Cablegate: 2010 Trafficking in Persons Report - Vietnam - Part 2 of 3
RR RUEHDT RUEHHM RUEHPB
DE RUEHHI #0190/01 0530812
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 120848Z FEB 10 ZDS
FM AMEMBASSY HANOI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 0902
INFO ASEAN REGIONAL FORUM COLLECTIVE
RHMFIUU/DEPT OF HOMELAND SECURITY WASHINGTON DC
RHMFIUU/DEPT OF JUSTICE WASHINGTON DC
RUEATRS/DEPT OF TREASURY WASHINGTON DC
RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING 0135
RUEHHM/AMCONSUL HO CHI MINH CITY 0494
UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 11 HANOI 000190
C O R R E C T E D C O P Y - SENSITIVE CAPTION ADDED
STATE FOR G/TIP, G/TIP-CHRISTINE CHAN-DOWNER, G-LAURA PENA, INL, DRL, PRM, EAP/MLS, AND EAP/RSP, USAID/ANE
E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PHUM KTIP KCRM KWMN SMIG KFRD ASEC PREF ELAB VM
SUBJECT: 2010 TRAFFICKING IN PERSONS REPORT - VIETNAM - PART 2 of 3
REF: 10 STATE 2094; 09 HANOI 1436; 09 HANOI 1216; 10 HANOI 68
09 HCMC 622; 09 HANOI 559; 10 HANOI 70; 09 HANOI 698; 09 HCMC 608
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B. Punishment of Sex Trafficking Offenses
Prostitution is illegal in Vietnam and the legal age of consent is
18. The Ordinance on Prevention of Prostitution issued in 2003
Art. 24 (para. 2) states that those who act as go-between for
prostitution, harbor prostitution, coerce prostitution, organize
prostitution, traffic in women and/or children in service of
prostitution shall bear penal liabilities. Penalties typically
range from five to twenty years.
C. Punishment of Labor Trafficking Offenses
Traffickers of individuals for labor exploitation are prosecuted in
Vietnam under Penal Code section 275 and face penalties between two
and twenty years in prison, depending on the severity of the crime.
The 2007 export labor law includes a range of penalties from fines,
restrictions on operations, and loss of license for export labor
recruitment companies who violate the law. The law also defines
the rights and obligations of recruiting and other sending
entities, the government ministries/agencies, and the workers
themselves. Reinforcement and punitive measures are applied to
both unlicensed recruitment agencies and workers who violate the
law. MOLISA reports that in 2009 there were 165 licensed export
labor companies. In the destination country, a Foreign Ministry
Official or a MOLISA labor attache, assigned to the Vietnamese
Embassy, is required to supervise the companies to ensure that the
laws are followed by these companies. Sanctions for the companies
are administrative punishments or withdrawal of the license to
operate. In 2009, according to MOLISA the GVN conducted 90
inspections of labor export companies and 98 enterprises were
required to pay $10,900 in fines. Two firms had their licenses
Currently, the International Labor Organization (ILO) is working
with MOLISA and labor export recruiting companies to develop a code
of conduct governing recruitment activities of these companies.
The code seeks to improve compliance with the law, assist
enterprises to better manage their operations, and prevent forced
labor and human trafficking, particularly for female workers. The
ILO expects the code will be finished in 2010. In September 2009,
the National Assembly's Committee for Social Affairs announced a
safe migration program designed to better manage the movement of
guest workers abroad. This program is expected to be submitted for
approval at the next session of the National Assembly.
While Vietnam has no specific laws on slavery, there are several
articles in the Penal Code that may be used to prosecute cases of
slavery, bondage or forced acts of labor, including: Article 110
(mistreatment of others), Article 125 (violations of personal
privacy), Article 128 (forced labor), and Article 151
(ill-treatment of family members by other family members or legal
guardians, including grandparents, parents, spouses, and children).
These and other articles have been used when an individual's
freedom was restricted.
