Viewing cable 02HANOI3018
Title: VIETNAM: TRAFFICKING IN PERSONS LEGAL ENVIRONMENT

IdentifierCreatedReleasedClassificationOrigin
02HANOI30182002-12-19 08:15:00 2011-08-30 01:44:00 UNCLASSIFIED Embassy Hanoi
This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.
UNCLAS HANOI 003018 
 
SIPDIS 
UNCLASSIFIED     PTQ1725 
 
SIPDIS 
 
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R 190815Z DEC 02 
FM AMEMBASSY HANOI 
TO SECSTATE WASHDC 8404 
INFO AMEMBASSY BANGKOK 
AMEMBASSY BEIJING 
AMEMBASSY PHNOM PENH 
AMEMBASSY VIENTIANE 
AMCONSUL GUANGZHOU 
AMCONSUL HO CHI MINH CITY 
AMCONSUL HONG KONG 
USMISSION UNVIE VIENNA 
AIT TAIPEI 0716 
SECDEF WASHDC 
USCINCPAC HONOLULU HI 
 
UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 03 HANOI 003018 
 
SIPDIS 
 
                       UNCLASSIFIED 
 
PAGE 02        HANOI  03018  01 OF 03  190856Z 
DEPT FOR G/TIP, EAP/BCLTV, EAP/RSP, AND DRL 
 
E.O. 12958:  N/A 
TAGS: PHUM KWMN PREL PREF EAID ELAB SMIG SOCI VM TIP
SUBJECT:  VIETNAM: TRAFFICKING IN PERSONS LEGAL ENVIRONMENT 
 
¶1.  (U)  SUMMARY:  AT A NATIONAL SEMINAR ON TRAFFICKING IN 
PERSONS (TIP), GVN AND INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATION 
PARTICIPANTS CONCLUDED THAT TIP IN VIETNAM AND THE REGION 
APPEARS ON THE INCREASE, ALTHOUGH LITTLE RELIABLE DATA IS 
AVAILABLE.  SRV LAW GENERALLY CONFORMS TO THE UN PROTOCOL TO 
PREVENT, SUPPRESS, AND PUNISH TRAFFICKING IN PERSONS - 
ESPECIALLY WOMEN AND CHILDREN.  THERE ARE SOME KEY 
DIFFERENCES:  SRV LAW IN SOME CASES DEFINES CHILDREN AS 16 
AND UNDER RATHER THAN 18 AND UNDER, AND IT DOES NOT 
CURRENTLY INCLUDE PROVISIONS FOR THE PROTECTION OF VICTIMS, 
WITNESSES, OR MALES.  PARTICIPANTS INCONCLUSIVELY DEBATED 
MOVING THE LOCUS OF THE TIP FIGHT FROM ITS CURRENT DIVISION 
OF LABOR BETWEEN THE MINISTRY OF LABOR, INVALIDS, AND SOCIAL 
AFFAIRS (MOLISA) AND THE MINISTRY OF PUBLIC SECURITY (MPS). 
THE BOTTOM LINE REMAINS THAT THE GVN AS A WHOLE HAS 
DEMONSTRATED A WELCOME COMMITMENT AND WILLINGNESS TO ADDRESS 
TIP, AND HAS BEEN OPEN TO MANY FORMS OF HELP ON THE ISSUE. 
END SUMMARY. 
 
--------------------------------- 
SEMINAR OVERVIEW AND PARTICIPANTS 
--------------------------------- 
 
¶2.  (U)  THE MINISTRY OF JUSTICE (MOJ) AND UNICEF SPONSORED 
A "NATIONAL SEMINAR ON INTERNATIONAL LAW ON TRAFFICKING OF 
                       UNCLASSIFIED 
 
