An anti-human trafficking hotline sponsored by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) will open next week in the Mekong delta province of An Giang, which shares a 100-kilmetre long border with Cambodia.

The hotline will collect information related to human trafficking, provide consultant services to victims and family members, and share information with authorities.

The hotline centre, which has six employees taking turns answering calls, is managed by the province's Centre of Social Work and Children Protection under the Department of Labour, War Invalids, and Social Affairs.

The hotline (18008077) will be open between 7am and 9pm daily, and phone calls made outside of that time will be transferred to consultants' handphones.

The hotline is part of JICA's support programme on anti-human trafficking that began in Vietnam in 2012 and ends in 2015.

Sharing nearly 100 kilometers with Cambodia and having two border gates as well as many jungle roads and waterways to Cambodia, An Giang has faced difficulties in combating human trafficking.

According to a local report, in 2009-2013 and the four first months of this year, 14 human trafficking cases were detected. Legal proceedings have been commenced in two cases involving 6 women and 1 child.

In the first four months of 2014 alone, An Giang border guards rescued 17 victims deceived and sold to China.

Yoshiko Ogawa, chief advisor of the Project for the Establishment of Anti-Trafficking in Persons Hotline, said the hotline's effectiveness would be assessed when the project ends.

She said that she expected the hotline to help reduce the number of human trafficking cases in Vietnam.

JICA will also support activities to improve the managerial capacity of people who operate the hotline, and provide training courses for local border soldiers and local residents about anti-human trafficking, she said.

Nguyen Trung Nghia, from the Centre for Social Work and Children Protection centre in the province, said that several people in 10 communes in the districts of Tan Chau, An Phu and Tinh Bien, all of which border Cambodia, had received education about human trafficking via communication activities organised by JICA.

Only an average of 10 people each year report possible trafficking cases, Nghia said, adding that people in the area were not used to calling to report unusual activity that could be linked to trafficking.

Regular anti-human trafficking events and the new hotline were necessary to better inform local residents about the importance of the issue, Nghia added.

About 50 activities related to communication about trafficking have been held in the province so far, according to a report from the province's Department of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs.

Besides An Giang, the project is also being conducted in northern Ha Giang province, which shares a border with China.-VNA