Viet Nam


  • COMMIT Secretariat,
    United Nations Service Building,
    1st Floor, Rajdamnern Nok Ave.,
    Bangkok 10200

  • +66-2-304-9100
  • unact@undp.org

Viet Nam Human Trafficking Situation

Viet Nam is a source, and to a lesser extent, a destination country for men, women and children subjected to sex trafficking and conditions of forced labour. Viet Nam is a source country for men and women who migrate abroad for work through predominantly state-affiliated and private labour export companies in the construction, fishing, agriculture, mining, logging and manufacturing sectors, primarily to other parts of Asia, the Middle East, Europe and North America. While abroad, some of these workers subsequently face conditions of forced labour. Vietnamese women and children subjected to forced prostitution throughout Asia are often misled by fraudulent employment opportunities and sold to brothels on the borders of Cambodia, China and Lao PDR, with some eventually being sent to third countries, most commonly Thailand and Malaysia. Some Vietnamese women are forced into prostitution in Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Europe and elsewhere. Viet Nam is also a destination country for children from Cambodia who are trafficked for sexual and labour exploitation.

Recent trafficking patterns identified indicate that an estimated 60% of victims are trafficked to China, 11% to Cambodia and 6.5% to Lao PDR. From 2005 to date, Viet Nam has detected nearly 3,000 human trafficking cases with more than 5,000 offenders involved and 6,200 victims identified.

Migration in the Greater Mekong Sub-region (GMS), including in Viet Nam, is increasing due to various factors such as uneven economic development, more open and porous borders, demographic imbalances etc. Shared history, social relationships and ethnicity are also relevant migration factors particularly in border areas. Also, there has been an increasing ‘feminisation’ of migration particularly for domestic, agricultural and factory work, as well as for marriage. In addition, Viet Nam is also a major source country for formally recruited labourers to international markets. Migrant labour from Viet Nam is widespread globally, and despite a growing body of laws and regulations concerning the recruitment and sending of workers abroad, many still end up in exploitative situations.

COMMIT Structure in Viet Nam

Prior to the establishment of COMMIT, trafficking in persons in Viet Nam was regarded as an ad hoc issue and attention to trafficking was primarily focused on women and children. Since gaining membership, the COMMIT Process has assisted Vietnamese anti-trafficking officials by creating a mechanism for cooperation and the sharing of information within the country and between the other COMMIT countries. COMMIT has helped drive the development of the anti-human trafficking laws, a range of Memorandums of Understanding with fellow COMMIT countries, the capacity building of Vietnamese anti-trafficking officials, and the improvement of services to victims of trafficking with such initiatives as the shelter improvement project and the creation of a National Plan of Action.

Viet Nam COMMIT Milestones

Since joining COMMIT, Viet Nam has improved bilateral cooperation with other countries in the GMS through the signing Memorandums of Understanding and Standard Operating Procedures which have created the legal frameworks for the implementation of mutual cooperation between COMMIT countries.

2004

  • Signed COMMIT Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on Cooperation against Trafficking in Persons in the GMS
  • Signed ASEAN Declaration Against Trafficking in Person
  • Signed Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty (MLAT) on Criminal Matters
  • Approved the National Plan of Action 2004 to 2010

2005

  • Signed MoU with Cambodia

2007

  • Signed ASEAN Declaration on Protection and Promotion of the Rights of Migrant Workers

2008

  • Signed MoU with Thailand

2009

  • Signed Standard Operating Procedure with Cambodia

2010

  • Signed MoU with Lao PDR and China

2011

  • Endorse Law Against Trafficking in Person in Viet Nam
  • Endorsed National Plan of Action 2011 – 2015
  • Ratified Transnational Organised Crime treaty

2012

  • Second COMMIT Joint Declaration of the Coordinated Mekong Ministerial Initiative against Human Trafficking

2013

  • Signed Standard Operating Procedure with Thailand

COMMIT Ministerial Representatives for Viet Nam

The COMMIT Task Force of Viet Nam is composed of 15 representatives from 10 relevant ministries/agencies who have roles and responsibilities in Viet Nam’s counter-human trafficking response. The Ministry of Public Security is the leading agency responsible for coordination and oversight of all anti-human trafficking responses in the country.

Current Membership of Viet Nam COMMIT Task Force:

Department/Ministry

  • Ministry of Public Security
  • Department of Internal Affairs Office of Government
  • Ministry of Defence
  • Women’s Union
  • Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs
  • Ministry of Justice
  • Ministry of Foreign Affairs
  • Viet Nam National Assembly Office
  • Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism
  • Ministry of Public Security