1,000 people rescued from slavery

January 6, 2021

Blue Dragon is proud to announce that we have reached a significant yet sombre milestone in our work, with our 1,000th rescue of a victim of human trafficking. 

The rescue of the 1,000th person was completed this week, when the Blue Dragon rescue team brought a 17-year-old named Hien across the border from China back into Vietnam. She was trafficked in September 2020 and sold as a bride against her will. This week, after months of investigation, we were able to rescue Hien and bring her back to Vietnam. 

When Blue Dragon first rescued a child from slavery in 2005, we were at that time a very young organisation working exclusively with street children in Hanoi. That first rescue, of a 13-year-old boy, started a journey of investigating and combating human trafficking that has shaped our organisation. 

We continue seeking, protecting, and advocating for street kids, while also leading the way in Vietnam’s fight against trafficking and slavery. The rescue of 1,000 people has taken place through 439 rescue operations, an effort involving coordination with police and authorities in multiple countries; hundreds of thousands of hours of intense work; and Blue Dragon staff facing countless dangers in order to bring people to safety.

Of the 1,000 people rescued by Blue Dragon: 

– 453 were rescued within Vietnam; 535 were rescued from China; and 12 were rescued from Myanmar. 

– 230 are male, and 770 female. 

– 535 were aged under 18 at the time we rescued them. 

– 595 were sold into sexual exploitation and 405 were sold for labour exploitation. 

The rescue of trafficked people is complex and sometimes dangerous. As an organisation, we have committed to continuing this work because we believe that every person has the right to freedom – and we put that belief into action. 

Our work may begin with rescue, but it does not end there. Blue Dragon’s follow-up services include psychological counselling, legal advocacy, court representation, family reunion, shelter, healthcare, education and training, and job placement. We do whatever it takes to enable survivors of trafficking to recover and build new lives. 

And with the frontline experience that we gain from all this, Blue Dragon works with the Vietnamese government to improve law and policy. Starting in late 2020, we are assisting the government with a revision of the national Law on Human Trafficking. 

Our experience from every one of these 1,000 rescues will contribute to the law revision process, which in turn will improve support for trafficking survivors and aid in the prevention of trafficking through better law enforcement and service delivery. 

Blue Dragon will continue rescuing victims of trafficking and slavery, and we do so with the hope that one day our services will no longer be needed: that all people will be safe and protected, and that human traffickers will be out of business. 

We extend special thanks to our donors, including the individuals and the institutions who have contributed over the years to bring 1,000 people home. 

Because of you, 1,000 Vietnamese children and adults have their freedom. 


If you would like to contribute to the rescue and care of trafficked people, you can donate here. 

And to learn more about how Blue Dragon rescues people from slavery, watch this animated film by the Thomson Reuters Foundation.


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