Blue Dragon’s rescues of Vietnamese women trafficked into China for sexual slavery have led to the disruption of a major trafficking operation.
In October 2018, Blue Dragon responded to a call for help from a 21-year-old Vietnamese woman, ‘Tam’, who was enslaved in a terrifying situation.
Tam had been befriended over social media by an older woman who offered to help her get a job in China. As a single mother of two young children, Tam was desperate to earn money, and felt confident that the job opportunity was legitimate.
Once she had crossed into China, however, Tam realised that she had been tricked. She was locked in a building with many other Vietnamese women, all of whom were pregnant.
All had been tricked in the same way that she had; and all had been raped for the purpose of becoming pregnant. None knew what would happen to them once they had given birth, but they did know that the babies were to be taken from them and sold.
Tam was also forcibly impregnated, and by the time she could call for help she was six months pregnant. Blue Dragon conducted an urgent operation to get her out, and once she was home in Vietnam she gave statements to police about the entire operation.
The Chinese police got involved, and in early December raided the building to set free eight pregnant Vietnamese women, who have since returned to Vietnam and are in safe accommodation under the care of Blue Dragon Children’s Foundation. At least the same number again is believed to have previously been trafficked by the same gang, but either escaped or were sold to others.
Vietnamese police are investigating, in the hope of catching the people who were part of this ring.
While ‘baby farm’ trafficking is sometimes spoken of, this is the first verified large-scale operation taking women from Vietnam to China.
Blue Dragon will continue working with police to catch the traffickers, and provide care for the newly-freed women.