PAGE 03        HANOI  03018  01 OF 03  190856Z 
WOMEN AND CHILDREN" IN HANOI ON DECEMBER 6.  THE SEMINAR 
REVIEWED THE CURRENT STATUS OF TIP, SRV LAWS RELATING TO 
TRAFFICKING, INTERNATIONAL AGREEMENTS, AND INTERNATIONAL 
EFFORTS AGAINST TIP, AND DISCUSSED WHAT WOULD NEED TO BE 
DONE ADDITIONALLY AND HOW THE SRV WOULD BENEFIT FROM SIGNING 
AND IMPLEMENTING THE UN PROTOCOL TO PREVENT, SUPPRESS, AND 
PUNISH TRAFFICKING IN PERSONS - ESPECIALLY WOMEN AND 
CHILDREN.  SPEAKERS INCLUDED VICE MINISTER OF JUSTICE HA 
HUNG CUONG, UNICEF COUNTRY REPRESENTATIVE ANTHONY BLOOMBERG, 
DEPUTY OFFICE DIRECTORS FROM THE MINISTRY OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS 
(MFA), MOJ, AND MOLISA, AND AN EXPERT FROM UNICEF. 
PARTICIPANTS FROM THE NATIONAL ASSEMBLY SOCIAL AFFAIRS 
COMMITTEE, THE SUPREME PEOPLE'S COURT, THE SUPREME PEOPLE'S 
PROCURACY, AND OXFAM QUEBEC POSED QUESTIONS AT VARIOUS 
POINTS.  REPRESENTATIVES OF A NUMBER OF OTHER GVN 
MINISTRIES, SEVERAL INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATIONS, AND AT 
LEAST TEN EMBASSIES BROUGHT TOTAL ATTENDANCE TO ALMOST 50. 
 
-------------------------------- 
UPDATE ON TRAFFICKING IN PERSONS 
-------------------------------- 
 
¶3.  (U)  A NUMBER OF SPEAKERS INDICATED THAT THE VOLUME OF 
TIP IN VIETNAM AND THE MEKONG SUB-REGION IS INCREASING, 
ALTHOUGH NO ONE OFFERED CONCRETE NUMBERS ON THE SIZE OF THE 
INCREASE.  MFA INTERNATIONAL LAWS AND TREATIES DEPARTMENT 
DEPUTY DIRECTOR NGUYEN TRUONG GIANG CITED LAW ENFORCEMENT 
FIGURES FOR THE PERIOD 1991 TO 1999 SHOWING THAT POLICE 
DISCOVERED 2015 TIP CASES AND ARRESTED 3376 SUSPECTS, 
LEADING TO 2895 PROSECUTIONS.  ABOUT 60 PERCENT OF CONVICTED 
TRAFFICKERS WERE WOMEN, MOST OF THEM FORMER TRAFFICKING 
                       UNCLASSIFIED 
 
PAGE 04        HANOI  03018  01 OF 03  190856Z 
VICTIMS THEMSELVES.  THE POLICE ESTIMATE THAT 55.5 PERCENT 
OF TIP IN VIETNAM IS INTERNATIONAL, WHILE 44.5 PERCENT IS 
DOMESTIC.  A MOLISA OFFICIAL SAID THAT ABOUT 10,000 WOMEN 
TRAFFICKING VICTIMS HAVE RETURNED TO VIETNAM IN RECENT 
YEARS.  MR. TAI FROM THE PROCURACY NOTED THAT "HUNDREDS" OF 
PEOPLE ARE TRIED FOR TRAFFICKING EVERY YEAR IN VIETNAM. 
 
¶4.  (U)  PARTICIPANTS DISCUSSED MAJOR EXTERNAL CHALLENGES TO 
REDUCING TRAFFICKING.  ONE OF THE MOST SIGNIFICANT, CITED BY 
UNICEF'S BLOOMBERG AND MOLISA DEPARTMENT OF SOCIAL EVILS 
PREVENTION DEPUTY DIRECTOR NGUYEN VAN MINH, IS THE STRONG 
DEMOGRAPHIC PULL FACTOR CREATED BY CHINA'S WEALTHIER AND 
DISPROPORTIONATELY MALE POPULATION.  MINH ALSO ESTIMATED 
THAT ABOUT TEN PERCENT OF VIETNAMESE BRIDES GOING TO TAIWAN 
ACTUALLY ENDED UP AS TRAFFICKING VICTIMS, WITH MOST OF THESE 
FORCED INTO PROSTITUTION.  HE DESCRIBED THIS AS "AN ALARMING 
BILATERAL ISSUE BETWEEN TAIWAN AND VIETNAM."  ANOTHER 
CHALLENGE UNICEF AND MOJ STAFF CITED IS A GROWING ORGANIZED 
CRIME INVOLVEMENT IN TIP, LARGELY BECAUSE IT IS "MORE 
PROFITABLE THAN DRUG TRAFFICKING."  SOME CRIMINAL RINGS 
APPEAR TO BE INVOLVED IN BOTH KINDS OF TRAFFICKING. 
 
