Vietnam Issues - 2023


Disputes - international

Vietnam-Cambodia: Cambodia accuses Vietnam of a wide variety of illicit cross-border activities; issues include casinos built in Cambodia near the border, narcotics trafficking, trafficking of women and children, petrol smuggling, illegal logging, and illegal migration; progress on a joint development area with Cambodia is hampered by an unresolved dispute over sovereignty of offshore islands; in December 2021, leaders from the two countries agreed to fully complete the remaining border demarcation and the upgrading of border checkpoints

Vietnam-Cambodia-Laos: Cambodia and Laos protest Vietnamese squatters and armed encroachments along border; Cambodia accuses Vietnam of a wide variety of illicit cross-border activities

Vietnam-China: an estimated 300,000 Vietnamese refugees reside in China; the decade-long demarcation of the China-Vietnam land boundary was completed in 2009; small territorial exchanges were made during the demarcation; China occupies the Paracel Islands also claimed by Vietnam and Taiwan; cross border trafficking in women and children and illegal wildlife trade are problems along this border; In December 2021, China tightened its border controls over COVID concerns, restricting an important trade route for Vietnam

Vietnam-Laos: Laos opened a strategically important international border crossing with Vietnam in 2021, which will shorten the distance for goods and people transiting between Thailand and Vietnam

Refugees and internally displaced persons

stateless persons: 35,475 (2022); note - Vietnam's stateless ethnic Chinese Cambodian population dates to the 1970s when thousands of Cambodians fled to Vietnam to escape the Khmer Rouge and were no longer recognized as Cambodian citizens; Vietnamese women who gave up their citizenship to marry foreign men have found themselves stateless after divorcing and returning home to Vietnam; the government addressed this problem in 2009, and Vietnamese women are beginning to reclaim their citizenship

Trafficking in persons

tier rating: Tier 3 — Vietnam does not fully meet the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking and is not making significant efforts to do so, therefore Vietnam was downgraded to Tier 3; the government took some steps to address trafficking, addressing inconsistencies in preexisting laws, increasing international cooperation, achieving the first modest increase in identifying victims in five years, and assisting more victims; however, fewer traffickers were convicted or prosecuted; officials did not hold accountable two Vietnamese diplomats who were allegedly complicit in trafficking abroad nor make sufficient effort to protect the victims; authorities reportedly harassed and pressured survivors and their families to silence allegations of official complicity (2022)

trafficking profile: human traffickers exploit domestic and foreign victims in Vietnam, as well as Vietnamese abroad; Vietnamese men and women migrate abroad, using illicit brokerage networks operated by Vietnamese nationals based abroad or state-owned or state-regulated recruitment enterprises, are vulnerable to debt bondage or other forms of exploitation; victims are subjected to forced labor in construction, agriculture, mining, maritime industries, logging, and manufacturing primarily in Malaysia, South Korea, Laos, Japan, and—to a lesser extent—in parts of the Middle East,  the United Kingdom and other countries in Europe; Vietnamese labor trafficking victims are reportedly in Taiwan, continental Europe, the Middle East, and in Pacific maritime industries; many Vietnamese are subjected to forced labor under the auspices of Japan’s Technical Intern Training Program and within agricultural education programs in Israel; other Vietnamese are exploited at Chinese-owned factories in the Balkan region; traffickers lure Vietnamese women and children with fraudulent job opportunities and send them to brothels on the borders of China, Cambodia, and Laos or elsewhere in Asia, West Africa, and Europe; sometimes family members or small-scale networks exploit Vietnamese men, women, and children—Including street children and children with disabilities—in forced labor; child sex tourists from Asia, the United Kingdom, other countries in Europe, Australia, Canada, and the United States exploit children in Vietnam (2022)

Illicit drugs

a transshipment and destination country for all types of illegal drugs; most transshipments destined for other Asian countries and not the United States; heroin transits from Thailand, Laos, and Burma for domestic use and shipping to r countries in Southeast Asia, Oceania, China and Taiwan; methamphetamine and amphetamine type stimulants from Burma locally consumed and shipped; South American cocaine locally consumed and distributed to Southeast Asia and Oceania

NOTE: The information regarding Vietnam on this page is re-published from the 2023 World Fact Book of the United States Central Intelligence Agency and other sources. No claims are made regarding the accuracy of Vietnam 2023 information contained here. All suggestions for corrections of any errors about Vietnam 2023 should be addressed to the CIA or the source cited on each page.

This page was last modified 22 Aug 23, Copyright © 2023 ITA all rights reserved.