Twenty-First Century Slavery
“Human trafficking is the slavery of the 21st century and is a $50 billion dollar a year industry.” Trafficking is a crime that often goes under-reported due to its covert nature, vague definition and a lack of awareness about its indicators on the local level.
In Viet Nam, sex trafficking originates in rural provinces where prevention education is lacking. Women and teenage girls are considered most vulnerable to trafficking. Young women who are aging out of orphanages in rural areas also run a high risk of being trafficked as a result of poverty, inadequate education, and lack of means for independence. In addition there is an increasing demand for virgins and in prostitution, due to the threat of HIV/AIDS.
According to the United Nations Interagency Project on Human Trafficking (UNIPHT), Viet Nam is primarily a source country for women, and children trafficked for the purposes of sexual exploitation. Women and children who are often trafficked to surrounding countries such as Cambodia, Laos, China and Thailand. Those who are trafficked become stuck in the vicious slave cycle as a result of debt bondage, confiscation of identity or travel documents, and threats of deportation. If a victim escapes, or is rescued, they often suffer physical and mental health issues and social reintegration problems in their home country due to the stigma of what they have experienced.
According to a 2012 UNICEF-funded survey on the commercial sexual exploitation of children, Viet Nam is a destination for child sex tourism with perpetrators reportedly coming from Japan, South Korea, China, Taiwan, the UK, Australia, Europe, and the United States.
The rural area of Quảng Nam Province, where this project will take place, is a province of 4,019 square miles in the south-central region of Vietnam. In 2007, the population was 1,463,300 with light density. Quang Nam Province t is one of the most impoverished areas in Viet Nam.
The adjoining, urban center of Da Nang has experienced a dramatic increase in foreign tourism due to its beautiful beaches, a proliferation of 5 star resort hotels, world class golf courses and a casino. Prosperous Danang acts as a magnet for the poor of Quang Nam Province who seek a better life.
Without proper education and awareness and understanding of human trafficking many more children will be trafficked this year and the demand for children, particularly virgins, will only increase in the years to come. In order for Viet Nam to protect its children from being trafficked, education and awareness in correlation to pro-activity must take place largely in rural areas where women and children are taken to the urban cities where they are sold.
“We each have a responsibility to make this horrific and all-too-common crime a lot less common. And our work with victims is the key that will open the door to real change—not just on behalf of the more than 44,000 survivors who have been identified in the past year (around the world), but also for the more than 20 million victims of trafficking who have not.” John Kerry, Secretary of State.
Our PROJECT DESCRIPTION
The goal of the “More Precious Than Gold” program is to work with school districts and our Vietnamese government partners to protect children from physical and sexual abuse and/or trafficking. The target populations are teachers, principals, pertinent government officials and more importantly, the children ages 6 – 14 years in Quang Nam Province, Central Viet Nam.
To fight back against physical abuse, sex abuse or trafficking and meet the above goal, Orphan Voice has the following objectives and will facilitate more than 90 anti-trafficking workshops over three years in Quang Nam Province to educate four primary groups: children, teachers, school principals and government workers.
Each adult group will learn:
- What physical abuse, sex abuse and trafficking is
- How to educate and protect children within their schools and communities
- How to be aware of the tricks and lures of perpetrators
- The local laws against these abuses
- How to intervene in an abuse or trafficking situation
Children will learn:
- Culturally appropriate physical boundaries and how to set them
- What a “good touch and bad touch” is or that their life is “more precious than gold”
- The tools used to trick and lure them into dangerous situations
- How to seek help when they feel threatened or are in an abusive situation
To meet our objectives within the four target populations, Orphan Voice will hold abuse/trafficking prevention workshops for children and adults throughout the province over a three year period. The laws regarding sexual abuse and trafficking will be taught, clarified and the prevention and intervention for each child will be taught. In order to assess the knowledge gained in each workshop a short pre-test and post test will be conducted with the adults.
Age appropriate comic style information workbooks will be prepared for each category of participant -adult or child – to target specific needs. These workshops will include:
- Teachers’ Workshops – Two teachers from each elementary and junior high school – 462 schools – in the province will be selected to serve as teacher-trainers and attend a half day physical and sex abuse prevention workshop in the morning. Over the three year period 924 teachers will be trained in 39 workshops. In the teacher’s seminars, the teachers will receive teaching aids, etc. to then, lead the seminars themselves with each class in their school and will be equipped by having seen the model seminar. Each school will receive teaching tool flip chart for the teacher’s use in the classroom, an actual DVD of an Orphan Voice seminar to show in classrooms if they chose to just use a recording of what has been presented to them. The government liaison will assist in oversight to ensure that the teachers return to their school to pass on what they have learned to the other teachers and children in their school.