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LAWS AND PROTOCOLS 
------------------ 
 
                       UNCLASSIFIED 
 
                           UNCLASSIFIED     PTQ1726 
 
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                  ------------------1A183F  190857Z /38 
R 190815Z DEC 02 
FM AMEMBASSY HANOI 
TO SECSTATE WASHDC 8405 
INFO AMEMBASSY BANGKOK 
AMEMBASSY BEIJING 
AMEMBASSY PHNOM PENH 
AMEMBASSY VIENTIANE 
AMCONSUL GUANGZHOU 
AMCONSUL HO CHI MINH CITY 
AMCONSUL HONG KONG 
USMISSION UNVIE VIENNA 
AIT TAIPEI 0717 
SECDEF WASHDC 
USCINCPAC HONOLULU HI 
 
UNCLAS SECTION 02 OF 03 HANOI 003018 
 
SIPDIS 
 
                       UNCLASSIFIED 
 
PAGE 02        HANOI  03018  02 OF 03  190857Z 
DEPT FOR G/TIP, EAP/BCLTV, EAP/RSP, AND DRL 
 
¶5.  (U)  UNICEF RIGHTS PROMOTION PROJECT OFFICER VU NGOC 
BINH PROVIDED AN EXPLANATION OF INTERNATIONAL AGREEMENTS 
IMPINGING ON TIP.  MFA INTERNATIONAL LAWS AND TREATIES 
DEPARTMENT DEPUTY DIRECTOR GIANG OFFERED A DETAILED 
TECHNICAL EXPLANATION OF HIS VIEWS ON THE UN PROTOCOL ON 
COMBATING TRAFFICKING IN PERSONS AND ITS RELATION TO SRV 
LAWS.  GIANG SAID THAT THE PROTOCOL IS "BASICALLY IN LINE 
WITH CURRENT POLICY ON PREVENTION AND SUPPRESSION OF CRIMES 
AND IN COMPLIANCE WITH THE 1992 CONSTITUTION AND LEGAL 
SYSTEM."  HE RECOUNTED A LONG LIST OF SRV REGULATORY 
MECHANISMS DEALING WITH TIP IN VARIOUS WAYS: ARTICLES 119 
AND 120 OF THE CRIMINAL CODE, WHICH OUTLAW TRAFFICKING IN 
WOMEN AND CHILDREN; LABOR LAWS IMPINGING ON WORKER TRAINING 
AND REGULATING LABOR EXPORT; EDUCATION LAWS RELATING TO 
AWARENESS RAISING; GOVERNMENT REGULATIONS AND DECREES ON THE 
MEDIA AND ADVERTISING; AND, MORE RECENT DECREES OUTLAWING 
PRIVATE MARRIAGE BROKERAGE SERVICES. 
 
¶6.  (U)  GIANG NOTED SOME DISCREPANCIES BETWEEN THE PROTOCOL 
AND SRV LAW.  THE CURRENT PENAL CODE DEFINES TRAFFICKING 
MORE BROADLY AND "REQUIRES LESS BURDEN OF PROOF" THAN THE 
PROTOCOL.  THE PENAL CODE DOES NOT PROVIDE A GENERAL 
EXPLICIT DEFINITION OF THE TERM "A CHILD," ALTHOUGH 
ELSEWHERE IN SRV LAW "A CHILD" IS DEFINED AS A PERSON UNDER 
THE AGE OF 16.  (THE PROTOCOL DEFINES "A CHILD" AS A PERSON 
                       UNCLASSIFIED 
 