D. Penalties for Rape/Forcible Sexual Assault
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Under the 1999 Penal Code, the series of articles that outline the
punishable acts of rape include: Article 111 (rape); Article 112
(child rape); Article 113 (forcible sexual intercourse); Article
115 (sexual intercourse with children); Article 116 (obscenity
against children); Article 245 (harboring prostitution); Article
255 (mediating prostitution) and Article 256 (procuring sex from
GVN penalties for rape or forcible sexual assault range from six
months in prison to capital punishment. Capital punishment is
reserved for cases in which the victim is killed, seriously
disabled or infected with HIV/AIDS; the perpetrator is a
participant in a gang rape; or the perpetrator has raped more than
one person. With the exception of the possibility of the death
penalty or life in prison in the circumstances mentioned above, the
penalties for rape/sexual assault and for trafficking in persons
E. Law Enforcement Statistics
In 2006, the GVN established a specialized anti-TIP police unit, a
division of the MPS Criminal Department, to focus on trafficking.
This unit registered significant successes in the investigation,
arrest, and prosecution of traffickers in 2009. After government
conviction, all sentences have a review process. In general, the
level of TIP investigations and prosecutions in Vietnam has
increased since 2005, reflecting an overall increase in the GVN's
capacity to identify cases, as well as a dramatic improvement in
the training of local officials.
In January 2010, during a meeting of the National Steering
Committee for Crime Prevention and Combat, Minister of Public
Security Le Hong Anh stated that human trafficking crimes increased
by 5.3 percent to 395 cases of trafficking which included 869
victims last year. In the past five years, the GVN reported
investigating 1,586 cases of trafficking in persons involving 2,888
criminals and identified 4,008 trafficking victims (ref C).
NC-130 reported that police rescued approximately 250 trafficking
victims, mainly from China and Cambodia, through police operations.
An additional 500 trafficking victims were officially returned by
foreign governments at border points or through diplomatic
channels, 100 of whom were returned from Malaysia, Korea and
Singapore (ref B).
Note: Post is working with the GVN to obtain data on the number of
individuals convicted on trafficking charges in 2009, and will
provide it to the Department as soon as it is received.
GVN officials report that human traffickers are prosecuted to the
full extent of the law, though sentencing may vary from province to
province. GVN officials also report that law enforcement on
TIP-related cases is more difficult when a family relationship
exists between the authorities and the traffickers. Family members
may blame and punish the victim when they return home with debt.
Authorities tend not to intervene on behalf of the punished or
abused victim. The fact that many traffickers are people who
return to their hometowns from overseas further complicates law
Significant TIP law enforcement cases are highlighted below:
-- In February 2009, An Giang Police arrested two traffickers
suspected of trafficking five victims from An Giang Province and
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Quang Ninh Province to Guang Xi Province of China. The police
investigation is ongoing.
-- In March 2009, the Ministry of Transportation found seven firms
involved in organizing work for Vietnamese laborers abroad to have
fraudulently charged excessive fees. Deputy Minister Nguyen Hong
Truong said the companies had overcharged employees by a total of
US $118,000. The companies were ordered to return these funds to
-- In March 2009, an appeals court in southern Can Tho city upheld
convictions for two women and a man guilty of trafficking 17
Vietnamese women forced to work as prostitutes in Malaysia. The
sentences ranged from 6.5 to 16 years in prison.
-- In June 2009, HCMC courts sentenced a woman from Tay Ninh
Province to 6 years in prison and her mother to 4 years in prison
for trafficking women to Singapore. Another accomplice was given 36
-- In July 2009, HCMC and Tay Ninh courts and police broke up a
trafficking ring of four Vietnamese Nationals. The two residents
of HCMC were sentenced to 10 years and 3 years in prison,
respectively, while two other accomplices were tried and convicted
in Tay Ninh province.
-- In Oct 2009, the Tay Ninh People's Court handed down sentences
of three to nine years in prison to three women and one man
involved in a trafficking ring uncovered by the police in late May.
The group admitted selling 10 women to Singapore and Malaysia in
2008 and trafficking 30 other women to these countries in 2009.
-- In November 2009, Can Tho police arrested a man believed to be
the leader of a ring selling Vietnamese women to Malaysia to work
as prostitutes. Police also detained 4 members of this ring for
-- In November 2009, a man was detained for trafficking 3 women
from Dak Rlap and Dak Song Districts to Tan Than border gate. The
women were brought to Lang Son border gate and transferred to a
second man, who then sold them to brothels in China. The second man
was arrested by Bac Giang Police.
