Vietnamese and Chinese children meet for the first time to share views and concerns on cross border trafficking
Hanoi, August 28th 2006 – Today, 120 children together with Vietnamese and Chinese government officials, representatives from mass organizations, UNICEF country offices in Viet Nam and China, and international organizations in Viet Nam participated in a first-ever joint Children’s Forum on cross border trafficking between Viet Nam and China.
This historic forum provided children aged 11 to 18 from the Viet Nam-China border provinces of Guangxi, Yunnan (China), Quang Ninh, Lang Son, Lao Cai, Lai Chau, Hung Yen, and Bac Giang (Viet Nam) an official opportunity to express their views, concerns and give recommendations on prevention of cross border trafficking of women and children. This initiative was jointly implemented by the Viet Nam Women’s Unions and All China Women's Federation with technical assistance and support from UNICEF in response to the estimated thousands of Vietnamese women and girls at risk of trafficking or being trafficked to China as well as Chinese children being trafficked through Viet Nam-Cambodia border.
“Trafficking in women and children flagrantly violates their rights. We must respect children’s views. Children also need to actively participate in the prevention of trafficking and combating against this unacceptable crime. Let’s unite against trafficking in women and children for a better future”, said Mm. Nguyen Thi Oanh, Vice Chairperson of Viet Nam Women’s Union.
Prior to the forum children participated in a two-day workshop whereby they were given the opportunity to share their experiences and discuss the tremendously negative impacts of trafficking on their lives. Children also voiced their recommendations on cross-border coordination between Viet Nam and China and gave suggestions on how to improve the prevention of trafficking as well as the protection, care and support of child victims.
“Hearing the voices and stories of children of this heinous form of abuse is a sobering reminder that there needs to be deterrent messages, law enforcement collaboration, and international, regional and national strategic coordination to effectively prevent and tackle human trafficking, including the sex trafficking of girls and women” UNICEF Representative in Viet Nam, Mr. Jesper Morch said.
The forum has made a significant contribution to improving the capacity and role of Vietnamese and Chinese children as an important stakeholder in the fight against trafficking in children and women. The historic event concluded with key messages from the children. These messages are to be presented to the Vietnamese and Chinese officials and will directly feed into the development of national strategies, policies and programs as well as the bilateral Viet Nam-China cooperation plans and programs on prevention and protection of child victims of trafficking.
UNICEF in Viet Nam and China will continue to assist the relevant ministries and organizations to effectively tackle the problems of cross border trafficking in women and children between the two countries.
For more information please contact:
Le Hong Loan (Ms), Chief of Child Protection Section, UNICEF Viet Nam
Duong Thi Xuan (Ms), Director of Communication Department, Viet Nam Women’s Union