PAGE 03        HANOI  03018  02 OF 03  190857Z 
UNDER THE AGE OF 18.)  ACCORDING TO GIANG, VICTIMS ELIGIBLE 
FOR REPATRIATION INCLUDE THOSE WHO RETAIN VIETNAMESE 
NATIONALITY AND HAVE NO OTHER NATIONALITY, WHILE THE 
PROTOCOL REQUIRES STATE PARTIES TO RECEIVE A VICTIM WHO HAS 
THE RIGHT OF PERMANENT RESIDENCE IN THAT STATE.  VIETNAM HAS 
NOT CRIMINALIZED THE TRAFFICKING OF MALES, WHICH THE 
PROTOCOL STIPULATES.  THE CRIMINAL PROCEDURE CODE HAS NO 
PROVISIONS FOR PROTECTION OF VICTIMS AND WITNESSES OF 
TRAFFICKING.  FINALLY, ACCORDING TO GIANG, VIETNAM DOES NOT 
OBLIGE ALL TRANSPORTATION PROVIDERS TO ASCERTAIN WHETHER ALL 
PASSENGERS POSSESS TRAVEL DOCUMENTS, ALTHOUGH THERE IS A 
CRIMINAL LIABILITY FOR FAILURE TO REPORT TIP, SHOULD A 
PERSON BECOME AWARE OF SUCH. 
 
-------------------- 
GVN RESPONSES TO TIP 
-------------------- 
 
¶7.  (U)  NATIONAL ASSEMBLY (NA) COMMITTEE FOR SOCIAL AFFAIRS 
DEPUTY CHAIRMAN LUONG PHAN CU STATED THAT ALTHOUGH TIP "IS A 
BURNING ISSUE" IN VIETNAM AND OTHER COUNTRIES, HE WAS 
WORRIED ABOUT WHETHER ALL WOULD LIVE UP TO THEIR OBLIGATIONS 
UNDER THE TREATY.  MORE SPECIFICALLY, MFA'S GIANG EXPRESSED 
CONCERN OVER THE PROTOCOL'S PROVISIONS FOR REPATRIATION OF 
VICTIMS CONSTITUTING A FINANCIAL AND LOGISTICAL BURDEN THAT 
A POOR COUNTRY SUCH AS VIETNAM COULD NOT SHOULDER.  UNICEF 
REPRESENTATIVE BLOOMBERG CLARIFIED THAT THE PROTOCOL'S 
LANGUAGE IS FLEXIBLE REGARDING ITS HUMANITARIAN PROVISIONS 
SUCH AS REPATRIATION AND CARRIES THE EXPECTATION THAT NGO'S 
AND CIVIL SOCIETY WILL CARRY SOME OF THIS LOAD.  LIKEWISE, 
AN MFA INTERNATIONAL LAW AND TREATY EXPERT ASSURED MOJ 
                       UNCLASSIFIED 
 
PAGE 04        HANOI  03018  02 OF 03  190857Z 
INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION DEPUTY DIRECTOR VU DUC LONG THAT 
IT WOULD NOT BE DIFFICULT TO CLOSE GAPS BETWEEN SRV LAW AND 
ARTICLE 10 OF THE UN CONVENTION AGAINST TRANSNATIONAL 
ORGANIZED CRIME (TNOC), BECAUSE THE TNOC PERMITS THE 
LIABILITY OF LEGAL PERSONS TO BE EITHER CRIMINAL, CIVIL, OR 
AND ADMINISTRATIVE. 
 