-- In January 2010, Tay Ninh People's Court sentenced two human
traffickers to a total of 15 years in prison for trafficking seven
women from Tay Ninh to brothels in Thailand.
-- In February 2010, two female traffickers received a total of 42
years in prison after they were found guilty at a trial by Lang Son
Province's People's Court. According to the indictment, these two
women sold another woman from Cao Loc District to a brothel in
-- In February 2010, Tay Ninh police arrested three traffickers
attempting to take nine young women to Singapore to sell into
brothels. The police have arrested two additional accomplices. GVN
authorities are conducting further investigations in this case and
are cooperating with their counterparts in Malaysia.
F. GVN Training for Law Enforcement Officials
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From 2003 to 2007, MPS worked in close cooperation with the UNODC
on a multi-year, multi-phase program to strengthen law enforcement
institutions in Vietnam and provide anti-TIP training and manuals
to hundreds of GVN Border Guard Command officers, MPS police
officers, judges, and prosecutors. As a result, MPS and Border
Guard Command training academies and Court Training Schools now
include information on TIP as part of their curriculum.
The Asian Regional Trafficking in Persons (ARTIP) project, funded
by the Government of Australia, established its office in January
2009, to train police, prosecutors and judges on TIP law
enforcement and prosecution. In 2009, ARTIP conducted six training
sessions with approximately 25 officers over three days on the
Vietnamese TIP laws, definitions of trafficking, and victims'
assistance and protection. ARTIP will conduct five more training
programs before the project ends in 2011. Additionally, in November
2009, the USG sponsored six Vietnamese police officers to attend an
anti-human trafficking training course at ILEA Bangkok.
The Vietnamese Women's Union continues to work with local
authorities and courts in many Vietnamese provinces on public
education programs designed to increase the identification and
prosecution of traffickers, as well as the Border Guard Command on
how best to assist and process victim returnees.
Using the new GVN interagency training materials published in
August 2008, NSC-130 has conducted nine training courses for over
500 local officials to date. 5,000 copies of the training manual
have been distributed at provincial and district levels and
additional training was held in 2009. NSC-130 also developed a
legal handbook for judges and prosecutors. The NSC-130 is
currently working on another training manual on protection of
victims and the legal process. In 2009, Border Guard personnel
conducted training for several border posts on identifying,
processing and supporting trafficking victims (ref D). In December
2009, UNODC and the Border Guard signed an agreement to strengthen
the immigration control capacity at the international border gates
and promote greater international cooperation to prevent and
control migrant smuggling and human trafficking.
G. Cooperation with Other Governments
The GVN has stated its commitment to implementing its obligations
under international agreements and is making a concentrated effort
to improve its ability to cooperate regionally to combat human
trafficking, especially at the regional level. It is an active
member of UNIAP's COMMIT process and ASEAN's Regional Taskforce to
Prevent Child-Sex Tourism. The GVN implemented anti-TIP MOUs with
Cambodia (signed October 2005), China (signed May 2006), and
Thailand (signed March 2008). Vietnam also has agreements with
China, Thailand, Cambodia, and Laos on procedures for repatriating
The GVN has ratified the following international conventions:
Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), including two optional
protocols on the involvement of children in armed conflict and on
the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography; the
Convention on the Elimination of All forms of Discrimination
against Women; Forced Labor Convention (C29); Worst Forms of Child
Labor Convention (C182). Regionally, the GVN has signed onto the
ASEAN Declaration against Trafficking in Persons Particularly Women
and Children, ASEAN Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty, ASEAN
Guidelines on Child Trafficking Victims, the COMMIT MOU on
Cooperation against Trafficking in Persons in the Greater Mekong
Sub-region, COMMIT Guiding Principles for Protection of Victims of
Trafficking in the Greater Mekong Sub-Region.
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With an estimated sixty percent of Vietnam's trafficking victims
going to China, Vietnam is working to strengthen cooperation with
China in order to combat trafficking, especially at the
provincial-level. An April 2009 meeting with Chinese police in
Guangxi province is one example of many cross-border exchanges now
taking place regularly between the two countries. Vietnam and
China are negotiating a bilateral agreement on procedures for
repatriating victims (ref B). The Border Guard report that Chinese
officials return trafficking victims to Vietnam as part of general
deportations, with no distinctions between victims of trafficking,
other irregular migrants, and traffickers, making it difficult for
Vietnamese border officials to quantify the number of TIP victims.
