How to Build A Sustainable Force Against Human Trafficking

March 27, 2023

Blue Dragon partners with local governments, schools, and civil society organisations so that leaders at every level learn how to protect their own communities from human trafficking. 

During March, some of these partners from central Vietnam travelled north to meet their counterparts in a province on the Chinese border. The goal of the trip was for anti-trafficking agencies from around the country to exchange strategies and expertise about trafficking prevention and strengthen relationships to collaborate in the future. 

Educational exchanges such as these are effective tools in the fight against human trafficking. 

Local officials can see how communities in different regions prevent trafficking and learn to apply these models for themselves. This guarantees that essential counter-trafficking knowledge doesn’t stay with just one province or organisation, but rather can benefit many.  

To end human trafficking, it’s not enough for individuals and families to know how to stay safe. It’s critical that communities learn to protect themselves for the long term. This exchange between central and northern government officials was an important part of that process.

Different Problems, Different Solutions 

Human trafficking and its causes are different in every province and every community. Solutions need to be tailored to the unique needs and problems of each location. 

The March study visit allowed frontline workers from these two regions to exchange the specialised solutions they’ve created. Partners in northern Vietnam learned more about how to work in schools, while partners in central Vietnam learned about collaborating with multiple organisations such as welfare agencies and the police to build whole villages that are resilient to human trafficking. 

And critically, the two regions built strong working relationships so that they can continue sharing knowledge, experience, and strategies to work together well into the future.

Village meeting

A H’mong community in northern Vietnam gathers to study safe migration

Building a Future Free From Trafficking 

When asked about her experience on the study trip, one of the leaders from the central Vietnam group remarked about “how committed people are” to doing this critical work. And she’s not the only one who noticed this. 

Blue Dragon’s Dr. Caitlin Wyndham was impressed to see that “everyone wants to do more, and do more quickly.” After Blue Dragon set up a timeline to train government officials in one district, the officials asked if it was possible to do it faster. “We’ll make sure everyone’s available,” officials insisted. “We want to start now!” 

Once these systems are fully in place, local agencies can take immediate action on behalf of people at risk of being trafficked – like someone who lost contact with their family after migrating for work. 

“Now they can take ownership of protecting their citizens,” Caitlin says about village leadership, “and we’re seeing this trend more and more. Previously, these risks were not even detected, or they waited for Blue Dragon to do something, but now they don’t have to wait. With these models, partners are all in the same room. People can collaborate. They can solve the problem themselves.” 

In the last six months, villages in one district of northern Vietnam independently identified and reported seven children who had dropped out of school. Students who leave school early are at very high risk of trafficking, so the Department of Education and the school were alerted. Teachers and police visited families to find out why the children had left school and bring them back into a classroom. 

Five of these children have gone back to school already. The other two are teenagers who want to continue working, but the community is making sure that they’re safe and not being exploited. 

The best part? 

This entire process, from identification to reporting to action, happened entirely with the leadership of community members and citizens.

By connecting people from around Vietnam so that they can learn from each other and work together, Blue Dragon is building a sustainable force to end human trafficking.

Celebrate with us!

Celebrate with us!

Join the Blue Dragon newsletter community and be inspired by many great stories from our 20 years of changing lives.

Thank you! You have successfully subscribed.

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This