Child trafficking and commercial sexual exploitation are gross violations of children’s rights that affect their well-being and deny them the opportunity to reach their full potential. In Viet Nam, children remain vulnerable to serious exploitation, in the form of trafficking for sex work, pornography, forced labour, servitude or removal of organs. There is significant evidence that such exploitation and abuse can affect a child’s physical and mental health in the short and longer terms, with increased risks of illness, unwanted pregnancy, psychological distress, stigma, discrimination and difficulties at school. These factors impair a child’s ability to learn and socialize as well as impact on the transition to adulthood with adverse consequences later in life.
"These physical, psychological and social consequences not only affect girls and boys, but also their families and communities"
The arrival of digital technology, with Viet Nam among countries with the highest number of internet users in Asia, is linked to an escalation in child trafficking and commercial sexual exploitation. Offenders use the internet and mobile phones to groom, lure, harass and blackmail children into exploitative situations. Only a small proportion of such exploitation and abuse is reported and investigated, with few perpetrators held accountable.