A dearth of coverage, competing global interests, and an omnipresent police state render violations largely unnoticed.
“It’s quite clear that Vietnam is getting much more of a free pass on human rights than their poor record deserves, partly because of the government’s resilience and willingness to push back on international criticism,” said Phil Robertson, deputy director of Human Rights Watch’s Asia division.
Amnesty International counted 91 prisoners of conscience in Vietnam in its 2016 yearly report, the highest number in Southeast Asia, while eight of the 13 journalists imprisoned in the region are in Vietnam, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists.
While labor export is considered as a means to alleviate poverty, Vietnamese overseas workers returning home face employment uncertainties.
The Vietnamese government may have advocated "labour export" as the means to alleviate unemployment and boost domestic labour skills, but overseas workers returning home continue to stare down the barrel of employment uncertainties.
Cuong Gian Commune, in Nghi Xuan District of the central province of Ha Tinh, was once considered an exemplary "model" of labour export. It transformed itself from a poor fishing village to a prosperous commune, thanks to the remittances from abroad.