In September 2009, a delegation of the High Command of the Border
Guard of Vietnam, led by its Deputy Commander visited Cambodia to
discuss trans-border crimes including trafficking. In December
2009, Cambodia and Vietnam devised concrete measures to combat
human trafficking and provide aid to its victims. During this
workshop, Cambodia and Vietnam signed another bilateral agreement
to standardize procedures for returning victims.
The Vietnamese Women's Union also collaborates with several women's
federations in neighboring countries, holding study trips,
workshops and training sessions. In May 2009, a delegation
traveled to Korea to conduct a study tour of Vietnamese women and
Korean men. In August 2009, the women's union of the southern
province of An Giang joined with two women's unions from Cambodia
to launch an educational campaign to combat trafficking in women
Other highlights of international anti-TIP activities during the
-- In January 2009, the Prime Minister approved an agreement
regarding future cooperation between Vietnam and Thailand in the
fight against the trafficking of humans, particularly women and
children. The agreement addresses the coordination of assisting
victims of human trafficking. Thailand and Vietnam also held a
seminar this year to develop an implementation plan based on their
2008 bilateral agreement (ref B).
-- The GVN continues to coordinate closely with UNIAP on
COMMIT-related obligations, including: training, information
campaigns and the 2010 work plan. In 2010, Vietnam assumed one of
two rotational member seats on the UNIAP governing board.
-- From July to September 2009, Vietnam organized a nationwide
campaign to crackdown on trafficking in the border areas with
China, Cambodia and Laos. Police coordinated with the Border Guard
as well as their foreign counterparts to rescue trafficked women
and children and to conduct further inspections of human
-- Vietnam works with Laos, Cambodia and China to strengthen
information sharing network, including a tri-country hotline border
guards can use to collect and share TIP information (ref B).
-- Vietnam plays an active role in the ASEAN Regional Taskforce to
Prevent Child-Sex Tourism and the ASEAN Regional Education Campaign
aimed at protecting children from child sex tourists. In March
2009, Vietnam's National Administration of Tourism and the NGO
Child Wise organized a National Roundtable for ASEAN members to
share information on child sex tourism and discuss child sex
tourism prevention activities in Vietnam and across Southeast Asia.
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The Roundtable also provided a platform for joint collaboration and
implementation of the ASEAN Five Year Plan to Prevent Child-Sex
Tourism in Southeast Asia (2009-2013). The Five Year Plan aims to
monitor program activities, facilitate consultations across
Southeast Asia, and review relevant research.
-- In January 2010, Cambodian and Vietnamese police met in Kampong
Cham to discuss cross-border crimes. The meeting focused on
improving information exchanges on potential cases of trafficking
in women and children.
-- Laos and Vietnam are negotiating an MOU to establish a legal
corridor to strengthen cooperation in combating human trafficking
H. Extradition of Foreign Nationals
There were no trafficking-related extraditions in 2009. On a
case-by-case basis, Vietnam expels and extradites foreigners who
are charged with trafficking in other countries, even in the
absence of extradition treaties. According to MOJ, Vietnam has
extradition agreements with other countries (Thailand and China
being two of them in the region) and Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty
(MLA) treaties with 18 countries. The GVN works with INTERPOL as
needed. Vietnam does not extradite its own citizens anywhere for
any purpose, in accordance with the 1998 Citizenship Law. Vietnam
has signed an ASEAN Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty, a
Thailand-Vietnam MLA Treaty, a China-Vietnam MLA Treaty, and
several bi-lateral MOUs.
I. Evidence of GVN Involvement in or Tolerance of TIP
Post, INGO contacts, and NGO contacts do not possess any
information that suggests high-level officials participate in or
condone trafficking in Vietnam.
J. GVN Steps to Counter Official Involvement in TIP
If government officials are found to be involved in human
trafficking, a combination of internal administrative punishments
and legal prosecution would be applied, according to MPS. There
have been no cases of corruption specifically involving TIP
investigated or prosecuted to date, according to NSC-130.
