Cooperation to Deter Irregular Migration from Vietnam to Australia by Boat

The event is part of the project "Strategic Communications Campaign to Deter Irregular Migration from Vietnam to Australia by Boat", which is funded by the Australian Government.

The provision of full and accurate information on issues related to irregular maritime migration will help promote legal, safe and orderly migration and prevent illegal migration as well as human trafficking, especially in women.

Senior Colonel Phan Dang Tinh – Deputy Director of the Provincial Department of Public Security delivered the opening remarks. Source: IOM Vietnam

Irregular migration, especially irregular migration from Vietnam to Australia, has been and continues to be a major issue affecting multiple localities across Vietnam. Raising public awareness and understanding of safe migration and the Australian Government’s border protection policies is one of the key priorities of the project “Public information campaign to deter potential irregular maritime migration from Vietnam to Australia”.

As part of the campaign, a two-day workshop “Strategic communication on safe migration and deterring irregular migration from Vietnam to Australia by boat” was held in Dong Hoi city, central Quang Binh Province, with the participation of partners from all target provinces. Representatives from Nghe An, Ha Tinh and Quang Binh provinces were able to attend in person, but the escalating Covid-19 situation compelled Binh Thuan representatives to join online.

At the workshop, Colonel Phan Dang Tinh, deputy director of the Provincial Department of Public Security delivered a speech on the overview of the migration situation in the Central region in general and Quang Binh province in particular in recent years.

He expressed great appreciation toward the valuable support from the Australian government and cooperation of the International Migration Organization (IOM) in Vietnam in promoting safe migration and deterring the smuggling of migrants.

Do Thi Thanh Mai, IOM Vietnam project manager gives an overview of the tentative project activities in 2021-2022.

The workshop provided a platform for implementing partners from each target province to share their achievements and lessons learned from the previous phase and work together to come up with a comprehensive plan of action for communication activities in 2021-2022 in light of the persistent pandemic.

Every idea and practical experience shared at the workshop greatly contributed to the development of each province’s Implementation plan and ultimately to finalizing the campaign masterplan which will be rolled out tentatively in January 2022.

Communication event in the prevention of potential irregular maritime migration from Vietnam to Australia of Phu Quy island‘s citizens (Binh Thuan Province). Source:

Labor migration is an integral part of Vietnam’s overall development, reflected in growing remittance flows, alleviation of domestic labor market pressure, and skills transfer. However, gaps in regulatory oversight of recruitment agencies, as well as limited administrative and criminal law enforcement, allow unethical recruitment practices to continue in Vietnam, putting migrant workers at risk of forced labor and human trafficking.

In the 2014-2019 period, each year, more than 100,000 Vietnamese laborers go abroad for working under fixed-term labor contracts, along with tens of thousands of students and people marrying foreigners.

Amid the Covid-19 pandemic, the number of migrants traveling through official channels has reduced, but illegal migration has still seen complicated developments despite border control measures

Upon recognizing that the number of irregular migrant deaths at sea has been overwhelming in recent years, the Australian Government has been applying extremely tough border protection measures: every boat attempting to reach Australia’s waters will be intercepted and immediately turned back to the country of origin.

This campaign was developed with an intention to spread awareness on the risks and dangers associated with irregular migration by boat and inform Vietnamese potential migrants of the policy.

Targeting an audience at the grassroots level, these community events within the project "Strategic Communications Campaign to Deter Irregular Migration from Vietnam to Australia by Boat", aim to get the Australian Government’s messages across through distribution of leaflets and brochures, performances by local artists and a quiz to test people’s understanding of the messages delivered.

The events also emphasized the main message of zero chance for irregular migrants, denying rumours of staying in Australia if traveling there illegally. All illegal immigrants will be detected, stopped, and forced to turn back to their home countries immediately in the sea.