's Border
Army and the Ministries of Public Security and Justice. The
project aims to strengthen current mechanisms that prevent
and combat human trafficking by strengthening the judicial
and law enforcement agencies, improving criminal
investigations, prosecution procedures and judges' skills
and training officers of related agencies. Implementing the
project will help the country adopt and accelerate the
implementation of the UN Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and
Punish Trafficking in Persons, especially Women and Children
and help build a related national action program, UNODC

16. (U) Earlier, representatives of international
organizations had pledged to work with MPS to design a
training program for officials in charge of antitrafficking.
The commitment was delivered at a seminar, jointly organized
by MPS, the UN Inter-agency Project, the UN Children's Fund
(UNICEF), the International Labor Organization, the
International Organization for Migration and Save the
Children (UK), in Ho Chi Minh City on August 18-19. The
2005-07 training program will not only target Vietnamese
officials but also include officials from other countries in
the Greater Mekong Subregion.


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