Vietnam condemns human trafficking

2019-11-04 10:55:57China Daily Editor : Mo Hong'e ECNS App Download

The government of Vietnam has called on countries around the world to "step up cooperation" to combat human trafficking after British police said they believed all 39 people found dead in a truck were Vietnamese.

The Vietnamese Ministry of Foreign Affairs said British authorities are now working to identify the bodies, which were found in Essex, in the southeast of England, on Oct 23.

In response to the police update, Le Thi Thu Hang, a spokeswoman for Vietnam's Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said in a statement: "This is a serious humanitarian tragedy. We are deeply saddened by the incident and wish to extend our heartfelt condolences to the victims' families".

The ministry said that British police and the Vietnamese Ministry of Public Security would publish their findings "as soon as possible".

Vietnamese feature prominently among those identified as potential victims of trafficking in the United Kingdom, according to a report by Anti-Slavery International.

Hang added: "Vietnam strongly condemns human trafficking and considers it a serious crime subject to strict penalties.

"Vietnam calls upon countries in the region and around the world to step up cooperation in combating human trafficking in order to prevent the recurrence of such tragedy.

"We are grateful that the British government and other relevant authorities have actively conducted the investigation, timely provided identification information to and worked in close coordination with the Vietnamese competent authorities."

China has also been in close contact with British police during the process of verifying the identity of the victims.

In a statement, China's Foreign Ministry on Friday said, "Illegal migration and human trafficking are international problems that need to be tackled by all countries with concerted efforts. China stands ready to make vigorous efforts to address the problems with the rest of the international community."

A number of Vietnamese families have come forward fearing their loved ones are among the dead.

The BBC reported that on the night before the bodies were discovered, Pham Thi Tra My, 26, sent her family a message saying her "trip to a foreign land has failed".

The bodies of eight women and 31 men were found in a refrigerated trailer attached to a truck in an industrial park in Grays, Essex, in the early hours of Oct 23.

The update regarding the victims' nationalities comes after police started extradition proceedings to bring 22-year-old Eamon Harrison from Ireland to the UK to face charges of manslaughter. Harrison has been arrested in Dublin on a European Arrest Warrant.

Several other arrests have been made in connection with the tragedy.


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