¶8.  (U)  UNICEF'S BINH HIGHLIGHTED APPROACHES SOME OTHER 
COUNTRIES TAKE TO TIP, INCLUDING THE ESTABLISHMENT OF 
CENTRAL OFFICES FOR MONITORING TIP IN CAMBODIA AND THAILAND. 
HE ALSO REFERRED TO THE US TRAFFICKING VICTIMS PROTECTION 
ACT OF 2002 AND THE ESTABLISHMENT OF G/TIP WITHIN DOS.  HE 
ALSO BRIEFLY REVIEWED THE DOS REPORT ON TRAFFICKING IN 
PERSONS AND DESCRIBED THE REPORT'S TIERS AS, "TIER I: 
EXEMPLARY EFFORTS; TIER II: MADE EFFORTS BUT NOT ELIMINATED; 
TIER III: NOT MUCH EFFORT MADE."  VIETNAM'S TIER WAS NOT 
DISCUSSED.  BINH REMARKED THAT VIETNAM'S CRIMINAL PENALTIES 
FOR TIP ARE SEVERE, UP TO LIFE IN PRISON. 
 
¶9.  (U)  MOLISA DEPARTMENT OF SOCIAL EVILS PREVENTION DEPUTY 
DIRECTOR NGUYEN VAN MINH CITED A SURVEY CONDUCTED BY THE HO 
CHI MINH NATIONAL POLITICAL ACADEMY (THE MAIN CPV TRAINING 
INSTITUTION AND THINK TANK) WHICH SHOWED THAT 19-20 PERCENT 
OF LEADERS DID NOT KNOW ABOUT TIP "RELEVANT DOCUMENTS" AND 
THAT A NUMBER OF PROVINCIAL LEADERS HAVE SAID THAT TIP IS 
NOT IMPORTANT NOW BECAUSE THERE ARE "MORE PRESSING ISSUES" 
 
                       UNCLASSIFIED 
 
                           UNCLASSIFIED     PTQ1727 
 
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      SRPP-00  DS-00    EAP-00   EB-00    ED-01    EUR-00   FBIE-00 
      UTED-00  VC-00    HHS-01   H-01     TEDE-00  INR-00   IO-00 
      LAB-01   L-00     VCE-00   MOFM-05  MOF-01   AC-01    NSAE-00 
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      ACE-00   P-00     SP-00    STR-00   TEST-00  TRSE-00  USIE-00 
      VO-01    EPAE-00  PMB-00   DSCC-00  PRM-00   DRL-02   G-00 
      NFAT-00  SAS-00     /022W 
                  ------------------1A1845  190857Z /38 
R 190815Z DEC 02 
FM AMEMBASSY HANOI 
TO SECSTATE WASHDC 8406 
INFO AMEMBASSY BANGKOK 
AMEMBASSY BEIJING 
AMEMBASSY PHNOM PENH 
AMEMBASSY VIENTIANE 
AMCONSUL GUANGZHOU 
AMCONSUL HO CHI MINH CITY 
AMCONSUL HONG KONG 
USMISSION UNVIE VIENNA 
AIT TAIPEI 0718 
SECDEF WASHDC 
USCINCPAC HONOLULU HI 
 
UNCLAS SECTION 03 OF 03 HANOI 003018 
 
SIPDIS 
 
                       UNCLASSIFIED 
 
PAGE 02        HANOI  03018  03 OF 03  190857Z 
DEPT FOR G/TIP, EAP/BCLTV, EAP/RSP, AND DRL 
 
 
SUCH AS POVERTY ELIMINATION.  HE STRESSED THAT THE GVN HAS 
DEVELOPED A GOOD LEGAL FRAMEWORK TO WHICH LOCAL AUTHORITIES 
NEED TO PAY ATTENTION.  MINH RECOMMENDED THAT TIP PREVENTION 
MUST BE INCLUDED IN SOCIO-ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT.  MOLISA 
PREDICTS THAT, BY 2010, TRAFFICKING IN WOMEN AND CHILDREN 
"WILL BE STOPPED." 
 
