â€œEach year, approximately 800,000 individuals are trafficked across U.S. and international borders. These victims, most of whom are women, are routinely sold into domestic servitude, exploited for commercial sex, or forced into labor at factories and sweatshops. These abuses are a serious violation of fundamental human rights and must be stopped.â€
â€œAs Members of Congress, it is our duty to speak for those who have no voice. We must collectively stand up for the freedom of these activists by urging the Vietnamese government to unconditionally release these activists. We as Members of Congress have an obligation to engage the Government of Vietnam and call on them to uphold and respect human rights by releasing all activists.”
Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez (CA-47), Co-Chair of the Congressional Caucus on Vietnam, today announced that her visa application was ignored by Vietnam’s government. Rep. Sanchez, who just concluded a Congressional Delegation visit throughout critical parts of Southeast Asia, had hoped to meet with Vietnamese human rights activists and other officials during her trip.Â Rep. Sanchez has been blocked from visiting the Communist country multiple times during her time in Congress.
I proudly represent central Orange County and Little Saigon, the home of the largest concentration of Vietnamese outside of the country of Vietnam. I personally have heard many accounts from my constituents of how many of them were held in re-education camps, some more than 20 yearsâ€¦â€
Calls on colleagues to sign letter urging Secretary Clinton to label Vietnam a â€œCountry of Particular Concernâ€ for abusing religious freedom. â€œMy colleagues in the Congressional Vietnam Caucus and I are urging Secretary Clinton to take concrete action to hold Vietnam accountable for its severe abuses of religious freedom,â€ said Rep. Sanchez, who is Co-Chair of the Caucus. â€œVietnam has shown a complete disregard for the rights of its citizens, actively suppressing religious activity and persecuting people of faith. Itâ€™s time for our country to actually penalize these abuses and place Vietnam back on the State Departmentâ€™s â€˜Countries of Particular Concernâ€™ list.â€