Mekong nations vow to curb human trafficking, help victims

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Government leaders from the Greater Mekong Subregion reaffirmed their commitment to fight human trafficking at a ministerial meeting in Hanoi on Thursday.

A second joint declaration was signed by high-ranking officials from Vietnam, China, Laos, Cambodia, Thailand and Myanmar, which proposes solutions such as better cross-border cooperation in punishing the crime, and efforts to help victims recover from the traumatic experience and resume normal lives.

It also reviewed achievements and shortcomings of projects aimed at curbing human trafficking between 2008 and 2013, news website VnExpress reported.

The first declaration was signed in December 2007.

Nguyen Xuan Phuc, Vietnam's Deputy Prime Minister, said at the meeting that international cooperation is necessary to fight human trafficking, explaining that the problem "is complicated, with the ploys constantly changing and becoming more sophisticated.

"The cooperation between countries is crucial to reduce and prevent the inhumane crime."

Vietnam has strictly carried out its national program for rescuing and supporting victims of human trafficking, partnering with international organizations to adapt a legal system which vigilantly punishes the crime, Phuc said.

Thousands of Vietnamese women are believed to be trafficked every year, especially to neighboring China and Cambodia. Most of them were tricked by the promise of jobs awaiting them in foreign countries, but were instead forced to work as prostitutes or get married against their will.

Lieutenant general Pham Quy Ngo, Vice Minister of Public Security, said Vietnam will fulfill its responsibility stated in the declaration.

"Vietnam will always be an active member, a trustworthy partner to the subregion and to countries involved in the matter."

The Greater Mekong Subregion is a development project originated by the Asian Development Bank in 1992 that brought together the riparian states of the Mekong River basin.

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