Last Updated: Friday, 27 May 2016, 08:49 GMT

U.S. Department of State 2006 Trafficking in Persons Report - Vietnam

Publisher United States Department of State
Author Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons
Publication Date 5 June 2006
Cite as United States Department of State, U.S. Department of State 2006 Trafficking in Persons Report - Vietnam, 5 June 2006, available at: [accessed 28 May 2016]
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.

Vietnam (Tier 2)

Vietnam is a source and destination country for men, women, and children trafficked for the purposes of sexual exploitation and forced labor. Vietnamese women and girls are trafficked to Cambodia, the P.R.C., Hong Kong, Macau, Malaysia, Taiwan, and the Czech Republic for sexual exploitation. State-owned labor export companies recruit and send workers abroad; some of these laborers have been known to suffer conditions of involuntary servitude or bonded or forced labor. Women from Vietnam are trafficked to Taiwan through fraudulent marriages for sexual exploitation and labor. Other Vietnamese women are recruited to travel to Singapore by offers of marriage to Singaporean men; after arrival they face coercion or pressure that makes them vulnerable to trafficking. Vietnam is a destination country for Cambodian children who are trafficked for the purpose of begging. There is also internal trafficking from rural to urban areas.

The Government of Vietnam does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. Vietnam has not made sufficient efforts to combat trafficking, particularly the trafficking of Vietnamese women as brides to destinations in East Asia and the forced labor conditions of many Vietnamese workers sent abroad. Although the Vietnamese Government took steps to provide greater protection for Vietnamese workers sent abroad by labor export companies, its oversight of labor export companies remained inadequate. Vietnam's revised labor code has not been effectively implemented to address cases involving overseas workers who have been subjected to conditions of involuntary servitude or forced or bonded labor. The Vietnamese Government also did not make sufficient efforts to address the growing problem of Vietnamese women who are lured by fraudulent offers of marriage to men in Taiwan, Singapore, and the P.R.C.; many of these Vietnamese brides may have been abused or trafficked. Government action should focus on stepping up efforts to investigate possible trafficking in the labor sector among overseas workers and increasing efforts to identify and protect Vietnamese brides who are potential trafficking victims. Comprehensive anti-trafficking legislation would greatly enhance Vietnam's anti-trafficking efforts.


In 2005, the government continued its anti-trafficking law enforcement efforts in cases of trafficking for sexual exploitation, but made minimal efforts to investigate cases of trafficking for labor exploitation. Vietnam has a statute that prohibits sexual exploitation and the trafficking of women and children, with penalties ranging up to twenty years in prison. Labor forms of trafficking, such as forced labor, are covered under the Vietnamese Penal Code. While the Vietnamese Government has a process by which it apparently monitors labor export companies, there have been no reported investigations or prosecutions of involuntary servitude or forced or bonded labor. Labor attaches in the nine top labor export receiving countries, assigned to look after the welfare of workers and to assist in resolving workplace disputes, rarely investigated complaints from workers who had suffered abuses that constitute involuntary servitude. Over the past year, the government's crime statistics office reported 182 prosecutions and 161 convictions specifically related to sex trafficking in women and children. While some local government officials reportedly profited from trafficking, there were no reported prosecutions of officials for complicity in trafficking.


The Vietnamese Government made increased efforts to provide protection to victims in 2005. The government allocated funding for a program to receive and provide initial support for women and child sex trafficking victims returning from overseas. Local governments often collaborate with NGOs to provide support to returned trafficking victims in the form of vocational training, farmland, or capital for micro-credit loans. Victims of trafficking for sexual exploitation in Vietnam are usually not detained, arrested or otherwise punished; some victims of involuntary servitude have been punished for breaking their contracts. Victims of trafficking for sexual exploitation are also encouraged to assist in the investigation and prosecution process. The government routinely sends women who engage in prostitution within the country to "rehabilitation" detention centers that provide medical treatment, vocational training, and counseling and seek to deter the women's return to prostitution. The government's rehabilitation efforts lack adequate financial resources and usually take place at the provincial and local levels. There were no formal efforts to protect victims of involuntary servitude or forced or bonded labor over the reporting period.


The Vietnamese Government did not implement specific anti-trafficking awareness campaigns in 2005, but it continued to raise the issue of trafficking in combination with other information and education programs. The government's official anti-prostitution program underway since 2001 includes trafficking information and education campaigns. Vietnam's national action plan also tasks the Women's Union with education of the community on prevention of trafficking.

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