UK and Vietnam Sign Crucial Agreement to Combat Illegal Migration

By Ivan PetrenkoApr 19, 2024 21:30 PMNews
Close-up of a person's hands signing a document on a desk
Close-up of a person's hands signing a document on a desk. Source: pixabay

In a significant diplomatic development, the United Kingdom and Vietnam have entered into a new agreement aimed at combating illegal migration. This partnership was cemented through a joint statement signed in London by Michael Tomlinson, the UK's Minister for Countering Illegal Migration, and Senior Colonel Vu Van Hung of Vietnam’s Ministry of Public Security.

This accord is a response to the rising numbers of Vietnamese migrants making perilous journeys across the English Channel. Official data reveals that between 2018 and the close of 2023, Vietnam ranked among the top ten source countries for small boat arrivals to the UK, with a total of 3,356 incidents recorded.

In recent discussions that set the stage for this agreement, UK Home Secretary James Cleverly and General To Lam of Vietnam outlined a comprehensive strategy on Monday, April 15. Their dialogue underscored a commitment to intensified measures aimed at curbing visa abuse, enhancing intelligence sharing, and promoting deterrents against hazardous crossings.

A Detailed Look at the UK-Vietnam Migration Agreement

Under this new framework, the UK and Vietnam have committed to several pivotal initiatives:

  • Strengthened Deterrence Communications: Both nations will amplify their efforts in communication campaigns aimed at deterring dangerous journeys and promoting safe, legal routes for migration.
  • Enhanced Intelligence Sharing: The agreement facilitates greater intelligence exchange to effectively address and prevent visa abuse.
  • Continued Support for Return Processes: The collaboration includes ongoing support to ensure a seamless process for the return of migrants who do not have the right to remain in the UK.
  • Joint Action Against Human Trafficking: The countries will develop a joint action plan to better protect vulnerable populations and dismantle human trafficking networks.

Minister Michael Tomlinson emphasized the global challenge posed by illegal migration, stating, "This agreement is an important step with a valued partner to ensure we are working in lockstep to end exploitation by people-smuggling gangs, and to save lives."

Senior Colonel Vu Van Hung highlighted the broader scope of the bilateral relationship, which extends beyond immediate security concerns to encompass trade, education, and technology innovation. He remarked on the mutual benefits derived from their longstanding partnership, now further strengthened by this vital agreement.

The commitment was further evidenced by a proactive social media campaign launched by the UK Home Office in Vietnam in March 2023, which aims to educate potential migrants about the dangers of illegal crossings and encourage the use of legal pathways.

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