WASHINGTON & HANOI, Vietnam — Ethnic Hmong, Lao and Montagnard girls, including children, are being abducted and forced into marriage and prostitution at an alarming rate by corrupt government and military officials in Vietnam and Laos according to statements issued jointly today by non-governmental organizations.
The Lao Human Rights Council, Inc., (LHRC) and the Center for Public Policy Analysis (CPPA) are issuing a statement of concern about the increasing role of government and military officials in the abduction and violent trafficking of women and children in Vietnam, Laos and Southeast Asia.
“The growing problem of institutional violence, abduction, forced marriage, abuse, sexual exploitation and human trafficking directed against minority Hmong and Lao women and children by corrupt government and military officials is especially egregious in the border areas of Laos and Vietnam, including Vietnam’s province of Nge Anh bordering Laos’ Xiang Khouang province,” said Philip Smith of the CPPA in Washington, D.C., which focuses on human rights issues. http://www.centerforpublicpolicyanalysis.org
Smith continued: “In areas in Vietnam and Laos, ethnic Lao and minority Hmong and Montagnard girls, and children, are being abducted and forced into a life of violent abuse and sex slavery by government and military officials. Many girls and women suffer unspeakable cruelty, rape and domestic violence, or are trafficked internationally. Minority Christians are especially being targeted. The unfortunate victims are sometimes murdered or commit suicide as a result.”
According to Vaughn Vang, President of the LHRC: “We recently received tragic information about a 17 year old Vietnamese Hmong girl, Miss Pang Nhia Lor (Paaj Nyiag Lauj), who lives in the Ky Son District area of Nge Anh Province in Vietnam, bordering Laos. On October 16, two men who are local high-ranking communist and government provincial leaders from other Hmong villages forced the poor young girl into marriage and abducted her from the village area of Ban Nam Khyen Xa Nam. The men stated their names as Doua Yang (Nruas Yaaj) and his father Nhia Vws Yang (Nyiaj Vws Yaaj). They visited Miss Pang Nhia Lor’s parents’ residence and misused their authority by forcing Pang Nhia’s parents to sell her to them as Doua’s wife against the girl’s and parents’ will.”
Vang stated: “During their conversation with the government officials who demanded the girl for forced marriage, Pang Nhia’s alarmed parents put her in a small room in their house and told her to stay put. While in the room, Pang Nhia overheard Nhia Vws Yang stating that Doua demanded to buy Pang Nhia to be his wife. Pang Nhia managed to escape from the room and ran outside. Doua and his father heard Pang Nhia leave and ran after her. The two men chased her and wrestled her to the ground in the mud. They then forcefully took her, covered in mud, blood and tears, to their car and drove away.
“After the government officials drove away in their car, they arrived at Doua Yang’s house. Doua tied Pang Nhia’s hands with a rope and locked her in his bedroom. Pang Nhia is being continually abused by Doua Yang, both sexually and physically, on a daily basis. Doua has also threatened Pang Nhia that he will continue to abuse her until she consents to marry him.
“We are, therefore, urging an immediate investigation and international intervention to help save the life of this innocent Vietnamese Hmong girl, and other girls, and children, like her in Vietnam and Laos,” Vang concluded.