Sunday, January 04, 2009

A great ending followed by a terrible beginning

The final weeks of 2008 marked a major milestone in our work with the victims of child trafficking. Until now, we have been taking kids a few at a time off the streets and out of factories and reuniting them with their families. This has been powerful work: often moving, sometimes frustrating, but always worthwhile.

At the same time, though, we've been trying to land a punch at the belly of the trafficking rings. We have been aiming to put this topic of trafficking and exploitation into the public arena, where Vietnamese people and their government representatives can have their say about what's going on.

Finally, we've done it. The leading newspaper in Vietnam, Tuoi Tre, has run a series of 6 articles, as well as publishing reader's comments and some editorial pieces. Each article in the series has taken a different angle, but each has basically been about the very same issues that we've been working on since 2005.

The icing on the cake is that the minister for Social Affairs has met with the newspaper's chief editors to discuss their articles, and also instructed the Ho Chi Minh City Department of Labour, Invalids, and Social Affairs to get involved and to put a stop to child labour in garment factories.

Things are suddenly looking a whole lot better for thousands of children...

But in a reminder that laurels are not for resting on, our return to work at Blue Dragon after the new year holiday has been pretty awful. Four kids we know and work with have been arrested over 2 separate incidents, both of which are fairly serious. Another of the boys from our main home in Hanoi started off the new year in hospital with an apparent case of pneumonia AND measles.

Not a promising start to 2009 - but then again, that's why we're here...


Coach said...

Hi can I get a copy of the articles in the TuổiTre3?

Or an link? my email is


3FourSuspktz said...

i am a former streetkid,who has managed to regain a respectable social status through displine and the hunger to achive.i was in the streets at the age of 9 and klived there until i was 13.i went back to home and to school upto upto Alevel.i have had hardships in life but at the end of the day i have been the winner.i got a very long story to share with the world.

Today,at 26 i work as an administrator at a streetkid organisation in Cape Town ,South Africa.I am one streetkid activist who believes in a one world with one voice,against kids being in the streets.
you can get me on facebook

Tendai Sean Joe