K. Troop Contributions to International Peacekeeping Operations
The GVN does not contribute troops to international peacekeeping
L. Vietnam as a Child Sex Tourism Destination
The GVN, INGOs and NGOs do not consider Vietnam a child sex tourism
destination. Since 2005, only three cases of foreigners involved in
child sex tourism have merited investigation, according to MPS.
The GVN has conducted several public awareness campaigns as well as
cooperated with other governments, international organizations, and
NGOs on training programs and capacity building initiatives. MPS's
Criminal Police Department has the lead in investigating and
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prosecuting cases of child sex crime and since 2008 does have a
Special Unit on Child Sex Abusers. The GVN does not maintain
statistics tracking child sex tourism.
In 2009, MPS cooperated with the Australian government to provide
training to more than 100 Vietnamese officers on investigative
techniques targeting child sex tourism (ref H). The GVN, through
the Hotel Department of the Vietnam National Administration of
Tourism (VNAT), undertook public awareness efforts targeting the
tourist industry that included workshops in Can Tho, Sapa, Hanoi,
Quang Ninh, Nha Trang and HCMC. These workshops aimed to educate
hotel personnel, police, local authorities, tour guides, and other
tourist industry workers who may come into contact with foreigners
about child sex tourism. The latest effort, a hotline to report
suspicious activities operating in both Vietnamese and English, is
a joint effort between VNAT and the Committee for the Protection
and Care of Children under MOLISA. The Hotel Department has also
printed and distributed leaflets aimed at both foreign and domestic
tourists. Additional materials, along with the workshops, are
intended to help hotel personnel better recognize the signs of
child abuse, educate them on tactics used by criminals, and convey
methods of reporting suspicious activities to authorities.
MOLISA's Department of Protection and Care of Children has the lead
in supporting child sex tourism victims. Their efforts include
temporary shelters, psychological support, social integration for
victims, education and communication programs to raise public
awareness in central and local levels, a hotline to report child
sex tourism incidences, and capacity building training for staff
working with abused children, as well as for staff working in
Vietnam applies its criminal code for case prosecutions, and works
with individual provinces, INTERPOL and with foreign governments
whose nationals perpetrate offences. Under Article 6 of the
Vietnamese Penal Code, Vietnamese citizens who commit crimes -
including sex crimes - outside of Vietnam are still subject to
prosecution under Vietnamese law.
5. (SBU) PROTECTION AND ASSISTANCE TO VICTIMS
A. GVN Legal Protections for Victims and Witnesses
According to Vietnamese law, "citizens have the right to have their
life, health, reputation, dignity and assets protected by law. Any
acts ruining life, health, reputation, dignity or assets will be
dealt with by law. If the life, health, reputation, dignity or
assets of the victim, witness, or anyone else taking part in the
prosecutorial process, or their loved ones, are threatened,
competent authorities shall apply necessary measures for protection
as stipulated by the law." Further, witnesses have "the right to
request the government to protect his/her life, health, reputation,
dignity, assets and other legitimate rights and interests when
taking part in the prosecutorial process."
According to the National Assembly's Legal Department, security and
police authorities provide protection for victims and witnesses, in
most cases at their request. If determined as warranted, in
exceptional cases, the GVN will offer to provide protection,
depending on the seriousness and the importance of the case.
Protection may include: secure temporary residences, security guard
escort, 24 hour security protection and special communications
Victims may be reluctant to participate in investigations or trials
due to concerns that their testimony could lead to social
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stigmatization, according GVN authorities. Family members,
including spouses, often do not support the prosecution of
trafficking cases. Some court officials have been trained to use
sensitive litigation methods to support the victims and witnesses
during their testimony in front of the court.
In October 2009, MOLISA initiated a two-year project with the Asia
Foundation to draft guidelines on victim assistance and a manual of
minimum standards for victim protection to be used by provincial
MOLISA offices. The standards, which are expected to go into
effect in 2010, will replace Decree 170.
B. Victim Care Facilities
Vietnam has eight dedicated trafficking shelters and a network of
130 shelters which provide a range of social services, including
support for victims of trafficking. Because of resource
constraints, MOLISA shelters for trafficking victims sometimes are
co-located with those for drug users rehabilitation and sex workers
reintegration. Services offered include psychological counseling,
healthcare, vocational training, job placement, financial loans and
micro-credit, and community reintegration. MOLISA is interested in
increasing capacity building in counseling and social work.
