Despite considerable efforts by governments, civil society, and communities to prevent and reduce trafficking, the trade continues, and is reportedly worsening in some areas. Trafficked persons are often subject to abuse such as rape, torture, debt bondage, unlawful confinement, and threats against their family or other persons close to them as well as other forms of physical, sexual and psychological violence. In order to recover from the far-reaching impacts of these experiences, trafficked persons need safe and sustainable reintegration support to help them rebuild their lives. In Viet Nam, up to 60% of trafficked women return independently and may not gain access to reintegration support through formal channels. Moreover, even those identified as victims face obstacles such as lack of available or appropriate services, stigma and discrimination, and the challenges of re-establishing a livelihood upon their return.
Given the stigma faced by trafficked persons and the current conditions of social support services, reaching trafficked persons with return and reintegration support comprises a critical element of victim protection and care. While the Law on Prevention and Suppression of Human Trafficking provides for trafficked persons to receive a range of support however, implementing this in practice presents challenges, and there remains a lack of nationwide coverage for return and reintegration support mechanisms. IOM has worked with the Government of Viet Nam to address the challenges of providing sustainable support at a national scale. The Ministry of Labour, Invalids, and Social Affairs in partnership with IOM, developed and piloted two victim-centred, rights-based models for return and reintegration support, which seek to address the social, psychological, economic, and health impacts of trafficking for returned victims, as well as to reduce vulnerability of victims to further exploitation. The community-based model centres around peer-based support which develops communities’ capacity for R&R, while the centre-based model focuses on ensuring returned victims access a safe and enabling environment for initial recovery along with channels to longer-term support.
This report documents the assessment of the two models undertaken to determine the extent to which services constitute a viable model for meeting the needs of victims of trafficking, and the potential for models to be implemented at a national scale. It documents the achievements, challenges, and lessons learnt from the project in order to provide a basis for future programming, capacity-building and advocacy. The knowledge and recommendations resulting from the assessment form a resource which can support existing activities, and can also be used to set a strategic direction for future technical support and advocacy to provincial and central authorities.