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Human Rights Watch Report Says Foreign Aid Indirectly Supporting Forced Labor In Vietnam's Drug Rehabilitation Centers

In a report released Wednesday, New York-based Human Rights Watch “accused the United States government, the World Bank and other international donors of indirectly funding forced labor in Vietnam’s drug rehabilitation centers,” Inter Press Service reports. The report “said that Vietnam’s system of forced labor centers for people who use drugs has expanded over the last decade” and they “have been sustained by a variety of international donors, none of which has made objections,” the news service writes.

According to IPS, “The HRW report points a finger at the bilateral and multilateral donors who were drawn to Vietnam to provide detainees with HIV prevention, care and information; provide drug dependency services; or fund training for the centers’ staff.” Donors named in the report “include the U.S. government’s President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR); U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID); the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria; the World Bank; United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC); and Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID),” according to the news service, which adds that the World Bank and UNODC “deny knowledge of forced labor in the drug rehabilitation centers” (Macan-Markar, 9/8).