In April, nine Vietnamese women huddled into the frame of a smartphone camera to broadcast a plea for help to their government and potential supporters back home. One of the women wore an eye patch to cover an injury, which she alleged was caused by her former employer.

In the video they recorded, the women explained that they were domestic workers stuck at a deportation centre in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia’s capital. They needed help getting back to Vietnam.

“The employers brought us here without returning our belongings, passports or salary,” one of the women, H’Thai Ayun, reads from a letter in the video. 

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Lam Le

Lam Le is a freelance journalist based in Hanoi, Vietnam. Her reporting focuses on migration, gender and other social issues. Visit her website for more info: