Deputy Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc, Head of the Government Steering Committee on Crime Prevention, urged relevant agencies to verify the news report published in The Guardian newspaper that 3,000 Vietnamese children were trafficked to the UK and forced to engage in illegal activities.

It is reported that the victims have been enslaved in the UK since their early childhood. Every month, around 30 Vietnamese children and teenagers are brought to the UK through an illegal human trafficking ring. Each child owes the traffickers around 25,000 pounds for being transported to the UK via Europe .

To repay their debt, the victims are put to work as slaves cultivating cannabis, working in nail salons, running households or even working in prostitution, generating approximately 75 million pounds for the gangs who control their lives.

Deputy PM Nguyen Xuan Phuc called upon the Ministry of Public Security to coordinate with the Ministries of Foreign Affairs; Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs; and other relevant agencies to verify the information.

Speaking at a regular press conference in Hanoi on May 28, Foreign Ministry Spokesman Le Hai Binh confirmed that the Vietnamese Embassy in the UK is working closely with agencies there to verify the news reported by The Guardian newspaper.

He said Vietnamese agencies have been closely cooperating with law enforcement agencies in the UK and other countries to prevent cross-border crime, especially human trafficking.

The spokesperson affirmed that Vietnam upholds its bilateral agreements with the UK and other states on re-hosting Vietnamese illegal immigrants in accordance with international law and practices.

The Vietnamese representative offices abroad have been doing their utmost to verify information relating to overseas Vietnamese nationals and take action to protect the legitimate rights and interests of Vietnamese citizens in distress in other countries, he added.-VNA