¶10.  (U)  PARTICIPANTS FROM VARIOUS GVN ENTITIES AND UNICEF 
DISCUSSED AND DEBATED WAYS TO IMPROVE HOW THE GVN DEALS WITH 
TIP.  MOLISA AND MPS HAVE HAD THE LEAD ON INTERNATIONAL 
TRAFFICKING IN WOMEN AND CHILDREN SINCE 1997'S PRIME 
MINISTERIAL DECREE 766.  BINH OF UNICEF OPINED THAT 
INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATIONS ARE CONFUSED ABOUT WITH WHOM 
THEY SHOULD WORK -- MPS, MOLISA, THE WOMEN'S UNION, OR SOME 
OTHER ENTITY.  AN MOJ ADMINISTRATIVE AND CRIMINAL LAW 
DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL COMPLAINED THAT MOLISA HAS NOT 
COORDINATED WITH MOJ ON THE NATIONAL PLAN OF ACTION ON 
TRAFFICKING IN WOMEN AND CHILDREN IT IS DEVELOPING.  SHE 
ALSO CONTRASTED SEEMINGLY GOOD INTERAGENCY COOPERATION IN 
NEIGHBORING COUNTRIES WITH THE SITUATION IN VIETNAM. 
FINALLY, SHE QUESTIONED MOLISA'S EMPHASIS ON VICTIMS WHO HAD 
BEEN PROSTITUTES, WONDERING WHAT WAS BEING DONE FOR OTHER 
TYPES OF VICTIMS. 
 
¶11.  (U)  MOJ REPRESENTATIVES SAID THAT THEY ARE TAKING AN 
                       UNCLASSIFIED 
 
PAGE 03        HANOI  03018  03 OF 03  190857Z 
ACTIVE ROLE IN REVIEWING AND DRAFTING LAWS AND, TOGETHER 
WITH MFA AND MPS, ARE ACTIVE IN LEGAL COOPERATION WITH 
NEIGHBORING COUNTRIES.  PARTICIPANTS FROM BOTH THE NATIONAL 
ASSEMBLY AND THE SUPREME PEOPLE'S COURT EXPRESSED INTEREST 
IN IMPROVING INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION.  ACCORDING TO MOJ 
DEPUTY DIRECTOR OF INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION LONG, VIETNAM 
ENJOYS GOOD COOPERATION AND INFORMATION SHARING WITH 
NEIGHBORING COUNTRIES AND HAS LEGAL ASSISTANCE TREATIES WITH 
A NUMBER OF THEM, SPECIFICALLY CITING CHINA, LAOS, AND MORE 
RECENTLY THE PHILIPPINES.  HOWEVER, HE NOTED THAT CAMBODIA 
HAS NOT YET RESPONDED TO THE GVN'S REQUEST TO NEGOTIATE A 
LEGAL ASSISTANCE TREATY. 
 
¶12.  (U)  COMMENT:  ALTHOUGH MOLISA HAS TECHNICALLY HAD THE 
LEAD FOR NON-LAW ENFORCEMENT RELATED ASPECTS OF TIP, 
ESPECIALLY INTERNATIONAL TIP, ITS "SOCIAL EVILS" APPROACH -- 
WHILE ENERGETIC -- USUALLY CONCEPTUALIZES TIP IN AN 
UNREALISTIC WAY.  THE FRUSTRATIONS MOJ OFFICIALS VOICED WITH 
MOLISA ARE OFTEN HEARD FROM OTHER QUARTERS.  MANY WHO TRY TO 
HELP TIP VICTIMS AND POTENTIAL VICTIMS WORK AROUND RATHER 
THAN WITH MOLISA.  THEY OFTEN FAVOR COOPERATING WITH THE 
WOMEN'S UNION INSTEAD.  EFFORTS TO IMPROVE LAW ENFORCEMENT 
MEASURES AGAINST TIP APPEAR MORE STRAIGHTFORWARD AS THE 
VIETNAMESE LAW ENFORCEMENT COMMUNITY DOES NOT SHAPE ITS 
FOCUS EXCLUSIVELY THROUGH MOLISA'S "SOCIAL EVILS" LENS.  THE 
BOTTOM LINE REMAINS, HOWEVER, THAT THE GVN AS A WHOLE HAS 
DEMONSTRATED A WELCOME COMMITMENT AND WILLINGNESS TO ADDRESS 
TIP, AND HAS BEEN OPEN TO MANY FORMS OF HELP ON THE ISSUE. 
BURGHARDT 
 
                       UNCLASSIFIED 
 
PAGE 04        HANOI  03018  03 OF 03  190857Z 
 
                       UNCLASSIFIED