[For immediate release]

November 21st, 2019

On October 23, 2019, the world, shockingly and perplexedly learned about thirty-nine Vietnamese citizens found dead in a refrigerated container truck in Essex, in what was considered “one of UK’s deadliest human-trafficking disasters”.

We now know that this tragedy is treated as a human-smuggling incident, since the victims were illegally smuggled through a human-trafficking network. The victims, who froze to death in their quest to freedom, are 31 men and 8 women. Most were young adults and ten of them were teenagers.

It is extremely appalling and outrageous that this tragic event occurred. But this tragedy is only one amongst many other gruesome ones. Human-trafficking and human-smuggling are immeasurable disasters that plague our century. Calls for action is needed as this kind of horrendous tragedies are constantly on the rising. It is not a situation where just human-traffickers and smugglers are to blame; this goes beyond understanding as there are many actors at fault. Even though many have been arrested in connection with these deaths in different countries, Vietnam’s Communist Government is partly responsible. The situation in Vietnam has become so unbearable that people will resort to anything just to get out of the country in the search for freedom and respect of human basic rights, even if it means putting their lives in the hands of criminals.

Because of the general climate of terror and fear that reigns in Vietnam, its citizens have become extremely desperate to leave their country in hopes of attaining freedom. But also, from the gross human rights violations and arbitrary imprisonments, to the political oppressive regime, economic and social circumstances where Vietnamese can’t make ends meet, the lack of career advancement opportunities, the environmental disasters that are not dealt with properly, and so on, the Vietnam Communist Government has created such conditions that unwillingly forces its citizens to seek freedom and a better life elsewhere.

Our prayers and thoughts are with the families and friends of these victims, with everyone that is fleeing oppressive regimes, as well as all collateral victims. May all the 39 victims rest in peace.

 

For more information, please contact:

Office of the Honourable Senator Thanh Hai Ngo
613-943-1599
ThanhHai.Ngo@sen.parl.gc.ca
www.senatorngo.ca
@SenatorNgo

Additional information:

Essex Police Updates