Women’s Union in Lang Son Combats trafficking in women and children

Lang Son, a northern province, shares a 253 km border and 7 border markets with China, which creates favorable conditions for socio-economic development. However, Lang Son also faces several social evils, including trafficking in women and children from Vietnam to China.

*Stories of returned victims


Mai and Lan are sisters from a poor family in Ha Tay province. o­ne of their father’s friends told them about better job prospects in Ha Dong town, o­nly 20 km from their home, so their mother agreed to let them leave home. In reality, the bus took them directly to Lang Son. In Lang Son, the sisters were blindfolded and separated, and Lan was sent to Tibet to work in a brothel. Since that time, Lan has had no information about her elder sister. After 3 years of physical and spiritual torture, Lan and 9 other girls in the brothel were rescued by Chinese police. In 2004, Lan returned to Vietnam but she has still not received any news from her elder sister.


Many of Lang Son's local girls were also taken in the same way. The victims are not o­nly from poor families, not o­nly innocent girls who live in remote and backward areas, but also girls from urban areas. o­ne of them is Thanh, a city girl who was aware of the threat of trafficking, but never thought that o­ne day she could be at risk. o­ne time, she followed a friend to visit a relative in a bordering Chinese province; she was lured to be an illegal wife of an elderly man in a remote area in China. Living in a different culture, with different language and customs for such a long time made her a feel as though she was in a prison. She decided to escape with her children.


* Activities of Women’s Union


According to data from several districts in Lang Son province, hundreds of girls have been victims of trafficking. The numbers of victims from 3 to 13 years of age is increasing especially rapidly. Applying the Decision No.130 of Prime Minister and a Provincial Action Plan o­n combating of trafficking in women and childrenin the period 2004-2010, the Lang Son Provincial Women’s Union has implemented a specific program in 100% of women’s unions (from provincial to grassroots levels). So far, Women Unions have delivered 2,422 information leaflets o­n combating the social evil to nearly o­ne hundred thousand people in the province.Many Women’s union cadres went to a number of bordering communes to provide information o­n combating trafficking in women and children, introducing the related laws as well as CEDAW and the international legal rights of children. In addition, women’s unions at grassroots levels initiated a project to link information about trafficking to information o­n HIV/AIDS, family planning, and domestic violence in order to organize several clubs for combating social evils and trafficking in women and children.


In 2005, Lang Son Women’s Union also supported education and soft loans for 7,013 endangered women or returned victims, so they could re-integrate into the community.


The Union worked with Save the Children UK, ICCO, and UNICEF to organize several information campaigns as well as help the victims in establishing their new life back in Vietnam. As a socio-politic organization which preserves legal rights for women, the Union tries to support the victims in both spiritual and material aspects.The Union works with related provincial departments to provide free health examinations, assist with legislative procedures, and provide free-of-charge vocational training courses, so victims can earn money when they return to their hometown.


“Women of Vietnam” Review