I'm happy to report that we're now finishing up a rescue trip to Ho Chi Minh City with some good results.
A few weeks ago I wrote about Blue Dragon's plan to end the trafficking of children from central to southern Vietnam to work in garment factories. This week's trip was a part of that plan - to keep on getting kids out of factories and back to their homes, where they belong.
Before taking the kids home, we first need the support and permission of their families, who are in Hue province. We do this by talking to them in their communities with representatives of their local government and Red Cross. A typical "meeting" looks like this:
Not all parents agree, unfortunately; and some initially think their children are fine in the factories but change their minds when they see the kids who we rescue and bring home. In the early stages of planning this trip we were hoping to bring home at least 12 kids. But we couldn't get the permission of all of the parents, so had to be satisfied to bring home 8.
Once we have the parents' permission, we head to the south to the industrial areas where children are often put to work in appalling conditions. The images below were taken yesterday on the outskirts of Ho Chi Minh City.
And so we have enabled 8 children, aged 13 to 15, to leave these factories behind and return home.
Now for the next stage of our work: ensuring the kids can stay with their families, return to school, and live in safety with their communities.