Forced child labor in Vietnam is now an annual practice, and there is no shortage of labor for it to exploit.
This month, The Associated Press interviewed five men and a woman from the northern city of Phu Quoc who described the practice in vivid detail.
The men are the sole members of a group of men, called the Puea Tong, who were brought to Vietnam in 2003 as a part of the U.S. and French military’s counterinsurgency campaign.
They were recruited from Vietnamese orphanages, forced labor camps, and refugee camps.
Their main occupation is the harvesting of coca leaves.
But the men said they also work in mines, in fishing boats, in factories, and as street vendors.
The U.N. Children’s Fund and the U,S.
Department of Labor report that at least 40 percent of Cambodian child laborers are forced to work in factories in Vietnam, where there is little access to legal protection.
One of the men, Nguyen Duy, told AP that he and his family were recruited to work as laborers in Phu Tho province, a region in southern Vietnam that borders Laos.
In 2013, the U.,S., and the Vietnamese governments signed a deal to end the forced child labour in Cambodia.
But in 2015, the agreement was thrown out after a court ruled that it was unconstitutional.
This year, the government reinstated it, saying the deal was invalid because it was signed without the consent of the provinces and provinces cannot sign a unilateral agreement with the United States or the United Kingdom.
So, how do you stop it?
The AP interviewed more than a dozen other former workers who have since left Vietnam, and several of them said they fear for their lives.
“It’s very dangerous to be here,” said one of the PUEA Tong members who has now returned to Cambodia.
“I don’t want to lose my family.
The risk of going back is very high.
We cannot afford to leave.”
“It is very difficult for us to find jobs in Cambodia,” said another former worker, who spoke on condition of anonymity.
“We have been here for nearly six years now.
We have nothing.
It is hard to find work here.”
The government in Pho Tho has also acknowledged the problem of forced child workers, but says it is not responsible for the practice.
The Vietnamese government did not respond to AP questions about how it implements the agreement, nor did it respond to a request for comment from the AP.
“The Cambodian government is committed to eliminating the forced labor problem,” a spokesman for the Cambodian Ministry of Labor told The Associated