Meke Kamps, previously the Manager of Blue Dragon Children's Foundation (2009-11) and now a Blue Dragon board member, writes:
I am contacting you after reading your article on The Interpreter by Marty Harris on human trafficking victims in the Greater Mekong region. I have a particular interest in (and familiarity with) Vietnam, and would like to see more analysis on The Interpreter around the work being done in this space in the Mekong region.
The article alluded to the fact that rescued victims sometimes find it hard to reintegrate into their communities. This is sadly true.
Marty Harris may be interested in a wonderful Australian NGO in Hanoi, Blue Dragon Children's Foundation. Blue Dragon rescues children who are victims of human trafficking directly from their places of slavery: children trafficked for child labour exploitation, and girls and young women trafficked and sold to the sex trade in China. They provide long-term support after bringing trafficked children and young women home, and also assist with the prosecution of traffickers.
The blog written by Blue Dragon' s Founder and CEO, Michael Brosowski, gives first-hand insight into the difficulties with rescues as well as the integration of trafficking victims in the aftermath of being rescued. A particular example is the blog entry 'Trauma' from 11 August this year. The work is dangerous, emotional and highly sensitive. Yet despite (or perhaps because of?) the difficulties in rescuing and reintegrating victims, a large number of organisations focus on raising awareness (only) of trafficking.
I was pleased with the inclusion of the picture in your article, which, depending on the location of the billboard, I would suggest would be an effective method of awareness raising. The billboard suggests a US location (based on the US number and the use of English as the main language). One could query whether a billboard in the US would have the desired effect on stopping trafficking in South East Asia?