The Long Walk Against Human Trafficking in Vietnam

 

Blue Dragon has been rescuing young women from the Vietnam to China sex trade and provides health, counselling, and reintegration services to slavery victims. Blue Dragon is the only organisation in Vietnam to focus on the rescue of underage sex slaves.

After supporting BDCF in 2014, we are thrilled to announce our continued partnership with Blue Dragon Children’s Foundation as one of Singapore’s chosen beneficiaries for the race in 2015.

This Australian charity in Vietnam began in 2003, with two friends giving English lessons to street kids. Since then, Blue Dragon has expanded into an organization of 67 loyal staff, helping to support over 1,500 children throughout Vietnam every year.

 

2014 Race in Singapore

Total Funding: USD 13,800 for programmes in 2015

Crisis: Modern slavery of Vietnamese children in factories and Chinese sex trade

 

Summary

The 24 Hour Race has funded

  • 2 young women were rescued from sex trafficking in China

  • 90 children at risk of trafficking got school fees in Hue

  • Renovation of a safe space for children at risk of trafficking in Hue

  • 35 children at risk of trafficking to participate in an international football tournament

  • Reprint of 3,000 copies of Blue Dragon’s Anti-Trafficking Manual

Blue Dragon Children's Foundation is a grassroots Australian charity reaching out to children in crisis throughout Vietnam since 2003. Blue Dragon children are street children, children with disabilities and children who are at risk or have been victims of human trafficking. Our primary aim is to rescue children from danger, reunite them with their families where we can, and provide all the services needed for their recovery and growth.
The 24 Hour Race donated USD 13,830 to support Blue Dragon’s anti- trafficking work. This money has improved the lives of some of the most vulnerable Vietnamese children and young people.
 

Read the full story for 2015 by Blue Dragon

 

Rescues

Rescues are a critical part of Blue Dragon’s anti-trafficking strategy. They are life- changing for those trafficked and their families. They are also an effective means of raising awareness and improving capacity in investigation, rescues and prosecution of traffickers by local government.

 
  Rescue 1 In May 2015, Blue Dragon and Vietnamese police worked together to stop 3 girls, D, (aged 17), P (aged 15) and H (aged 14) from being trafficked. They live in a remote mountainous area and were told that they could get a good job in China. As the persons telling them this were members of their own commune, they believed them and they left home without telling their families where they were going. Fortunately for them, their families raised the alarm within the day, and Blue Dragon's rescue team, together with the Vietnamese police, made a mad dash to the border in the hope of intercepting the girls before they were sold to the sex trade in China. It was a close shave for the girls as they were rescued in the nick of time. It was a matter of minutes before the girls were to be trafficked across the border. 24 Hour Race funds were used to support this rescue and bring the young women back home.

 

Rescue 1

In May 2015, Blue Dragon and Vietnamese police worked together to stop 3 girls, D, (aged 17), P (aged 15) and H (aged 14) from being trafficked. They live in a remote mountainous area and were told that they could get a good job in China. As the persons telling them this were members of their own commune, they believed them and they left home without telling their families where they were going.

Fortunately for them, their families raised the alarm within the day, and Blue Dragon's rescue team, together with the Vietnamese police, made a mad dash to the border in the hope of intercepting the girls before they were sold to the sex trade in China.
It was a close shave for the girls as they were rescued in the nick of time. It was a matter of minutes before the girls were to be trafficked across the border.

24 Hour Race funds were used to support this rescue and bring the young women back home.

  Rescue 2 Blue Dragon rescued Q in June 2015. Born in 1999, Q was trafficked by her boyfriend who invited her for an outing in 2013. She was sold as a bride to a Chinese family in a province hundreds of kilometres from her home. Q then gave birth to a daughter. Unlike other forced brides whose children were taken away and cared for by their Chinese family, Q looked after the baby on her own. When Q gained the trust of her Chinese family to use a mobile phone, she secretly called her family in Vietnam for help. That was when Blue Dragon was alerted to her case. The rescue team managed to rescue Q but unfortunately, her baby had to be left behind as she is a registered Chinese citizen. Blue Dragon assisted Q with lodging statements to the police, and 3 traffickers involved in her case have been arrested. Q is now studying in Grade 8. Blue Dragon is supporting her living and education expenses, and providing counselling. Blue Dragon also helped her to get legal identify documents and are working with Vietnamese and Chinese authorities in order to help reunite her with her baby.

 

Rescue 2

Blue Dragon rescued Q in June 2015. Born in 1999, Q was trafficked by her boyfriend who invited her for an outing in 2013. She was sold as a bride to a Chinese family in a province hundreds of kilometres from her home.


