NEWS ANALYSIS/OMNIS TERRA - Vietnam in motion, between emigration and evangelization

Saturday, 7 April 2018 migrants   local churches   christianity  

Society and the Vietnamese Church show remarkable initiative. The standard of living has greatly improved over the past two decades. There is much excitement in this very young society. And the Catholic community arouses feelings of approval, even in those who are not Catholics, for their efforts in religious and social works: access to drinking water, construction of roads and bridges, professional training, material aid for the poorest. The country is now crossed by the phenomenon of emigration, which questions the Catholic community.
In Vietnam, after a period when hundreds of thousands of refugees were registered, now hundreds of thousands of emigrants are registered. The report of the International Organization for Migration (IOM), based in Geneva "Viet Nam Migration. Profile 2016"(2017), written in collaboration with the Vietnamese government environments, offers an updated and concrete look at the challenges of new migration flows. With a population approaching 100 million and with the diaspora of compatriots, as refugees since the '70s, it was almost inevitable that the appetite, awakened by the masses of refugees, would trigger the desire for other lands or other employment opportunities.
In 2016, it is estimated that around six million people crossed national borders with a similar number of returns. The phenomenon is increasing: it is expected that it will soon reach 10 million transfers per year, 10% of the total population. The category of contract workers dominates, with a very high number of students enrolled in foreign universities (about 20,000 in the USA, 4,900 in Russia etc ...), also followed by a significant number (perhaps unspoken?) of categories that need greater protection: female emigration (for marriage reasons with foreign men: 16,223 according to government registers in 2016); a high number of women and children used in trafficking and in the international organ transplant market: 3897 cases with 6,188 detected traffickers and 8,366 victims (85% women) in 2016. The countries most frequently involved are: Cambodia, China and Taiwan. The remittances, however, replenish the miserable income of countless families of their relatives and even friends.
It seems clear that the government report reveals the government's desire to support migratory flows, especially international ones, to help the national economy to grow (around 7/8% during the last decade) underestimating "human costs" and granting unlimited and irreproachable space at the advantage of economic benefits. A fundamental aspect that has already occurred in the Philippines, especially during the first two decades of the policies aimed at encouraging the Manpower Export program (1970-1990). (...)