Deputy Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc has ordered an investigation following media reports that 3,000 Vietnamese children had been illegally trafficked into the UK and kept as slaves in cannabis factories, brothels and private homes.
Findings will have to be reported to Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung in June, Phuc said.
Last week, an exposé on the Guardian said that around 3,000 Vietnamese children are in forced labor in the UK, used for financial gain by criminal gangs running cannabis factories, nail bars, garment factories, brothels and private homes.
Charged up to £25,000 (US$38,200) for their passage to the UK, these children collectively owe their traffickers almost £75m.
“By our calculations there are around 3,000 Vietnamese children in the UK who are being used for profit by criminal gangs,” the Guardian quoted Philip Ishola, former head of the UK’s Counter Human Trafficking Bureau as saying.
“The police and the authorities are now aware that trafficked children are being forced to work in cannabis farms but this is really only the tip of the iceberg. Often the same child will be exploited not just in a cannabis farm but also in myriad different ways.”