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Thursday, 22 February 2018 02:27

Just a few hundred meters

I arrived at the People's Committee's office to research a particular case of child sex exploitation. A police officer of the Ede tribe pointed towards a trail leading through an eggplant field and shook his head sadly. "It happened just a few hundred meters from here. And three of them, so close together."

"What do you mean three of them?" I asked.

"H'ba, H'ka and H'uyen all live really close together. And all three of them were sexually abused," he replied.

I was stunned at the simplicity and the way he so matter of factly responded. These three girls were neighbors, sexually abused in an area just a few hundred meters from the People's Committee office. 


She was already a mother at the age of 14, after becoming the wife to her foster father at the age of 10. Her foster parents had paid $200 USD for her, claiming that they wanted a daughter. But this was all a lie, and it turned out that her foster mother couldn't bear children...she wanted this poor child to bear a baby for her.

OBV had already come to this mountain city twice to pick her up, but the foster mother had refused. Her story had already been told in "A dream on the other side of the hill", previously posted on the OBV website.


"After she told us what happened, I wrote demanded justice and for the five guys who had abused her be condemned. They asked me to withdraw the case. I hope my daughter's case will be a lesson to society", H'ba's father said.

H'ba has since been sent to live with a relative far away in Central Vietnam, where she can continue on with 6th grade for the school year of 2017-2018.

H'ka, 14 years of age.

He uncle had given her aphrodisiacs in order to satisfy his wicked urges. She had since quit school, due to all the rumors spread about her.

We love you, and hopefully with all the right paperwork and government assistance, we can come back to see you really soon.

N.H September 26 2017

Translated by Jacquelie Huynh and Mr. Phung.  The original version in Vietnamese entitled "'Vài Trăm Mét À ...'"

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