Press Release

Where Can I Call Home

13 December 2016

Ha Noi, 13 December 2016 - An opening reception of the photo voice exhibition "Where Can I Call Home" was held this morning in Ha Noi by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and the General Statistics Office (GSO).

The photo voice exhibition showcases 13 sets of photos taken by Mr. Nguyen Minh Duc, telling inspiring stories about the lives of migrants and their families in nine cities and provinces of Viet Nam.

There is a story of a female migrant who is the mother of three children. "I missed my children so much at first, especially my youngest daughter. Every time I left for Ha Noi Capital, she cried and begged me to stay. I fought my tears and told her that I would be away only for a little while and back really soon." She moved to Ha Noi and started selling “Tao Pho” in 1992. She and her husband used to have a fish farm in the countryside, but it did not work out and they got into debt.

This is another story of a man who is being both parents. "My two children and I sleep on the same bed. There have been many nights when I wake up to find my elder child sitting up and crying. ‘I miss mum,’ she often says. ‘Dad, please bring her home.’ I usually give her a hug and tell her that she’ll be home soon." His wife left home to work for a company some distance away, while he stays at home to take care of their children and do extra jobs. This way he could make a living and make sure their children could stay in school.

Viet Nam has experienced significant internal migration during different historical periods, including in recent decades. Over the past five years, about 12.4 million of the country's 91 million people, about fourteen per cent of the population, are internal migrants.

"Migrants are a key driving force behind Viet Nam’s socio-economic development and their contributions need to be fully recognized. We also know that as a result of economic development over the past decades, Viet Nam has experienced a substantial reduction in poverty. Migration is clearly one of the cornerstones of Viet Nam’s success in poverty reduction, which has been occurring since the early 1990s. Migrants are helping to fuel Viet Nam's rapid economic growth of nearly seven per cent per year," said Ms. Astrid Bant, UNFPA Representative in Viet Nam.

Addressing at the event, Mr. Nguyen Bich Lam, Director General of the GSO said, “The photos in this photo voice exhibition help us better understand the lives of migrants. They decided to migrate for better career prospects, better education for their children and better lives. However, many migrants are vulnerable and facing many challenges and difficulties in their lives."

The voices of the migrants in this photo voice project will be brought to the national workshop on Friday, 16 December, where key findings of the 2015 Internal Migration Survey will be disseminated. "Let me share my hope that this photo voice exhibition will enhance our understanding of this issue, and make a real contribution to improving the lives of migrants in Viet Nam. I suppose that virtually every day we interact with, and benefit from the works of migrants here in Ha Noi, whether we know it or not.  They may have assembled our motorbikes or cars, built our offices, and designed new software programmes. The vendors may even sell flowers and food to us on the streets. They deserve our recognition and support," concluded Ms. Astrid Bant at the event.

The photo voice exhibition will be opened from 13 to 18/12/2016 at Trang Tien Exhibition House, 45 Trang Tien street, Ha Noi.

Click the following links to see all photos and stories of the exhibition:

Story 1 Story 2 Story 3 Story 4
Story 5 Story 6 Story 7 Story 8
Story 9 Story 10 Story 11 Story 12
Story 13