US human trafficking report incorrect: Vietnam foreign ministry

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US human trafficking report incorrect: Vietnam foreign ministry

Vietnamese Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokeswoman Le Thi Thu Hang. Photo: Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Vietnam’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs has objected to a recent report on human trafficking released by the U.S. government, claiming it provides inaccurate information about the Southeast Asian country.

The U.S. State Department’s 2022 Trafficking in Persons Report contains incorrect information and fails to fully and accurately reflect Vietnam’s human trafficking situation, as well as the country’s efforts to prevent and combat the issue, foreign ministry spokesperson Le Thi Thu Hang stated at a press briefing on Thursday.

Hang offered the remarks in response to a question by a Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper reporter regarding Vietnam’s reaction to the report released on Tuesday, which demotes the country to Tier 3, the lowest in Washington’s three-tier ranking of human trafficking.

The report claims: “The Government of Vietnam does not fully meet the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking and is not making significant efforts to do so, even considering the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on its anti-trafficking capacity; therefore, Vietnam was downgraded to Tier 3.”

Countries in the Tier 3 ranking, including Brunei, Cambodia, Malaysia, Myanmar, and Vietnam in Southeast Asia, and many others such as China, Cuba, Russia, and Venezuela, may be restricted from receiving certain future aid from the U.S..

In the 2021 report, Vietnam was placed on the Tier 2 Watch List.

This list includes “countries whose governments do not fully meet the TVPA’s minimum standards but are making significant efforts to bring themselves into compliance with those standards,” the latest report stated.

In the past, Vietnam, China, North Korea, and Cuba have all spoken out against the report.

Spokeswoman Hang expressed her hope that the U.S. will cooperate with Vietnam more closely in the future in order to create a comprehensive assessment of the situation in the country, as well as better understand its efforts to deal with the issue.

The diplomat also underlined that Vietnam is ready to discuss specific cooperative initiatives with the U.S. and related parties to jointly prevent and combat human trafficking.

Hang affirmed that Vietnam has been promoting anti-human trafficking efforts, with the involvement of all ministries, sectors, and localities.

One of the most recent examples is that the Ministry of Labor, War Invalids, and Social Affairs; the Ministry of Public Security; the Ministry of National Defense; and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs signed a regulation on coordination in receiving, protecting, and supporting the victims of trafficking on July 18, Hang stated.

Besides the anti-human trafficking program for the 2021-25 period, with an orientation to 2030, Vietnam has also issued many documents guiding the implementation of the 2020 Law on Vietnamese Guest Workers, said the diplomat.

The Vietnamese government has promulgated policies and legislation on human trafficking and forced labor prevention, support for victims of trafficking, and children protection in cyberspace.

“The prevention and combat of domestic and cross-border human trafficking are constantly reviewed so that appropriate measures can be taken to overcome challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic,” Hang said.

Vietnam is continuing its efforts for implementing the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly, and Regular Migration to consolidate a transparent migration environment and prevent the human trafficking risk in international migration activities.

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