UK Envoy Visits Vietnam to Boost Collaboration on Tackling Illegal Migration, Human Trafficking

The UK Envoy visits Vietnam to strengthen collaboration on tackling illegal migration and human trafficking.

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UK Envoy Visits Vietnam to Boost Collaboration on Tackling Illegal Migration, Human Trafficking
The UK’s Migration and Modern Slavery Envoy, Andrew Patrick works at the Vietnam’s Ministry of Labour, Invalids, and Social Affairs. Source: UK embassy in Vietnam

The UK’s Migration and Modern Slavery Envoy, Andrew Patrick made his first visit to Vietnam this week on March 6-7.

This visit comes on the 50th anniversary of diplomatic relations between the UK and Vietnam, as well as the fifth anniversary of the implementation of the bilateral Memorandum of Understanding on cooperation in tackling human trafficking.

During his visit, Patrick had a meeting with senior officials from Vietnam’s Ministry of Public Security to discuss the review of the 2018 UK – Vietnam Memorandum of Understanding on cooperation in tackling human trafficking. This review is an essential step toward the two countries’ continued partnership in tackling serious organized crimes, particularly human trafficking.

The UK Envoy also met with the Border Guard Commander of Vietnam’s Ministry of National Defence (MoND) and the Director of the Social Vices Prevention Department of Vietnam’s Ministry of Labour, Invalids, and Social Affairs (MOLISA) to explore opportunities for further cooperation in capacity building, supporting, and protecting victims of human trafficking.

UK Envoy Visits Vietnam to Boost Collaboration on Tackling Illegal Migration, Human Trafficking
The UK Envoy met with Major General Do Ngoc Canh, Director of the Drug and Crime Prevention and Control Department under the Border Guard Command of Vietnam’s Ministry of National Defense. Source: UK embassy in Vietnam
UK Envoy Visits Vietnam to Boost Collaboration on Tackling Illegal Migration, Human Trafficking
The UK Envoy met with Colonel Nguyen Hoa Chi, Deputy Director of the Foreign Relations Department of Vietnam’s Ministry of Public Security to discuss the review of the 2018 Memorandum of Understanding on cooperation in tackling human trafficking. Source: UK embassy in Vietnam

The UK’s Migration and Modern Slavery Envoy said that tackling illegal migration and modern slavery is one of the UK Government’s top priorities. “It is my privilege to be here in Hanoi to drive this priority forward through fruitful discussions with my Vietnamese counterparts. We are committed to working even more closely with Viet Nam on preventing and fighting against illegal migration and modern slavery, particularly in boosting information-sharing, prosecuting the criminals involved, and protecting vulnerable people.”

In the meeting with the UN International Organisation for Migration (IOM), Patrick highlighted the positive impact of the ongoing Tackling Modern Slavery in Vietnam Programme which has been implemented since 2019 with support from the UK Government.

The program has helped raise the Vietnamese public awareness of the risks of illegal migration and contributed to the implementation of the Vietnam National Action Plan on tackling human trafficking from 2021 to 2025.

UK Envoy Visits Vietnam to Boost Collaboration on Tackling Illegal Migration, Human Trafficking
IOM aims to increase the interest and knowledge about safe migration as key to tackle human trafficking and modern slavery in Vietnam among youth through their active participation in the special episode of “Truong Teen” debate show.

Last weekend, the semi-final round of IOM’s first debate competition on safe migration and human trafficking prevention among Vietnamese youths was officially launched in Hanoi.

The competition is an initiative from IOM in collaboration with the Vietnam Women’s Union, and Vietnam National Television (VTV7) as part of the social movement to raise awareness on safe migration as key to preventing human trafficking.

The competition calls for students aged between 16 to 20 from all over Vietnam to submit short videos explaining their initial thoughts on migration as a life-changing opportunity. After two weeks, IOM received 115 submissions with various opinions about the issue.

29 students from Hai Phong, Quang Binh, Nghe An and Ha Tinh were selected to join a boot camp in Hanoi prior to the semi-final round where they received training on debate skills and information sessions on fundamental information about migration and human trafficking; regular and irregular migrations; and tips on how to ensure safety before, during and after migration. Sixteen of them, divided in four groups, were selected to join the semi-final debate round today.

In the semi-finals, the contestants were trained in debating skills and equipped with basic information related to migration and human trafficking; legal and illegal migration steps to ensure safety before, during and after migration. 16 contestants were divided into 4 groups to participate in the semi-finals today.

“In today’s global economy, the movement of people is inevitable, and we have to find ways to achieve migration safely and humanely, that can benefit all. When I saw one student went on stage and proudly presented her idea on migration, I thought youth have a strong voice and play an important role in any safe migration campaign. I hope that all students who participated in this competition learned how to lead and make an informed decision,” IOM’s Chief of Mission Park Mihyung said.

British Ambassador to Vietnam, Iain Frew, also affirmed that students are the leaders of the future. It is vital to promote dialogue and understanding among youth and help them to gain essential knowledge on safe migration, understand their rights and obligations, opportunities, and risks to make informed decisions and protect themselves from falling into vulnerable situations including being trafficked or exploited.

The competition was run through IOM Vietnam’s Facebook Fanpage, VTV7 and “Think Before You Go” page, an IOM’s social project page.

The winners of the semi-final round will participate in a VTV7’s special episode of Truong Teen on migration and human trafficking on March 12.

Hannah Nguyen