Programme Assessment and Support for Policy Development in Return and Reintegration of Victims of Trafficking

Duration: November 2010 - October 2011

Location: Throughout Vietnam

Partners: Department for the Prevention of Social Evils (DSEP) of the Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs (MOLISA)

Vietnam has recognized trafficking as a significant social concern and in recent years has taken active measures to address the issue. Nonetheless, the quality of the return and reintegration support provided to trafficked women can still be improved and many services currently planned and implemented by government and other stakeholders do not yet reach many of the most at-risk populations and trafficked persons, such as victims of labour or internal trafficking.

This project aimed to strengthen the government’s protection efforts under the National Plan of Action on Counter-trafficking by assessing effective return and reintegration models and effective practices. The project undertook a comprehensive assessment of previous and current return and reintegration activities notably in Lao Cai, Bac Giang and An Giang in order to contribute to the development and implementation of government policy to counter trafficking.

The project objectives:

  • To provide policy-makers with increased access to Vietnam specific information related to protection
  • To improve government’s planning and programming on Counter-trafficking

Despite considerable efforts by governments, civil society, and communities to prevent and reduce trafficking, the trade continues, and is reportedly worsening in some areas. Trafficked persons are often subject to abuse such as rape, torture, debt bondage, unlawful confinement, and threats against their family or other persons close to them as well as other forms of physical, sexual and psychological violence. In order to recover from the far-reaching impacts of these experiences, trafficked persons need safe and sustainable reintegration support to help them rebuild their lives. In Viet Nam, up to 60% of trafficked women return independently and may not gain access to reintegration support through formal channels. Moreover, even those identified as victims face obstacles such as lack of available or appropriate services, stigma and discrimination, and the challenges of re-establishing a livelihood upon their return.

Assessment Report on the Reintegration of Victims of Trafficking


Given the stigma faced by trafficked persons and the current conditions of social support services, reaching trafficked persons with return and reintegration support comprises a critical element of victim protection and care. While the Law on Prevention and Suppression of Human Trafficking provides for trafficked persons to receive a range of support, implementing this in practice presents challenges, and there remains a lack of nationwide coverage for return and reintegration support mechanisms. IOM has worked with the Government of Viet Nam to address the challenges of providing sustainable support at a national scale. The Ministry of Labour, Invalids, and Social Affairs, in partnership with IOM, developed and piloted two victim-centred, rights-based models for return and reintegration support. These models seek to address the social, psychological, economic, and health impacts of trafficking for returned victims, as well as to reduce vulnerability of victims to further exploitation. The community-based model centres around peer-based support which develops community capacity to provide reintegration support, while the centre-based model focuses on ensuring returned victims access a safe and enabling environment for initial recovery, along with channels to longer-term support.

This report documents the assessment of the two models undertaken to determine the extent to which services constitute a viable model for meeting the needs of victims of trafficking, and the potential for models to be implemented at a national scale. The achievements, knowledge, and recommendations identified here offer a resource which can support existing activities, and can also be used to set a strategic direction for future technical support, capacity building, and advocacy to provincial and central authorities.