Children’s’ Workshops – Upon completion of their training in the morning, each group of the “demo” teachers will then observe and assist in “live” presentations to children within school settings in the afternoon. (In Vietnamese culture it is appropriate for 500 children to attend one workshop at a time resulting in these large numbers.) These student seminars serve a dual purpose as the 19,000 children will hear the message in a “live” workshop; and, just as important, the teachers will have a fun, interactive, informative seminar presentation modeled for them to help them break out of the strictly lecture approach generally used in Viet Nam. As for children, each one will go home with their personal workbook to keep that they can share with their siblings and parents to enforce what the child heard and to disseminate the information to their family and eventually their community. Again, as a result, eventually an estimated 198,000 children throughout the province will learn how to avoid and report physical or sexual abuse and attempts to lure them into the sex trade.
The concept that each child is “more precious than gold” (Psalms 19:10) will be taught to each child and teacher in an effort to make them aware of their value from the Creator.
- Government Education Center Workshops – Within the province there are 233 Wards distributed between 17 Districts each with a Ward Education Center. Two Community Relations Workers and two Laws and Regulations School Liaisons Workers, Communist Party members, will each receive prevention training in abuse or trafficking prevention and reporting resulting in an estimated 900 or more education center workers trained. The role of the Community Relations Workers is to serve the local communities by providing community education and assist the community in its growth, development and the schools relationships between the schools, community and government bodies. (Vietnamese schools have no concept of PTAs or such organizations to assist within the child’s community). The role of the Laws and Regulations Liaisons are to oversee the schools and assist the local education systems to know and understand the government’s laws and what this means in the protection of each child’s safety.
The project will be completed in a three year period to include: 1) start-up, 2) recruitment of ward government officials, 3) publicity and outreach, 4) selection of teachers for training, 5) selection of schools for children‘s workshops, 6) location and negotiations regarding each event venue, 7) long distance travel to local areas, 8) presentation of the workshop with 9) follow-up in each school to check application and implementation and 10) writing of quarterly reports and recommended adjustments.
- YEAR ONE – The first three – six months will involve hiring and training of staff, purchase of the materials, printing, correspondence, negotiations with Orphan Voice staff and the provincial level officials and each ward office. These negotiations between each government office on provincial, district and ward levels and the Orphan Voice staff will be time intensive since most offices are not computerized and can be rather bureaucratic at times. The first year of the project 14 workshops will be held.
- YEAR TWO – there will be 30 workshops held with on-going follow-up and reporting, evaluation of the project, and adjustments made.
- YEAR THREE – there will be 30 workshops for a total of more than 90 workshops over the three year period with follow-up, reporting and evaluation. At the completion of all the workshops a large ceremony will be held to recognize the district, ward and school that did the best at meeting all the requirements of training, implementation and reporting. They will receive a prize for their excellent performance.
The United Nations reports that 30 Vietnamese children are trafficked to the United Kingdom alone each month. With your help, we will stop the flow of Vietnamese children subjected to this modern day slavery.
Perhaps you would like to fund this program or help fund it. If so, donate here.
More Precious Than Gold Anti-Trafficking Seminars
Orphan Voice staff regularly go to villages at high risk for child sexual trafficking to present our popular “More Precious Than Gold” seminar. The seminar equips junior-high students, teachers and parents to defeat the plans of child sex traffickers. It is fun, interactive and protective–and students learn the ways and wiles of traffickers, and thus learn how to protect themselves.
The More Precious Than Gold anti-trafficking seminars are “catching on” like wildfire! As teachers and schools hear about them, they desperately want their students to hear also. Why? They want to protect “their children” and they see “More Precious Than Gold” seminars as a great tool to do that.
To illustrate, an Orphan Voice staff person recently took a DVD recording of a past “More Precious Than Gold” program to the duplicating shop to copy the seminar so that we could give it to public school teachers. While reproducing the DVD, the store owner’s eyes were glued to the screen. It seemed that he watched every frame. Soon, others in the store stopped their shopping to watch until a large crowd surrounded the TV screen. They ate up every word. The more they heard and watched, the more excited they became. Some of the comments were: “We need this for our school.” “I want my child to see this.” “I never heard of this before.”
Store patrons of the DVD store asked if they could buy the More Precious Than Gold Seminar DVD! “No,” our staff person replied, but “you can have it. You don’t have to buy it. Use it to help others.” Then we watched in amazement as the shop owner made copies at his own expense and gave them to everyone in the store who wanted one!
We love to see that! Why? Because it shows that we are on the “front burner” of helping Vietnamese protect their children and communities. They recognized truth and were carried along by it. Exciting stuff!
Orphan Voice’s immediate goal is to train teachers and complete the necessary follow up work so that 198,000 school children in areas that are high risk for trafficking hear and see the seminar. This anti-trafficking program is fertile soil, rich and ready for you to sow seed into. And when you water your financial gift with prayer, it is even more powerful. It will produce a harvest of warned parents, equipped teachers and prepared young people as they protect themselves by saying; “I am more precious than gold.”
The cost of equipping students to protect themselves is now 18.5 cents per student. If you would like to protect children in this way, donate here.