On Saturday afternoon, Lang disembarked her flight and stepped into Vietnam for the first time in 6 months.
Lang was one of 49 women returning home after a terrifying ordeal in Myanmar.
Each has their own story about how they were trafficked from Vietnam. Most believed that they were on their way to good jobs in China or travelling with friends they trusted.
Each of them was horrified when they learned the truth: that they had been taken to northern Myanmar where they were sold into brothels.
The traffickers operating this ring are sophisticated, well organised, and deadly. They do not tolerate dissent or complaints. There are credible reports of Vietnamese women being killed in the brothels for trying to escape.
Lang thought that she was going to China to work in a factory. She didn’t even know that she had crossed into Myanmar. She trusted the people who were leading her and the other young women who shared her fate.
There was something else of great importance that Lang did not know when she was trafficked. She was pregnant.
Getting back to Vietnam is particularly important to Lang. Her time in Myanmar has been deeply traumatic; her only wish is that she can bring her child safely into the world. Now that she is on her way home, she can do that.
The months that she spent in captivity, being raped over and over, will scar her for the rest of her life. But for now, she is elated to be back in Vietnam. Once she has completed her mandatory quarantine, she will report to the police with assistance from Blue Dragon.
Then she will either return to her family home or stay with Blue Dragon to receive further assistance. Lang and many of the women will need psychological counselling, healthcare, and practical help to return to education and jobs, or to start small businesses.
Many more Vietnamese women and girls await rescue and repatriation in northern Myanmar, where there has long been a nature of lawlessness, far from the capital city Yangon. Every person held in slavery in this area is under constant threat to their life. We believe that there are many hundreds more women enslaved in the brothels.
Lang’s group, returning to Vietnam after many weeks of delays because of COVID, is the tip of the iceberg.
Blue Dragon was able to bring the women back thanks to a donation for the operation, and support from the Vietnamese Embassy in Myanmar.
This flight has brought Lang and many others safely home, but the work is far from done. Blue Dragon will continue working until every trafficked person is set free.