Strengthening the Return and Reintegration of Women and Children in Viet Nam

The Reintegration Network

"Trafficked women have great psychosocial needs due to the trauma associated with trafficking. Yet, they often do not seek support to help them recover, fearing judgmental treatment and stigma. It is important that agencies work in a coordinated manner to ensure the best quality support for these returnees."
-- Andrew Bruce, Chief of Mission, IOM Viet Nam

The Reintegration Network is a non-funded, voluntary alliance of local and international organizations and United Nations agencies that are working together to improve and strengthen the return and reintegration of women and children in Viet Nam. IOM and ActionAid formed the Reintegration Network in 2007.

The Reintegration Network was designed to ensure information on effective programming is learnt and shared and is available to members of the Network or other government and non-government partners, with a view to eventual national use and expansion. The Network also aims to improve the coordination of referrals and assistance to returnees. The annual national workshop, which is cooperatively organized by members of the network in collaboration with the Department of Social Evil Prevention (DSEP, which is under the Ministry of Labor, Invalids and Social Affairs or MOLISA), allows for experience within the country to be documented and shared.

Current Members

  • Current active members of the Reintegration Network include:
  • Action Aid Vietnam
  • Agir Pour les Femmes en Situation Précaire (AFESIP)
  • Central Women's Union
  • Center for Women and Development (CWD)
  • Department of Social Evil Prevention (DSEP)
  • International Organization for Migration (IOM)
  • Medical Committee Netherlands-Vietnam (MCNV)
  • Ministry of Labor, Invalids and Social Affairs (MOLISA)
  • Nordic Assistance to Vietnam (NAV)
  • Oxfam Quebec
  • Save the Children UK
  • Share
  • The Asia Foundation
  • UN Children's Fund (UNICEF)
  • UN Inter-Agency Project on Human Trafficking in the Greater Mekong Sub-region (UNIAP), and
  • World Vision Vietnam (WVV).

Key Objectives

The Reintegration Networks aims to:

  • Coordinate and utilize existing resources of organizations;
  • Share information related to services and assistance to victims of human trafficking;
  • Facilitate timely intervention in providing support for returnees in a collaborative fashion through an improved referral system; and
  • Enhance the reintegration services provided to victims of trafficking.
  • At the formation of the Reintegration Network a key objective was for MOLISA to assume the role of hosting and running the Reintegration Network. This remains an ongoing goal.

Beneficiaries

  • Trafficked individuals;
  • Women and children under 18 years of age who return from dire situations of migration, such as "mail-order" brides and victims of other forms of exploitation; and
  • Organizations and individuals working with trafficked individuals and returnees.
  • Concrete Benefits
  • Development of a user-friendly handbook " When I Return Home"  for returnees, distributed widely amongst government and NGO partners and other networks;
  • Development of a coordinated referral system for reintegration services in selected provinces;
  • Development of a common set of guidelines on the provision of reintegration assistance for victims;
  • Holding of an Annual National Workshop, in partnership with the Government, for agencies and organizations to share experiences and best practices on reintegration; and
  • Joint trainings and capacity building activities for government officers and other partners.

Principal Activities

  • Hold monthly meetings, produce a quarterly newsletter and utilize a mailing list and other means of communication to link members from the north to the south of Viet Nam;
  • Map services to create a referral system connecting each organization and its local partners.  The mapping includes a contact list of each organization and their local counterparts providing reintegration services, plus existing referral procedures;
  • Develop a handbook in Vietnamese for victims of trafficking. Cooperate with MOLISA and the Ministry of Public Security (MPS) to ensure this is distributed at the border to the widest cross section of returnees as possible;
  • Develop recommendations for national guidelines on reintegration;
  • Contribute suggestions on border guard training; and
  • Pilot community-based models and summarize best practices in reintegration.

The Comprehensive Reintegration through Partnership and Collaboration Project

As part of the Reintegration Network, IOM has launched the Comprehensive Reintegration through Partnership and Collaboration project. Funded by the US Department of State's Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration (PRM), the project involves a collaborative partnership approach to developing a comprehensive model for the reintegration of trafficked women and children. The project strategy is to use the existing relationships with government and NGOs, including the Reintegration Network, to develop a comprehensive reintegration mechanism. This mechanism will be put in place in conjunction with the developing services offered by the DSEP, with the goal of having strong central government support and involvement to ensure national coverage and sustainability.

The goal of the project is to contribute to the implementation of the National Plan of Action and to ensure that the government agencies tasked with reintegration, especially DSEP, are able to use the successful experience of other organizations when developing and implementing reintegration programmes.

Key Objectives

The four project objectives are:

  • Increase understanding of effective return and reintegration of trafficked women in Vietnam and the region as well as gaps of current approaches;
  • Identify and demonstrate an effective approach and mechanism for identifying and supporting trafficked women;
  • Assist organizations involved in reintegration to provide relevant and appropriate services through the assessments of risk and by providing life-skills training, health care, and psycho-social counseling and mental-health treatment; and
  • Develop evidence of effective programming through the partnership and support given in demonstration sites.