HANOI, December 2, 2013 — The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) has helped Vietnam to improve its legal framework to combat human trafficking more effectively through a five-year program that concluded last week.
The “Strengthening Legal and Policy Frameworks and Improving Victim Protection in Vietnam” program, implemented by the United Nations Inter-Agency Project on Human Trafficking (UNIAP), supported a wide range of efforts to strengthen the legal and policy framework on human trafficking, including support for the development and adoption of a national anti-trafficking law and its subsidiary legislation instruments. Through this program, the U.S. Government contributed $900,000 since 2008 to protect victims of trafficking and their families and assist them to recover and reintegrate into their community.
“Vietnam now has a stronger legal framework in place to address human trafficking. The program encouraged innovative prevention responses through engagement of new actors, including enterprises, labor inspectors, and journalists in counter trafficking work,” said USAID Mission Director Joakim Parker. “Now, it’s time to enhance the enforcement.”
In addition to training 95 law enforcement officers and 147 criminal justice personnel to improve the law enforcement, the program assisted in providing support and protection for trafficking victims, encouraged prevention and helped coordinate prosecution of traffickers. During the five year period, the program provided training on human trafficking for 30 journalists, 55 labor inspectors and 108 representatives from enterprises. It also provided grants to three local organizations that provide direct assistance to victims and trained 767 staff who work in shelters to help them work more effectively with victims of trafficking.
Under the small grant scheme, technical assistance was provided to the Thai Nguyen provincial Women’s Union to assist 41 trafficking victims, more than 50% are of whom are from ethnic minorities. Support services delivered to those victims included but were not limited to health care, technical trainings, and loans for income generating activities. A self-improvement program engaged eight shelters nationwide for trafficking victims, helping to improve their facilities’ infrastructure and quality of services for victims. The program also established a network of shelters and other service providers for practitioners to exchange lessons learned and best practices, and enhance referral mechanisms to provide better assistance to victims.
Governmental partners included the Ministry of Justice, Ministry of Public Security, Border Guard Commands, Ministry of Information and Communications, Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Supreme Court, People’s Procuracy, and other local authorities at the provincial and district level.