From perceptions to reality : a qualitative study on female youth migration and sexual exploitation in Northern Vietnam
Young women migrate from rural to urban areas for a multitude of reasons. As girls are encouraged to migrate into the city to find work, many are lured or tricked into selling sex to earn money. This study investigates the factors pushing a young woman from her village, pulling her to the city and the facilitating factors that enable her exploitation through migration and sex work. This thesis discusses the current literature on migration and sexual exploitation and addresses the gaps in information from literature and from previous studies conducted in Viet Nam and regionally. The conceptual framework for this study illustrates that young women's migration and sexual exploitation in Viet Nam is influenced and then facilitated by numerous factors acting at national, communal, familial and individual levels. It also discusses the implications of the research findings for interventions and policies that aim to reduce levels of exploitation of young women through migration and sex work. In-depth interviews took place with 20 randomly selected female migrants currently working as sex workers in northern Viet Nam. In-depth interviews were also conducted with 23 families in rural areas known to have children working in a city to help support the family. Additionally, key informant interviews were conducted with provincial and community leaders in both the rural and urban areas of this study. This thesis describes and analyses a qualitative study, which explores the decisionmaking for youth migration, the communication processes between a child and parent and the facilitating factors that influence a daughters exploitation through migration and sex work. In addition, the thesis explores the affects of migration and sex work on a young women.