Q then gave birth to a daughter. Unlike other forced brides whose children were taken away and cared for by their Chinese family, Q looked after the baby on her own. When Q gained the trust of her Chinese family to use a mobile phone, she secretly called her family in Vietnam for help. That was when Blue Dragon was alerted to her case. The rescue team managed to rescue Q but unfortunately, her baby had to be left behind as she is a registered Chinese citizen.

Blue Dragon assisted Q with lodging statements to the police, and 3 traffickers involved in her case have been arrested. Q is now studying in Grade 8. Blue Dragon is supporting her living and education expenses, and providing counselling.
Blue Dragon also helped her to get legal identify documents and are working with Vietnamese and Chinese authorities in order to help reunite her with her baby.

 
Tuan Giao district in Dien Bien province. Many of the victims Blue Dragon rescues come from remote, rural areas such as this. With limited access to income generating activities, education, healthcare and information, communities in Dien Bien are targeted by trafficers looking for children and women to sell for labour or the sex trade
 

Protection

24 Hour Race supported 90 children at risk of trafficking from Hue with school fees, insurance, text books and stationery. From our experience, we believe that education is one of the most effective ways of combatting poverty. We know that keeping children in school reduces their vulnerability to trafficking and increases a child’s future prospects for earning income for the family. Blue Dragon has been working in Hue since 2011 and we have seen that children from very poor families are at high risk of dropping out of school in Hue. Once a child drops out of school, they are then at an increased risk of being trafficked. When struggling to provide food for the family, school fees can drop to the bottom of priorities.

24 Hour Race’s support in 2015 ensured that 90 children were able to remain in school.

 

Care

Safe spaces for at-risk children

The Ha Tien centre, a safe space operated by Blue Dragon for children in Hue is every weekend so children can engage in activities, sports and use computers. We also use the space to provide life skills training, career preparation workshops and celebrate festivals. In September, Blue Dragon supported its Youth Engagement Officer based in Hanoi to travel to Hue and coordinate the Ha Tien centre’s renovation. The Youth Engagement Officer worked directly with the young people using the centre to ensure that the designs and work were child-led. This approach is integrated across Blue Dragon activities and ensures young people have a sense of ownership over the spaces they are using.

 

Football Tournament

This is the third year that Blue Dragon children from rural Hue have participated in the annual international football tournament in Hue City organised by the Football For All in Vietnam (FFAV). The tournament offers the opportunity for young people to connect with other FFAV members from across the region and country. It is an opportunity for those living in rural Hue to travel to the city and experience some independence. It not only builds skills but also confidence. In total, 35 boys and girls were supported to join the tournament between 2-5 June 2015.

 

Prevention

Anti-Trafficking Manual

24 Hour Race funds supported the reprinting of 3,000 copies of Blue Dragon’s Anti-Trafficking Manual. Printed in both English and Vietnamese, the manual is a valuable tool guiding Vietnamese government agencies, teachers, officials and village leaders on how to reduce vulnerability to human trafficking in their communities. The manual has been used to facilitate workshops across the country, has been distributed to national, provincial and district police; women’s union leaders and members, to NGOs such as AFAP for use in their Community Information Kiosks in northern Vietnam, among many others. Since May 2015, we have distributed 1,159 manuals across the country.

24 Hour Race funds supported the reprinting of 3,000 copies of Blue Dragon’s Anti-Trafficking Manual. Printed in both English and Vietnamese, the manual is a valuable tool guiding Vietnamese government agencies, teachers, officials and village leaders on how to reduce vulnerability to human trafficking in their communities.
The manual has been used to facilitate workshops across the country, has been distributed to national, provincial and district police; women’s union leaders and members, to NGOs such as AFAP for use in their Community Information Kiosks in northern Vietnam, among many others. Since May 2015, we have distributed 1,159 manuals across the country.

Safety in Migration Workshop

The workshop, Safety in Migration was implemented by Dien Bien’s Department of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs with technical support from Blue Dragon and held on 24 and 25 September 2015. The two-day workshop was attended by 20 participants from DoLISA, the Provincial Committee for Ethnic Minorities Affairs, SOS Children’s Village, a vocational training centre, the Centre for Social Protection, the Father Land Front and the Women’s Union. Participants looked at the causes of migration, the risks and how to minimise them, and how to identify that someone has been trafficked. The workshop also had the attendance of our partners from Hue Province as a part of a study tour and experience sharing trip.

 

2016

With the funding from 2015 for 2016, this story will continue.

We donated USD 12,000 and wish Blue Dragon the best success in their fight against human trafficking