December 9, 2013

Annex 2: Correspondence with Vietnam’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs

September 25, 2013

H.E. Pham Binh Minh

Minister of Foreign Affairs

No 1 Ton That Dam

Ba Dinh, Hanoi Vietnam

Via facsimile: (84-4) 37992682

Via email:

Your Excellency,

Human Rights Watch is an international nongovernmental organization that monitors violations of human rights by states and non-state actors in more than 90 countries around the world.

Our report The Rehab Archipelago: Forced Labor and Other Abuses in Drug Detention Centers in Southern Vietnam, released in September 2011, described serious human rights violations, such as arbitrary detention, forced labor, and torture, within Vietnamese drug detention centers.

Human Rights Watch is currently preparing a report regarding compulsory drug treatment in Cambodia. Our report explores issues of due process, the right to health and freedom from torture and cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.

Our research to date has noted the cooperation between the Vietnamese and Cambodian governments regarding anti-narcotics policies. For example, the 2013 annual report of the Cambodian National Authority for Combating Drugs (NACD) states that a Memorandum of Understanding concerning the construction of a proposed national drug treatment center in Preah Sihanouk province in Cambodia was drafted by the government and sent to the Vietnamese government in 2012.[123]

We are writing to request information regarding Vietnam’s assistance to the government of Cambodia in the field of drug treatment. Human Rights Watch is committed to producing material that is well-informed and objective. We seek this information to ensure that our report properly reflects the views, policies and practices of the government of Vietnam regarding the subject.

We hope you or your staff will respond to the questions below so that your views are accurately reflected in our reporting. In order for us to take your answers into account in our forthcoming report, we would appreciate a written response by October 25, 2013.

With respect to dealings that your government may have with the Cambodian government, we would be grateful for the following information:

  1. A description of your government’s current or planned projects in or with Cambodia’s centers;
  2. The total budget for current or planned projects related to Cambodian drug detention centers, by year;
  3. The specific type of activities conducted, including:
    • Any support for the construction of new, or renovation of existing, physical infrastructure in Cambodian drug detention centers;
    • Any direct or indirect support (including trainings, study tours, conference scholarships, etc.) to staff in drug detention centers, or government of Cambodia employees (including Ministry of Social Affairs staff, military police, civilian police and Phnom Penh municipality staff) who work in or are responsible for drug detention centers;
    • Any salary support to staff of drug detention centers, or government of Cambodia employees (including Ministry of Social Affairs staff, military police, civilian police and Phnom Penh municipality staff) who work in or are responsible for drug detention centers.
  4. Does the Vietnamese government have any stated policy outlining whether dealings with the Cambodian government in the field of drug treatment are required to comply with human rights standards (if so, please provide a copy of this policy.)
  5. According to Vietnamese government regulations, labor therapy [lao dong tri lieu] is one of the official five steps of drug rehabilitation. Given that labor therapy constitutes a form of forced labor prohibited under international law, Vietnamese law and Cambodian law, please specify whether your government will promote this policy with respect to Cambodia’s drug detention centers.

In addition to the information requested above, please include any other materials, statistics, and government actions regarding the assistance provided by Vietnam to Cambodia in anti-drug policies that you think might be relevant.

Thank you in advance for your time in addressing these urgent matters.


Joseph Amon, PhD MSPH

Director,b Health and Human Rights division


H.E. Pham Thi Hai Chuyen

Minister of Labor, Invalids and Social Affairs

No. 12 Ngo Quyen,

Hoan Kiem, Hanoi Vietnam

Via facsimile: (84-4) 38248036

Via email: and

[123] National Authority for Combating Drugs, “Report about Outcome of Drug Control 2012 and Work Direction for 2013.”