Vietnam Issues - 2021


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Disputes - international

southeast Asian states have enhanced border surveillance to check the spread of Asian swine fever; Cambodia and Laos protest Vietnamese squatters and armed encroachments along border; Cambodia accuses Vietnam of a wide variety of illicit cross-border activities; progress on a joint development area with Cambodia is hampered by an unresolved dispute over sovereignty of offshore islands; an estimated 300,000 Vietnamese refugees reside in China; establishment of a maritime boundary with Cambodia is hampered by unresolved dispute over the sovereignty of offshore islands; the decade-long demarcation of the China-Vietnam land boundary was completed in 2009; China occupies the Paracel Islands also claimed by Vietnam and Taiwan; Brunei claims a maritime boundary extending beyond as far as a median with Vietnam, thus asserting an implicit claim to Lousia Reef; the 2002 "Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea" eased tensions but differences between the parties negotiating the Code of Conduct continue; Vietnam continues to expand construction of facilities in the Spratly Islands; in March 2005, the national oil companies of China, the Philippines, and Vietnam signed a joint accord to conduct marine seismic activities in the Spratly Islands; Economic Exclusion Zone negotiations with Indonesia are ongoing, and the two countries in Fall 2011 agreed to work together to reduce illegal fishing along their maritime boundary; in May 2018, Russia’s RosneftVietnam unit started drilling at a block southeast of Vietnam which is within the area outlined by China’s nine-dash line and Beijing issued a warning

Refugees and internally displaced persons

stateless persons: 32,890 (2020); note - Vietnam's stateless ethnic Chinese Cambodian population dates to the 1970s when thousands of Cambodians fled to Vietnam to escape the Khmer Rouge and were no longer recognized as Cambodian citizens; Vietnamese women who gave up their citizenship to marry foreign men have found themselves stateless after divorcing and returning home to Vietnam; the government addressed this problem in 2009, and Vietnamese women are beginning to reclaim their citizenship

Illicit drugs

minor producer of opium poppy; probable minor transit point for Southeast Asian heroin; government continues to face domestic opium/heroin/methamphetamine addiction problems despite longstanding crackdowns; enforces the death penalty for drug trafficking

Trafficking in persons

current situation: human traffickers exploit domestic and foreign victims in Vietnam, and traffickers exploit Vietnamese abroad; Vietnamese men and women who migrate abroad for work may be subject to exploitation and illegally high fees from recruiters trapping them in debt bondage; traffickers subject victims to forced labor in construction, fishing, agriculture, mining, maritime industries, logging, and manufacturing, primarily in Taiwan, Malaysia, Republic of Korea, Laos, Japan, and to a lesser extent, some parts of Europe and the UK; traffickers mislead Vietnamese women and children with fraudulent employment opportunities and sex traffick them to brothels on the borders of China, Cambodia, Laos, and elsewhere in Asia; traffickers use the Internet, gaming sites, and particularly social media to lure victims; domestic traffickers are sometimes  family members or small-scale networks exploiting Vietnamese men, women, and children - including street children and children with disabilities - in forced labor as street beggars or in brick kilns and mines; child sex tourists from elsewhere in Asia and other countries exploit children; prisoners reportedly are forced to work in agriculture, manufacturing, and hazardous industries, such as cashew processing

tier rating: Tier 2 Watch List — Vietnam does not fully meet the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking but is making significant efforts to do so; efforts include providing trafficking victims the right to legal representation in judicial proceedings, increasing the amount of shelter time for victims by one month, providing financial support, continuing large-scale awareness campaigns in vulnerable communities and to workers going overseas, and training law enforcement; however, fewer victims were identified or assisted and procedures remained slow and ineffective; provincial officials unfamiliar with anti-trafficking law impede anti-trafficking efforts; labor recruitment firms extorted illegal high fees from workers looking for overseas employment putting them at risk for forced labor; no investigations, prosecutions, or convictions of officials complicit in trafficking offenses were made (2020)

NOTE: The information regarding Vietnam on this page is re-published from the 2021 World Fact Book of the United States Central Intelligence Agency and other sources. No claims are made regarding the accuracy of Vietnam 2021 information contained here. All suggestions for corrections of any errors about Vietnam 2021 should be addressed to the CIA or the source cited on each page.

This page was last modified 16 Dec 23, Copyright © 2023 ITA all rights reserved.