In 2009, Vietnam commenced an international express highway project with investment from Asian Development Bank, connecting Kumning City in Yunnan Province in China to ports of Hai Phong and Cai Lan in Hai Phong City, Vietnam. The construction of such highway aims at boosting economic growth between China and Vietnam; however, the inevitable social problems – illicit drugs, human trafficking, prostitution, and HIV/AIDS and STIs transmissions, will surface along with its accomplishments.
The development corridor allows organized criminal groups to exploit vulnerable people – children and women — are often lured into good paying jobs in booming cities and abroad, thus give rise to human trafficking. Away from homes, women and children are often deceived and coerced to work against their wills. Additionally, the VAAC 2009, indicated that the majority of IDU transmitted cases, through sharing unsterilized needles concentrated in the northern regions, where roads construction are being constructed.
To address these concerns, the Vietnam Government and the ADB are seeking technical assistance from PHAD to implement in the five provinces – Ha Noi, Lao Cai, Yen Bai, Phu Tho, and Vinh Phuc.
We firmly believe that information made available to people will help them make informed choices. Therefore, PHAD have devised a comprehensive plan to mitigate the foretell social issues through advocacy and capacity trainings for government officials, contractors, health workers, and other decision-making parties involved. Also, we plan to inculcate the ideas of safe sex to construction workers and knowledge about human trafficking for community members through education and behavior change campaigns. PHAD recognizes the complexity of problems and cannot be alter in a matter of short time, but these components are an integral of PHAD’s plan in attempting to broach discussions and germinate ideas among decision makers, law enforcers, and community members. This is the initial step in making change happen.