Human trafficking has been on the rise in Vietnam, with nearly 4,500 victims rescued in the last five years, the Ministry of Public Security said Thursday.
“Criminals not only target poor women and children but also men and human organs,” Nguyen Phong Hoa, deputy director of the ministry’s Police Department, said.
Hoa was speaking at a conference in Hanoi to announce a government decision to mark July 30 as Anti-Human Trafficking Day for the first time.
In the five-year period, police bust more than 2,200 cases, nearly 12 percent higher than in the previous five years, and arrested more than 3,300 suspects.
Of them, 2,084 have been tried, with three getting life, 819 getting prison terms of 7-20 years and the rest getting less than seven years.
Hoa said human trafficking cases were found in all 63 cities and provinces.
“There was a case in Can Tho of 75 men being trafficked [into slave labor] to brick factories and mines in China.”
The police said the major reasons for human trafficking are gender imbalance, financial difficulties, easy immigration procedures, and negligence on the part of victims.
According to the ministry’s Capt Le Van Chuong, most victims were from rural and mountainous areas with financial difficulties and unhappy families.
Many people were lured into slave labor and prostitution abroad after being tricked into going abroad on a tourism visa, he said.
According to the UN, worldwide nearly 21 million people are lured into forced labor every year and 1.2 million children are trafficked. A third of the trafficked women and children are from Southeast Asia.