According to an investigation by British newspaper The Times, the country's leading private schools have earned hundreds of thousands of pounds from Vietnamese students to the UK on student visas and disappear mysteriously afterwards.
According to The Times, human trafficking groups have brought young Vietnamese and 15-year-olds to the UK through legal student visas guaranteed by private schools. These students often pay the tuition of one semester then disappear within weeks or months of starting at school. Such disappearances are believed to be at risk of being dragged into the work of nail salons, cannabis farms or brothels in the host country.
|Many foreign children have entered the UK on a private school visa. Photo: PA|
A Times survey found that at least 21 young Vietnamese have disappeared from private boarding schools and colleges across the UK in the past four years. The girls are mostly female and all have "private school visas".
The findings raise suspicions that traffickers are taking advantage of student visas to smuggle children from Vietnam to the foggy island nation. Police and the Interior Ministry are investigating suspicious disappearances, but many cases remain unclear.
A girl who disappeared when she was 16 years old has been missing for the past 3 years and many others have been found working in nail salons across the UK.
The information was released after the discovery of 39 immigrant bodies in a container in Essex County last month. Vietnamese citizens are now among the top three citizens of the country who are victims of trafficking into the UK.
The charity "All children are protected against human trafficking" statistics, the number of Vietnamese young people introduced for counseling has increased from 135 in 2012 to 704 last year.
Eight Vietnamese children are missing from Chelsea Independent College, a private school run by the Astrum educational institution, which costs £ 25,000 (nearly 750 million VND) per year in west London. A former school employee revealed that a female student fled at night through a fire escape hole. The incident has terrified the school because of scandals.
At Abbey College in Malvern, Worcestershire, where the ad taught the "children and grandchildren of kings, heads of state and other elite from around the globe," a 15-year-old girl from Vietnam captured. First enrolled in September 2017 did not return to school after the Christmas holiday. More than a year later, she found this girl from Quang Ninh province in a nail salon in Yorkshire.
At DLD College in London, which belongs to the same management group as the pre-university school that the Duke of Cambridge and Sussex attended, three Vietnamese girls disappeared shortly after the new school year. A 15 year old boy.
Four Vietnamese students have also disappeared from Cambridge Tutors College (CTC) in Croydon, southern London since 2016. Among them, a 16-year-old girl is staying with a local family. "The incident has raised the alarm about human trafficking. It has become a form of scandal," said David Wilson, a former school principal.
Similarly, the Bellerbys group, which is "providing international students with the English and preparation necessary to enter university" reported the disappearance of three Vietnamese students at their schools. in London and Brighton. A former teacher from this school group said: "During the holidays, the children did not return. No one answered the phone. The flaw was, someone realized it was a way to get Vietnamese girls. This male into the network ".
According to Brook House College in Leicestershire, which employs a large number of students in international markets, two students from Vietnam have fled.
Pat Saini, an immigration lawyer at Penningtons Manches Cooper, who advises many schools, calls the disappearances the "protection issue" they face and the schools have been looking for students in a certain regions in the UK. They are scouring around several towns with police assistance.
In 2017, the Council of Independent Schools and the Association of Boarding Schools sent a letter warning member schools to be "cautious" when accepting Vietnamese students.
All schools named in The Times investigations followed the process and reported missing cases to the police as well as the British Interior Ministry. All of the above children have arrived in the UK on a student visa, which is guaranteed by the school and does not require English proficiency testing. They are either boarding or assigned to indigenous families. These children have to pay from £ 5,000 – £ 10,000 (VND 150 – 300 million) for the first semester but have disappeared within a few weeks of enrollment.
The Ministry of the Interior has approved 666 independent schools to sponsor student visas for foreign students. In 2017, the UK issued 220 visas of this type to Vietnamese citizens.
|Ms. Yvette Cooper expressed concern before a series of disappearances of international students. Photo: Telegraph|
Yvette Cooper, Chairman of the Interior Selection Committee, has called on the Interior Ministry to urgently address visa manipulation. "This is really shocking. It is unimaginable for the children to leave thousands of kilometers away from home to go to school but actually turned into slaves in England," Cooper said. The official said that the schools "need to be partly responsible for their selection."
Worth mentioning, all of the schools mentioned above have passed the Home Affairs inspections and are still licensed as visa sponsors. A spokesman for the Ministry of the Interior emphasized: "The safety and well-being of children is the main consideration in any case of accepting international students, with written consent from parents and diploma. evidence of adequate child care arrangements upon request ".
Astrum Education Group acknowledged that they had become the target of organized crime activities. However, the group has reviewed the procedures to protect international students.
Malcolm Wood, principal of Abbey College, said: "We take this very seriously. There are no authorities to detect any errors in our school."
DLD College also affirms that students' safety and health are always their first priority. After the incident, the school reviewed its guarantee policy and accepted international students from Vietnam.
The remaining schools also claim to have fully cooperated with the authorities and reported promptly to the police about the missing cases to ensure the security and safety for international students.