Vietnam is a major source country for women, men, and children subjected to sex trafficking and forced labour within the country and abroad. The nature and scale of trafficking, especially in woman and children is large, serious, and well-organized. Victims are usually recruited by someone known to them, whether that it is a relative, neighbour or an individual who has befriended them for the purpose of trafficking. Rural girls who are impoverished and increasingly those of ethnic minorities are at high risk for human trafficking into sex work. Several socio-economic factors contribute to this phenomenon in Vietnam, including poverty and indebtedness, lack of awareness/education, family breakdown, and external influences such as friends, consumer values, and peer pressure.
Pacific Links Foundation (PALS) was founded in 2001 with the belief in empowering women as powerful agents for social change. In 2005, it launched an An Giang/Dong Thap Alliance for the Prevention of Trafficking to combat human trafficking in the Mekong Delta. Currently, The Alliance operates in the two regions where girls and young women are most vulnerable to sex work trafficking, in the South at the Vietnam-Cambodia border, and in the North, at the Vietnam-China border. The program currently supports 700+ girls at-risk of trafficking to stay in school. PALS also offers Factory Awareness to Counter Trafficking (FACT) and operates shelters for survivors of trafficking offering holistic reintegration services. PALS was founded by Diep Vuong, a Vietnamese American who previously managed the scholarships programs within East Meets West Foundation.
EMpower’s 3rd grant to Pacific Links enables girls at-risk of trafficking to stay in school, and allows the participation of girls and ADAPT clubs members in a summer camp. It also continues funding the peer leadership program, or “ADAPT clubs”, to raise awareness about human trafficking, sexual and reproductive health or academic and career development. Furthermore, a training for teachers/ school representatives will be organized to make their support to the ADAPT clubs more sustainable.
Primary Location: An Giang
Funded Since: 2014
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