Child trafficking in Vietnam is rife.
Since 2005, Blue Dragon has been helping kids escape traffickers and get home to their families. So far we have helped 92 children escape from trafficking within Vietnam, and 9 girls and young women escape from sex trafficking in China.
When I say "trafficking within Vietnam," I mean kids being taken from their homes - almost always under false pretenses - to be put to work as slaves. The first kids we rescued were selling flowers in District 1 of Ho Chi Minh City; these days most of the kids we go looking for are working in garment factories.
We haven't even started on the issue of kids being trafficked to work in cocoa plantations or gold mines.
A report out by World Vision today finds that "for every trafficking victim subjected to forced prostitution, nine people are forced to work." And yet, because of the brutality of sex trafficking and the attention it has had in the media, most work by charities and agencies around the world focuses exclusively on stopping the sex trafficking. Relatively little work is being done to help the kids who are slaving away in the factories and farms, for little or no pay, in horrid conditions.
(See Tim Costello's article on this issue here).
This week, one of the Vietnamese newspapers has run a feature on the issue of kids in garment factories. The images they've captured are quite moving (and, from experience, I know how difficult it is to capture such footage - the factory owners do not appreciate people turning up with cameras).
Have a look at the article here - Tuoi Tre News - but a translation of the text is below.
Child Labor Article, Tuoi Tre Newspaper June 2011
... and here's the video clip with subtitles:
Anyone with half a conscience must be outraged by this.