Vietnamese woman, sold at 11, charged with trafficking girls

October 7, 2006

dpa German Press Agency
Published: Friday October 6, 2006

Hanoi- A 22-year-old Vietnamese woman who was trafficked into China as a child has been arrested on charges she herself sold girls as young as 14 over the border, police and local press said Friday. Le Thi Cuc was taken into custody Wednesday by Chinese police after a joint investigation and handed over to Vietnamese authorities, according to a Hanoi police investigator.

According to Vietnamese press, Cuc was sold into China when she was 11 years old and later teamed up with another woman to come back to Vietnam and procure other girls.

At least two girls, ages 14 and 18, were later sold over the border by Cuc for about 600 dollars each, according to Thanh Nien newspaper.

The newspapers did not say what happened in China to Cuc or the girls she allegedly sold. Vietnamese girls who are trafficked often end up as unwilling wives to Chinese men, or else in brothels or working as domestic servants.

Chinese officials recently reported that human trafficking from Vietnam appears to be on the rise, with 167 cases reported so far this year, 64 per cent more than the previous year.

Vietnam has launched pilot anti-trafficking programmes in 30 rural communes to educate parents in areas where poverty and lack of opportunity make families more likely to allow children to be sent away for job opportunities.

© 2006 dpa German Press Agency

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