Vietnam and UK Governments Join Forces to Fight Human Trafficking

Vietnam has been dedicated to combating human trafficking for more than ten years.

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The Law on Human Trafficking Prevention and Control, which was enacted on January 1, 2012, by the 12th National Assembly, has established a crucial legal foundation for preventing, detecting, and combatting human trafficking crimes in Vietnam. Over the last 11 years, Vietnam has made significant progress in curbing these crimes.

In January, Lieutenant General Le Duc Thai, Commander of the Border Guard Command, and Victoria Pullen, Head of Home Office International Operation at the UK’s Home Office, signed an agreement to cooperate in preventing and combating human trafficking.

Under this agreement, both parties will enhance information exchange and collaborate in investigating and handling drug crimes. They will also work together to verify, rescue, and support victims in specialized projects and cases, share experiences in human trafficking prevention and combat, and provide support in training and capacity building for border guard officers, particularly in improving English skills.

Commander of the Border Guard Command Lieutenant General Le Duc Thai and Head of Home Office International Operation of the UK’s Home Office Victoria Pullen at the signing ceremony. Photo: PANO

The two governments have formulated a plan for close cooperation in the coming years. They have agreed to hold meetings every two years between the Vietnam Border Guard Command and the Department of International Cooperation, British Ministry of Home Affairs. Additionally, talks will be organized annually between the Department of Drug and Crime Prevention, Border Guard, and the Immigration and Migration Management Department at the British Embassy in Hanoi.

In the event of emergency situations requiring immediate action, the two parties will report to the competent authorities and conduct working talks, meetings, and information exchange in accordance with regulations. Official notes and information will be exchanged through Vietnam’s Ministry of National Defense – Foreign Affairs Department and the British Embassy in Hanoi.

During the agreement signing ceremony, Lieutenant General Le Duc Thai emphasized the significance of this event in fostering substantive and effective international cooperation between the law enforcement forces of Vietnam and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. This cooperation aims to implement the bilateral agreement between the two governments on preventing and combating human trafficking.

Thai expressed his hope that the authorities of both countries, especially the Border Guard Command and the Home Office International Operation of the UK’s Home Office, will continue to closely coordinate and effectively implement the contents of the agreement. Together, they will achieve the set goals and requirements, and actively contribute to combating human trafficking crimes not only in Vietnam but also in the Asia-Pacific region as a whole.

At the agreement signing ceremony, information was provided on various activities carried out by the Border Guard in 2023. These activities included organizing nearly 25,000 legal education sessions with the participation of 700,000 individuals, distributing over 22,000 leaflets on preventing and combating human trafficking, detecting and preventing 1,604 cases involving 66,621 people illegally entering or exiting the country, many of whom were at high risk of falling victim to human trafficking rings.

In addition, the Vietnam Border Guard handled 103 cases, arrested 92 subjects, and rescued, received, supported, and transferred 235 victims and suspected victims. They conducted training programs on law and general crime prevention and combat skills, which included focusing on law and human trafficking prevention skills for nearly 2,000 drug and crime prevention officers.

In collaboration with the International Organization for Migration (IOM), the UK Embassy in Vietnam, and the Blue Dragon Children’s Foundation, the Border Guard organized five in-depth training classes on human trafficking prevention and combat for 180 officers working on drug and crime prevention and control. They also held three interdisciplinary seminars to enhance capacity in preventing and combatting human trafficking.

Since 2021, the Vietnam Border Guard Command, the Border Protection Agency, and the Department of International Cooperation at the UK’s Home Office have implemented numerous cooperation activities in the field of human trafficking prevention and combat.

Hannah Nguyen