Blue Dragon knows of no other organisation in Vietnam that focuses their anti-trafficking work on the direct rescue of children from the streets, slaves in garment factories or girls trafficked against their will to the sex trade. We cannot ignore a child or young girl who is trapped and crying for help. We cannot ignore a mother’s plea to free her child. We do this work simply because we must.
Children trafficked for labour
Blue Dragon takes the lead in the fight against domestic trafficking for child labour to garment factories. We start with finding and rescuing children from the factories in Ho Chi Minh City. We bring them home to their worried families in central and far north Vietnam. We ensure they are safe and supported to stay in school, and that communities and local authorities know the real truth about the traffickers’ lies. In cooperation with the Vietnamese government, Blue Dragon aims to stop the domestic trafficking of children for labour in garment factories in Vietnam in the next few years.
Girls and young women trafficked to the sex trade
In 2007, Blue Dragon was approached by a family whose daughter had gone missing to China. After only a short search, the girl was found in a brothel near the border and rescued along with six other girls. We could not ignore this terrible situation or the cries from help that have resulted in the rescue of 104 girls. We hear the stories of the girls being tricked by a neighbour, classmate or ‘boyfriend’, their frightening trips across the border not knowing their fate, their enslavement by brothel owners, and their repeated rape at the hands of the customers until they feel they can’t live any more. We plan the rescue trip to get the girl out, dangerous as it is for staff and for the girl herself. Rescued girls have our long-term support: our staff are on call 24/7 for counselling, learning support and emergency care.
We have achieved a 100% success rate for our rescue missions, freeing 466 children and young girls from slavery. We have rescued 2,000 children from the streets and certain danger, including 33 children from sexual abuse. These children are reunited with their families, studying, training or graduated to jobs.
We’ve also had considerable success in limiting the activities of traffickers. Every rescue is an opportunity to raise public awareness about trafficking and alert people to trafficking activity. Our workshops and public awareness campaigns back this up, and add to the understanding of trafficking among Vietnamese police and government officials. The prosecutions that follow our rescues are a huge deterrent. Thanks to these activities, we have stamped out the flower selling racket supplying child labour from Hue to Ho Chi Minh City, and are on track to stamp out the trade in children to garment factories in these locations in the next few years.In China, every rescue means that brothels are closed down and traffickers scatter.
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Photo courtesy of James Vigliano