IOM, with funding from the State Department's Bureau of Population,
Refugees and Migration, in partnership with MOLISA, runs two
assessment shelters for trafficking victims. The objective of the
IOM/MOLISA program was to build a cost-effective model to help
return and reintegrate victims of trafficking as required by the
NPA. One is located in An Giang province in the Mekong Delta and
the other in Lao Cai province in the north. These centers provide
room and board, medical checkups and treatment, access to legal
assistance and counseling, and information about longer term
shelter services as well as vocational training and education
opportunities. Stay at the center is voluntary and limited to one
or two months. The center's staff are MOLISA employees trained by
Since the project's inception, 211 people have been assisted,
including five men. All the victims receiving services are victims
of cross-border trafficking. Initially, shelters were slow to
attract victims, but referrals increased in 2009 as awareness of
the GVN's trafficking victim referral system increased. Other
provinces have expressed interest in creating similar shelters.
A nationwide "reintegration network" to coordinate victim services
meets every two month. INGOs, NGOs, and GVN agencies (such as
MOLISA and the Vietnamese Women's Union) participate in these
meetings. Members discuss victims who need support and arrange the
necessary services among network members throughout the country.
UNIAP, with USAID funding, convened representatives from the eight
trafficking shelters in two seminars designed to strengthen shelter
services in Vietnam. The first seminar established quality
standards for shelter services and the second shelter conducted a
needs assessment to determine areas in which the shelters needed
further capacity building.
C. Access to Legal, Medical, and Psychological Services
At the national level, MOLISA and the Vietnamese Women's Union
share responsibility for caring for victims of trafficking under
the National Program of Action against Trafficking in Women and
Children from 2004-2010. MOLISA is responsible for income
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generation activities, such as vocational training and job
placement. The Vietnamese Women's Union is responsible for
psychological services and community re-integration. MOLISA, in
coordination with other agencies and localities, provides medical
treatment to victims. However, primary responsibility (financial
and operational) for victims of trafficking is often delegated from
the national level to the provincial and local levels of MOLISA and
the Vietnamese Women's Union for implementation. The GVN provides
limited direct financial support to victims.
The Department of Social Protection has developed a National Action
Plan to develop a social work network of services for vulnerable
groups, which includes services for victims of trafficking.
The GVN provides legal assistance to TIP victims and workers who
have lost their jobs, including those working overseas. All 63
provinces have a legal aid center at the provincial level as well
as an additional 123 legal centers at the district level. At the
local level, 3,000 legal aid clubs meet monthly to provide legal
advice. The Legal Aid Society also offers a mobile clinic to
provide legal information to villages without legal aid clubs.
There are six legal aid centers dedicated to supporting women only.
There are 300 legal aid providers along with 857 certified lawyers
in the Legal Aid Society.
Border Guard in five provinces educate TIP victims about their
legal rights and their roles in investigations and prosecutions of
TIP cases under a GVN-sponsored pilot program. Legal aid then
informs victims about available legal support services. In 2009,
the Legal Aid Society assisted in 60 TIP cases.
D. Assistance to Foreign Trafficking Victims
Vietnamese law does not provide specific protections from
deportation or granting of residency status for foreign national
victims of trafficking. There are no known cases of resettlement
of TIP third country victims to another country. The GVN does
screen victims to see whether they are victims of TIP or illegal
migration. When Vietnam is a transit or destination country for
foreign national victims, the GVN liaises with the sending country
for safe return of victims.
E. Long-term Resources
In March 2007, the Vietnamese Women's Union opened the national
Center for Women and Development in Hanoi that provides two
long-term (up to 18 months) shelter residences, including one
specifically for trafficking victims. This residence serves as a
safe haven and provides vocational training and a psycho-social
counseling center for victims. The Vietnamese Women's Union now
operates four centers nation-wide (in Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, Can
Tho, and Hue), all with support from INGOs. Vietnamese Women's
Union officials and local members collaborate to monitor each
victim's progress upon her return home for up to two years. Four
additional long-term shelters for trafficking victims are operated
by international NGOs in cooperation with MOLISA and the Vietnamese
The Vietnamese Women's Union and Vietnamese NGOs offer long-term
support services through "clubs," which provide community,
entertainment and social services, particularly in rural areas.
