Ho Chi Minh City (AsiaNews) - Children sold on internet auctions to the highest bidder, through specialized sites that are updatedat least "three or four times day with new arrivals". Women who end up in prostitution, treated as "sex slaves" by traffickers of neighbouring countries - Cambodia and China - or for the European, American and African markets. In Vietnam the evil trade in human lives continues, with numbers increasing every year.
A government document published recently, shows that from 1998 to early 2010 about 4,500 women and children have crossed the borders of Vietnam, in the hands of unscrupulous smugglers. A phenomenon that began in 1987 when Hanoi opened its borders to a market economy, and exacerbated by numerous cases of corruption involving local authorities or people of "middle class." The intervention of NGOs and charities operating between Vietnam, Cambodia and Thailand has had little effect.
In 2009, joint operations of the Vietnamese and Cambodian government led to the arrest of 31 traffickers, saving the lives of 70 victims preparing to cross the border into Cambodia. A social activist reports that, again last year, 981 women and children were sold in Cambodia or China. At least 781 people involved in the trafficking of human lives.
The highest trade is recorded at the border between China and Vietnam; where of the volume of total traffic is about 65%. Women feed the prostitution market, or are sold as brides to the highest bidder or exploited as labour. Another 10% is recorded along the border between Vietnam and Cambodia: the women are used as prostitutes, or transit in the country before reaching European countries including England, France and Germany. There is also a 6.3% crossing the Vietnamese border in the direction of Laos, passing through the provinces of Nghe An, Ha Tinh, Thanh Hoa and Quang Tri.
In some cases, the victims of extortion are brought to the ports of Tan San Nhat and Noi Bai, heading for Malaysia, Hong Kong, and Macau or to the nations of Europe, Africa and America. Since the authorities in Bangkok began a crackdown on prostitution, especially child prostitution, Vietnam has become the new "hot zone" for sex tourism. And as always the points of reference are the bars, discos, the resort areas of major cities including Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City and the provinces of Hai Phong and Da Nag.
P. Martino, a member of an NGO that deals with social issues, explains that the goal "is to help Vietnamese children, sold as 'sex slaves' in Cambodia." Children are sold in their "hundreds" even on the internet, on sites that define them as "new products" and are updated at least "three or four times a day." The sex market, he concludes, is "a new form of slavery characteristic of the 21st century."