The rate of child abuse in Vietnam has reached an alarmingly high level with thousands of cases reported in the past five years.
Officials from the Ministry of Public Security said at a Friday meeting in Ho Chi Minh City that 9,920 Vietnamese children suffered from various forms of abuse over the period.
Ho Sy Tien, director of the ministry’s criminal police department, said the trafficking of children has been especially “serious” in Ho Chi Minh City, the central province of Nghe An, and Quang Ninh and Lai Chau Province near the border.
He said many teenagers are sexually trafficked.
Ho Chi Minh City also has one of the highest rates of crime against children, including murder and sexual abuse, together with southern provinces such as Vinh Long, Dong Thap, Dong Nai and Tien Giang.
Police from Ha Giang said many children in the province were trafficked to China by their own parents or other family members.
Officers at the meeting also said many women from the country have been victims of trafficking and sexual abuse as well, although specific figures were not released.
Police have busted several cases in which Vietnamese people colluded with restaurant owners in Malaysia and Singapore to traffic children and women under fake tourism or labor contracts.
Tien said the traffickers usually target poor rural areas where people are desperate for money.
The victims were then forced to do sex work and they would be beaten or starved if they refused to, officers said, adding that some women trafficked to Malaysia had to serve dozens of customers each day.