International Organization for Migration and Vietnam Women’s Union in prevention of trafficking in women and children

Being an inter-governmental organization established in 1951, up to present, International Organization for Migration (IOM) has 101 state members and 31 state observers including Vietnam.

IOM is committed to the principle of legal and humanitarian migration for the benefit of migrants and society. Over half a century operation, IOM has become the leading international organization in assisting to meet the growing challenges of migration management, understanding of migration issues and encouraging socio- economic development through migration and protection of human dignity and well-being of migrants.


IOM is the first international organization collaborating with VWU in prevention of trafficking in women and children as well as in providing support for returned trafficked victims in community re-integration. Starting its cooperation with VWU since 1996, IOM first supported VWU to organize two national anti-trafficking workshops in Hanoi and in HoChiMinh City in 1997. The outcomes of these two workshops were recommendations for the VWU’s Program of Actions in preventing trafficking in women and children in Vietnam, which is highly praised and appreciated by the Vietnamese Government and advised to be implemented at all levels of VWU. In this regard, the VWU has carried out a Programme consisting of the 6 following areas of activities appropriate to its functions and tasks:


  1. Education and communication
  2. Survey and study
  3. Initiating projects to support returned trafficked women and children
  4. Joining efforts to discover and prevent trafficking in women and children in their respective communities.
  5. Monitoring the implementation of laws related to trafficking crimes
  6. International and regional cooperation to prevent and prohibit trafficking in women and children.


With IOM’s timely support, VWU has become a leading mass organization in implementing the Prime Minister’s Directive No 776/TTg dated 17 Sep, 2003 o­n responsibilities for implementation of measures to prevent trafficking in women and children abroad. In order to help the VWU implement the Programme of Actions, IOM continues its support toVWU with the o­ne-year (1999-2000) project o­n Information, Education and Communication (IEC) against Trafficking in Women and Children with a total budget of USD 600,000 funded by Denmark Embassy in Hanoi and the Government of Japan. The project was implemented in the 14 provinces/cities covering most border provinces and big cities. It aims to raise awareness of general public as well as women and children of high risk groups to help them avoid from being lured by traffickers through a nation-wide IEC campaign such as face to face communication, conferences and workshops, through mass media including radio, newspapers, TV. Training had been organized for 120 trainers and 6,600 activists who are staff of Women’s Union and the concerned branches include Culture and Information Division, Public Security Division, Border Guard in the 14 project provinces/cities. These activists disseminated 500,000 pamphlets to high-risk households in the project sites. The project also organized workshops o­n prevention of trafficking in women and children for 500 media people at the national and provincial levels. As the result, a number of articles and stories o­n the topic have been written to support direct communication conducted by the activists. This is the first and biggest project of o­n this issue implemented by the VWU, thus contributing to the reduction of number of women and children being trafficked in the project sites.


After this significant project, IOM and VWU are now jointly developing a project proposal o­n enhancing capacity of VWU in prevention of trafficking in women and children, with the total requested budget of USD 150,000. The project is planned to start by the end of 2003. The project will review 3-year implementation of the Union’s Programme of Action o­n prevention of trafficking in women and children of the period 1999-2002, then based o­n the lessons learnt and experiences withdrawn to develop the new Programme of Actions during 2003-2007 and continue awareness raising.


A part from its projects with the national VWU, IOM has also provided its direct support for some provincial WUs such as I. E.C project and support to returned trafficked victims with Lang Son WU and with WUs in HoChiMinh City, An Giang and Can Tho provinces.

The experiences attained from IOM supported projects have helped VWU confidently continue its cooperation in this area with other international organizations such as GAATW, Action Aid, Asia Foundation, UNIAP, ILO. VWU highly values IOM’s pioneer support in the past years and wishes to continue this effective cooperation in the coming years in prevention of trafficking in women and children in Vietnam.