Beating The Traffic
How do you stop a youth from being trafficked? In Vietnam, World Vision and StarKids is proving that a bit of education goes a long way.
Human traffickers have many tricks to enlist workers they can then exploit. They use manipulation, threats, intimidation and false promises. They know how to approach children and youths in vulnerable communities to achieve their very questionable ends – to sell people into forced labour, prostitution, dangerous jobs or worse.
While the threat of child trafficking hangs over many Vietnamese communities, there’s widespread ignorance of the issues involved and the techniques that human traffickers employ. Unfortunately, this makes it easier for children to fall into their hands.
In North Vietnam, World Vision with the help of StarKids is combatting the problem by running local education programs. Children can join youth groups where they’ll find out how to keep themselves safe, while giving them the confidence to pursue their goals. Parents can attend monthly meetings and learn about child rights, the causes of trafficking, protecting their children. Now, many mothers choose to walk their children to school, teach them from an early age about ‘stranger danger’ and why it’s important to play in groups.
“I’ve heard stories of people who went missing or people who went away for work and then didn’t come back…”
Nguyen Van Mao, a farmer from the Yen Bai province, no longer worries that he’ll lose his daughter to human traffickers. “I’ve heard stories of people who went missing or people who went away for work and then didn’t come back, and so I was always concerned that when the children grew up something like that might happen to them. My wife and I are happy that Nga goes to the youth group now”, he said.