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Every human is a gift
Minh Nguyen 21:20, 2023/07/26
It is important to have a correct and comprehensive understanding of human trafficking and view it through various lenses to effectively fight against it.

The International Organization for Migration (IOM), in collaboration with the Ambassadors of Australia, Canada, the UK, and the US to Vietnam, has conveyed a joint message that reads, “A human being is not a commodity. Every human is a gift.”

The video is aimed at raising public awareness of this issue and calling for more actions to protect the victims of human trafficking on the occasion of the World Day Against Trafficking in Person (WDATIP) this year (July 30) themed "Reach every victim of trafficking, leave no one behind."


The video, which also dispels misconceptions about human trafficking, is joined by one of the most influential key opinion leaders in Vietnam, former Miss Universe Vietnam and Top 5 Miss Universe worldwide in 2018, H'hen Niê.

Aiming to amplify the message among the younger generation, the message is contributed by IOM’s Chief of Mission in Vietnam Park Mihyung, Ambassador of Australia to Vietnam Andrew Goledzinowski, Ambassador of Canada to Vietnam Shawn Steil, Ambassador of the UK to Vietnam Iain Frew, and Ambassador of the US to Vietnam Marc Knapper.

It stated that human trafficking happens around us everyday. To effectively fight against it, it is important to have a correct and comprehensive understanding of the issue, view it through various lenses, understand its impact on different individuals, recognize warning signs, and be able to alert authorities if someone or oneself in danger.

In Vietnam, there are popular beliefs about human trafficking, such as the notion that it mostly affects women and girls and that it only involves movements across state or national borders.

It means there exist some misconceptions, including only women and girls experience human trafficking, human trafficking does not happen online, climate change is not related to human trafficking, human trafficking only involves moving, traveling, or transporting a person across state or national borders, and traffickers only target victims they don’t know.

According to Ambassador Shawn Steil, trafficking in persons can happen to anyone.  Men and boys, including LGBTQI boys, can also become victims of trafficking.  As young men search for job opportunities, they are often targeted by traffickers.

“Men and women, boys and girls, are all equally impacted by human trafficking, highlighting the importance of gender-responsive prevention and responses,” he stated.

 Vietnamese police rescued four babies who were set to be trafficked abroad in 2021. Photo: N.H.

Ambassador Marc Knapper said human trafficking also occurs online on many platforms. In fact, social media has emerged as one of the primary tools used by traffickers. They use social media to recruit victims, expand their trafficking operations, exert control over victims, and deceive individuals worldwide into engaging in illicit activities, including online scams. 

“This is why we urgently require a whole-of-government and whole-of-society approach to address this issue. We must hold human traffickers and transnational organized criminal groups accountable, protect victims, and find innovative ways to prevent trafficking from occurring online,” Ambassador Knapper said.

Regarding the impact of climate change, Ambassador Iain Frew said floods, droughts, and saline intrusions. The severe impacts of climate change push many people into poverty and make them become vulnerable. Organized crime groups often take advantage of their economic predicament to lure, defraud and turn them into victims of human trafficking.

“Together we need to help vulnerable communities understand these risks, be aware of the tactics of trafficking crime groups, know more about safe legal migration, and protect their livelihoods,” he stressed.

Meanwhile, Ambassador Andrew Goledzinowski highlighted that human trafficking can occur within the borders of any country, including Vietnam. Victims of human trafficking can be recruited and trafficked in their own hometowns, even within their own homes.

“While challenging, we must all do our parts to identify the crime of human trafficking. If you suspect such activity in your communities, please report it to the local authorities, call the National Human Trafficking Prevention and Control Hotline 111,” the ambassador advised.

Former Miss Universe Viet Nam H’hen Niê warned that many victims have experienced trafficking by romantic partners, spouses, and even family members, including parents. Children are especially vulnerable and often easily targeted.

Ethnic minorities, especially women and girls, are most vulnerable and at a higher risk of becoming victims of human trafficking. 

“As a young person, I strongly feel the need to act to protect victims. I believe it begins by raising my voice to shed light on this critical issue,” she shared.

In a broader move, IOM Chief of Mission Park Mihyung said the counter-trafficking community must evolve and understand the many faces of trafficking in persons. It is crucial to find innovative ways to identify emerging trends, screen for vulnerabilities, support the victims, and seek timely and viable solutions to meet the new evolving challenges of this crime.

She emphasized: “Only when we ourselves are fully equipped to fight against human trafficking, we can reach everyone else. We can then build a future where every victim is properly protected, empowered, and equipped to shape their own better worlds, leaving no one behind.”

For those reasons, the message is that let’s work together and raise our voices to combat human trafficking and empower every victim to build back their lives and reach their full potential.

 Let’s work together and raise voices to combat human trafficking.
TAG: Vietnam news human trafficking iom ambassador of canada Australia the UK the us to vietnam world day against trafficking in person
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