Migration of young women in northern Viet Nam and its consequences

Rosanne M. Rushing, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and Loma Linda University School of Public Health
Charlotte Watts, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine

Many young women from rural areas in developing countries feel it is their duty to migrate to urban areas to help relieve family poverty. Women and girls who migrate are highly vulnerable to sexual exploitation and to sexual violence. Using interviews with young migrant sex workers in northern Vietnam, interviews with families in rural areas, and interviews with key informants, the decision-making processes for migration and the journey to sexual exploitation were documented. The findings indicate that young women often migrate from rural areas out of obligation to assist the family. As the young women leave their familiar environment and arrive in the city, they are then tricked or lured into selling sex to supplement the family income. The young women are affected psychologically, physically and emotionally by their sexual exploitation. Policies and programs must work towards effective strategies to protect young migrant women.

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Presented in Poster Session 5