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Boosting Vietnam’s youth engagement to prevent human trafficking
Minh Nguyen 18:45, 2023/03/04
Active participation of young people will help migration as a life-changing opportunity rather than an unprepared pathway.

Promoting the engagement of Vietnam’s young people is part of the International Organization for Migration (IOM)’s efforts to prevent human trafficking among youths.

 The debate competition attracts a large number of young people. Photos: IOM Vietnam 

Given such an approach, IOM’s first debate competition on safe migration and human trafficking prevention among Vietnamese youths was officially launched, an initiative carried out in collaboration with Vietnam Women's Union, and Vietnam National Television (VTV7).

It’s part of the social movement to raise awareness on safe migration as key to preventing human trafficking.

Migration landscape

Vietnamese migrants’ contributions to societies and economic development in both countries of origin and destination have been studied and proven positive. Despite their resilience, migrant workers remain disproportionately vulnerable to forced labor and human trafficking throughout the labor migration process.

Many migrant workers continue experiencing unethical recruitment practices, including excessive recruitment fees and related costs, deception, and inaccurate pre-departure information, as well as lack of freedom of choice. At destinations, they are often in temporary, informal, or unprotected jobs, which exposes them to a greater risk of insecurity, layoffs, and poor working and living conditions.

 The engagement of young people promotes safe migration. 

Joint efforts

To make sure that individuals and communities are empowered to make informed decisions on migration, IOM aims to increase the interest and knowledge about safe migration as key to tackling human trafficking and modern slavery in Viet Nam among youth through their active participation in the special episode of “Truong Teen” debate show.

The competition calls for students aged between 16 to 20 from all over Viet Nam to submit short videos explaining their initial thoughts on migration as a life-changing opportunity.

After two weeks, IOM received 115 submissions with various opinions about the issue. Twenty-nine students from Haiphong, Quang Binh, Nghe An and Ha Tinh were selected to join a bootcamp in Hanoi prior to the semi-final round where they received training on debate skills and information sessions on (1) fundamental information about migration and human trafficking, (2) regular and irregular migrations; and (3) tips on how to ensure safety before, during and after migration. Sixteen of them, divided into four groups, were selected to join the semi-final debate round today [March 4].

IOM’s Chief of Mission Park Mihyung said the students demonstrated an extraordinary understanding of multifaceted aspects of migration and human trafficking, praising their debates, creative and open-minded approach to tackling critical problems such as risks and opportunities related to different types of migration.

She highlighted that in today’s global economy, the movement of people is inevitable, and we have to find ways to achieve migration safely and humanely, that can benefit all.

 IOM’s Chief of Mission Park Mihyung speaks at the debate competition held at Green One UN House in Hanoi on March 4.

“When I saw one student go on stage and proudly presented her idea on migration, I thought youth have a strong voice and play an important role in any safe migration campaign. I hope that all students who participated in this competition learned how to lead and make informed decisions,” Park Mihyung shared.

The UK Ambassador to Viet Nam Iain Frew believed that today’s students are the leaders of the future. “It is vital to promote dialogue and understanding among youth and help them to gain essential knowledge on safe migration, understand their rights and obligations, opportunities, and risks to make informed decisions and protect themselves from falling into vulnerable situations including being trafficked or exploited,” he noted.

The debate competition is organized under the framework of the “Tackling modern slavery in Viet Nam” (TMSV) project, funded by the UK Government and implemented by IOM. The competition was run through IOM Viet Nam’s Facebook Fanpage, VTV7 and “Think Before You Go” page, an IOM’s social project page. The winners of the semi-final round will participate in VTV7’s special episode of Truong Teen on migration and human trafficking on March 12.

The Tackling Modern Slavery in Viet Nam (TMSV) project works with the Vietnamese Government and local actors to realize their potential to reduce individual and community vulnerabilities to modern slavery including human trafficking through Behavior change communication; Strengthened access to justice; Victim-centered rehabilitation and reintegration support.  

Since 2018, the TMSV project has supported dozens of thousands of people in human trafficking prevention, with safe migration, and better access to local employment opportunities and regular labor migration pathways. 

TAG: international organization for migration iom vietnam human trafficking safe migration vietnam youth
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