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British Queen celebrates


In a bid to address the escalating issue of illegal migration and prevent perilous journeys across the English Channel, the UK has inked a significant agreement with Vietnam, marking a pivotal

step towards enhanced cooperation.

Minister for Countering Illegal Migration, Michael Tomlinson, alongside Senior Colonel Vu Van Hung from Vietnam’s Ministry of Public Security, convened in London on 17 April to formalize this collaborative effort, underscoring the robust partnership between the two nations.

The agreement comes amid a surge in Vietnamese migrants embarking on hazardous crossings via small boats this year. Statistics reveal that from 2018 to the close of 2023, 3,356 Vietnamese nationals arrived in the UK via small boats, propelling Vietnam into the top 10 countries of origin for such journeys.

Earlier this week, Home Secretary James Cleverly engaged in discussions with his Vietnamese counterpart, General To Lam, culminating in a comprehensive set of measures aimed at addressing visa abuse, bolstering intelligence sharing, disseminating deterrence messages, and facilitating the repatriation process for illegal migrants.

The UK and Vietnam have pledged to:

Intensify collaborative efforts on deterrence communication campaigns to dissuade individuals from undertaking perilous journeys via small boats.

Enhance intelligence-sharing mechanisms to combat visa abuse effectively.

Sustain efforts to facilitate the repatriation of individuals without legal grounds to remain in the UK.

Develop a joint action plan to combat human trafficking, aimed at safeguarding vulnerable individuals and disrupting trafficking networks.

Maintain robust communication channels to facilitate seamless information exchange.

Promote legal migration pathways.

Minister for Countering Illegal Migration, Michael Tomlinson, emphasized the global nature of illegal migration and the imperative for international collaboration to address it effectively. He hailed the agreement as a crucial milestone in the joint endeavor to dismantle criminal networks profiting from human smuggling and prevent loss of life.

Senior Colonel Vu Van Hung underscored the longstanding strategic partnership between the UK and Vietnam, highlighting the shared commitment to combatting illegal migration and human trafficking. He emphasized the mutual benefits of this collaboration and reaffirmed both countries' dedication to fostering safe and legal migration pathways while safeguarding victims of human trafficking.

In March, the Home Office launched a targeted social media campaign in Vietnam to raise awareness about the risks associated with Channel crossings via small boats, further underscoring the commitment to deter illegal migration and protect vulnerable individuals. Photo by Diego Delso, Wikimedia commons.