Vietnam and two of its neighbors, Laos and Cambodia, have agreed to launch a three-month crackdown on human trafficking along the Vietnamese borders, given the recent complications with the issue, local media reported.
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The crackdown campaign, which runs from July 1 to September 30, was initiated at a conference hosted by the Vietnamese Ministry of Public Security’s Police General Department in the Mekong Delta city of Can Tho on Thursday.
Joining Vietnamese officials at the event were representatives from the Cambodian General Commissariat of National Police and the Lao General Department of Police.
Major General Ho Sy Tien, director of the Vietnamese general department, said cross-border human trafficking has been on the rise and become increasingly complex, with an increase of intensity in both seriousness and numbers of trans-national gangs.
In the first half of 2015, Vietnamese police broke up 136 human trafficking cases, arresting 227 traffickers and rescuing 303 victims nationwide, Major General Tien said.
Of these victims, 110 people were saved from human trafficking activities along the borders between Vietnam and Laos and between Vietnam and Cambodia, he said.
Last year, the same police force busted 334 such cases and captured 616 traffickers nationwide, the official added.
On average, the number of human trafficking cases along the Vietnam-Laos and Vietnam-Cambodia borders accounts for about six percent of the total number recorded across Vietnam every year, the Vietnamese public security ministry said.
Most of the Vietnamese women and children who were sold to Cambodia had to work in casinos, brothels, cock-fighting rings and massage parlors, according to the Vietnam News Agency.
Meanwhile, most of the victims trafficked via the Vietnam-Laos border were forced to work as sex workers or were exploited at construction sites, mines or industrial areas, the news agency said.
At the conference, the Vietnamese side initiated discussions on cooperation in combating cross-border human trafficking among Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia in the coming time to improve the situation, according to the news website of Vietnam’s Da Nang City Police.
After discussions, representatives from the three countries agreed to continue implementing bilateral agreements on enhancing counter-human trafficking cooperation reached by the Vietnamese government and its Lao and Cambodian counterparts.
They also consented to strengthen information exchanges, set up hotlines and put together liaison officers, and coordinate in criminal investigation and verification, searches for criminals and repatriation of victims.