CASE STUDY: Thoan’s Story
Thoan was born into a very poor family in a rural village in Vietnam. In 2017, she joined some other people from her village and traveled to Mong Cai city, bordering China, to work as a porter. While working there, she made friends with a man who offered her a trip to China with him as a short holiday. Thoan was very excited as she’d never had the chance to have a holiday before. However, once she crossed the border, her ‘friend’ handed her over to another woman who then sold her into a forced marriage. Her Chinese ‘husband’ turned out to be very violent and physically abusive. Thoan attempted to escape several times, and finally succeeded at the end of January 2020. Some kind people found her and took her to a police station. She was then sent to a social protection center for safe accommodation. When the center and the police realized she was a survivor of trafficking they contacted Blue Dragon to help arrange for her safe return to Vietnam.
Despite the border being closed, Blue Dragon was able to work with the border guards and in late February Thoan stepped back into her home country for the first time in two years. She was provided with a medical check and was then quarantined to ensure she did not spread the virus to her community. Thankfully, Thoan was not infected and once her quarantine time was completed, Blue Dragon collected her and helped her to return home. Blue Dragon is now providing the follow up support she needs to recover from the trauma of her experiences and rebuild her life in Vietnam.