Speech of IOM Viet Nam’s Officer in Charge Brett Dickson on the National Day Against Trafficking in Persons

Speech of IOM Viet Nam’s Officer in Charge Brett Dickson
on the National Day Against Trafficking in Persons
Date: 30 July 2020
Venue: Vinh city, Nghe An

Distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen

On behalf of IOM and the ONE UN in Viet Nam, I would like to thank Deputy Prime Minister (H.E) Trương Hòa Bình, leaders of the MPS, Central Women’s Union and People’s Committee of Nghe An province for co-organizing this event to commemorate the National Day against Trafficking in Persons. 

I would also like to thank our Central and provincial Government partners and international development partners for joining this event. Your presence today reaffirms our shared vision and commitment to work together to end human trafficking. 

My deepest thanks to all frontline workers who have continued to rescue, support, and provide assistance to victims and protect those most vulnerable to trafficking during this difficult time of the on-going COVID-19 pandemic.  In the spirit of this year’s topic your efforts demonstrate how we are “Committed to the cause – working on the frontline to end human trafficking”.  

Ladies and Gentlemen, 

Safe and well-managed labour migration is an important driver for social and economic development in Viet Nam. While labour migration can serve as a significant economic opportunity and lifeline for families in the form of remittances, it can also constitute a risk for those who partake in migration outside the regulatory channels.  

The tragedy of 39 Vietnamese migrants who lost their lives in the United Kingdom last year, is a stark reminder of the ‘REAL’ danger people smugglers and human traffickers pose to vulnerable migrants.  

Today is a reminder that another year has passed in which we can remind ourselves that no matter how much good we can do, we still haven’t done enough. It is time to end the trafficking of men, women and children, in Viet Nam and across the globe.  

On behalf of IOM and UN partners, I encourage the Government of Viet Nam, development and civil society partners, in their continued efforts to end human trafficking.  

Over the past years, no doubt there has been significant progress in Viet Nam with a high level of commitment and action to combat trafficking in persons, However, despite progress made, and our collective efforts, trafficking in persons remains complex and persistent, affecting Viet Nam’s progress in sustainable development across all of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).  

We must do more to strengthen efforts between Government, UN, NGOs and Civil society actors, bringing together the investigation capacity as well as the victim centered approach for a complementary approach.  

Efforts to ensure that victims are protected throughout law enforcement and judicial processes need to be strengthened and measures related to the safe return or granting of temporary or permanent protected status should be expanded. Such measures ensure that victims are not further harmed or re- victimised by the processes we have put in place to pursue the perpetrators of these crimes.  

We should also continue to monitor and evaluate our work in order to identify where the gaps remain in ensuring victim safety and that victims’ human dignity and rights are protected.  

In this time uncertainty caused by COVID-19, we must also look beyond our traditional partnerships and re-think our approach to include as broad a network of actors as possible. We must recognise the essential role of private sector and other non-traditional actors to address trafficking for forced labour and ensure international labour supply chains are free of unethical recruitment practices.  

Lastly, interagency and international cooperation is critical to adapting our approach to meet one of the greatest challenges of our time. Our goal to end the trafficking of men, women and children will not possible without on-going and sustainable cooperation with all of our partners working on this issue.

Ladies and Gentlemen, 

This event today is a signal of Vietnamese government’s strong commitment to end human trafficking.  The government of Viet Nam has demonstrated to the world its’ ability to successfully curb and contain COVID-19 transmissions through early detection and a comprehensive containment strategy that involved multiple Government agencies, private sector and local communities. It could be through this type of high-level commitment and coordinated action across all levels of Government and society that we can truly prevent human trafficking and protect people and communities from exploitation in Viet Nam. 

To close, I would like to reiterate the commitment of IOM and the ONE UN, as dedicated partners, to work side by side with you in this fight. 

It is through cooperation and partnership we can truly end human trafficking. 

Thank you and I wish you all good health and a successful event.  

Xin cảm ơn.