With limited resources or no shelter available, the Vietnamese
Women's Union or NGOs often sponsor a club for victims of
trafficking. Women gather to discuss their experiences, support
each other and educate one another about available social services.
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F. System of Referrals to Care
In 2007, Decision 17 provided guidance for the reception,
repatriation and reintegration for returned victims of trafficking.
The Department of Social Evils Prevention (DSEP) of MOLISA has been
appointed by the GVN as the lead agency to implement the referral
component of the NPA, particularly Decision 17.
Under the government's referral system, responsible agencies
(please see below) are trained to identify, process and treat
trafficking victims with dignity and ensure they are not processed
with "criminals." An "identified" victim will go to an assessment
center for up to 30 days and receive initial care, counseling, and
information. The victim may then elect to move to a longer-term
shelter for reintegration.
The main roles and responsibility of each agency/organization in
Vietnam's return, referral and reintegration process are described
-- The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) is responsible for
identifying trafficking victims overseas. Anti-TIP MOUs with
Cambodia, China, and Thailand establish guidelines and standards
for the processing and re-entry of victims and coordinate
inter-country efforts. The GVN has labor attaches, assigned to
embassies in countries that have the largest number of Vietnamese
workers, who are responsible for working with the local
authorities, the employers of Vietnamese workers and other Embassy
staff members to monitor labor conditions and intervene on behalf
of Vietnamese workers if necessary.
-- The Border Guard is responsible for identifying and processing
victims who are rescued, return on their own, or are returned by
other governments via the land border.
-- The Ministry of Labor, Invalids, and Social Affairs (MOLISA), in
coordination with MFA, MPS and the Border Guard, receives victims
of trafficking and provides them with primary support at reception
centers, as well as follow-on support for reintegration such as
vocational skill training and loans through social support centers.
-- The Provincial Ministry of Public Security's Department of
Immigration, in the victim's home province, is responsible for
identifying victims who have returned home without entering via an
official border crossing or without having been identified at
official border crossing.
-- The Ministry of Public Security (MPS) receives victims who
returned through the official system of repatriation per bilateral
agreements with other governments at international airports and
border areas (facilitated by the Border Guard). The MPS
coordinates with the Department of Immigration and MOLISA to trace
family and provide assistance to victims to return home to their
-- The Ministry of Justice (MOJ) provides legal aid to victims and
instructions for the application for birth certificates for
victims' children. The Legal Aid Society at the provincial level
provides legal counseling for victims of trafficking. Women who
intend to marry a foreigner are provided counseling to prevent them
from being trafficked.
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-- The Ministry of Finance (MOF) allocates the budget for relevant
agencies and organizations, and develops financial guidelines for
funding support for victims, victim identification, and
reception/repatriation. The MOF also monitors and supervises
utilization of state and international funding.
-- The Ministry of Planning and Investment (MPI) works with MOF to
develop an annual budget for reintegration programs and activities,
and develops support mechanisms for localities facing difficulties
in construction of or upgrading social support centers or services
for returned victims.
-- The Ministry of Health, in coordination with other agencies,
provides medical checks and treatment for victims when referred
from reception and social support centers.
-- The Vietnamese Women's Union (VWU) has a leading role in
carrying out communication, education and counseling activities at
the community level on prevention and combating trafficking. In
coordination with MOLISA, the Vietnamese Women's Union also
provides support and assistance to returned victims for
re-integration into the community.
-- The People's Committees (Provincial, district and commune
levels) coordinate the relevant agencies and organizations to
implement the overall process of reception and reintegration for
trafficked and returned victims. The local People's Committees
also mobilize local resources and allocate budgets for reception
and reintegration activities.
According to MOLISA, the GVN is spending $4.86 million from the
State budget for 2005-2010 on a MOLISA-Border Guard Command
coordinated project "to receive and provide initial support for
victims who are women and children returning from overseas." Under
this project, about 15,000 victims will have access to legal aid,
health and financial services.