IOM X Blog


(English) Win a trip to the USA to attend the Students Opposing Slavery Summit 2018!

(English) Tell IOM X why you care about ending slavery and what you’re doing about it, and you could win a trip to the SOS Summit in Washington DC!

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(English) The Real Life of Fishing Labour

(English) Want to work as a fisher in Thailand? Know your rights! Watch this video to find out how you can prepare for working as a fisher in Thailand to protect yourself and your family.

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(English) 6 fresh campaign ideas to help end forced labour

(English) 16.5 million people are trapped in situations of forced labour in the Asia Pacific. How can we empower consumers to make smarter choices and help end this?

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(English) ស្ត្រីខ្មែរលុងខ្លួនចេញទៅណាមិនរួច ក្រោយពីត្រូវបានគេបោកយកទៅរៀបការនៅបរទេស។

(English) ការដកហូតលិខិតឆ្លងដែន ការបង្អត់អាហារ ការហាមឃាត់ការទាក់ទងនិងការផ្លាស់ទី រួមនឹងការគម្រាមឱ្យសងការចំណាយថ្លៃធ្វើដំណើរ បង្ខំឱ្យស្ត្រីខ្មែរជាច្រើនត្រូវតែរៀបការ នៅបរទេស។​

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(English) Cambodian women left trapped after being tricked into marrying men overseas

(English) Confiscated passports, withheld food, restricted communication and freedom of movement, and threats of having to repay travel costs served to coerce women into marriages.

Street Seamstress

(English) 6 ways to support the people behind the products

(English) When we buy cheap or fast fashion, we risk supporting exploitation and abuse. But it doesn’t have to be that way.

People shopping at a market (c) Flickr / Asian Development Bank

(English) 6 ส่ิงที่จะสนับสนุนคนที่อยู่เบื้องหลังสินค้า

(English) การซื้อสิ่งของ ของเราในทุกวัน มีผลต่อการดำเนินชีวิตของคนในโลกนี้

Migrant Voices

(English) Migrant Voices: Domestic Workers’ Diaries

(English) When we met with a group of domestic workers in Singapore, they wanted to share their advice for women back home thinking of seeking work abroad.

Mother and son share a seat on the Manila to Bulacan bus.  It's common for a child to sit on their parent's lap to make room for more passengers.

(English) Is independent child migration a form of child trafficking?

(English) Much of Mark Capaldi’s professional life has been spent working on issues around child sex trafficking. It’s a huge and alarming issue.

Foreigners fuelling demand

(English) Busting the myth: are foreigners fuelling demand for child trafficking?

(English) The idea that demand from ‘foreigners’ is the reason why children get trafficked into sexual exploitation is a myth that needs to be debunked.

Journalist training in Bangladesh

(English) Human writes: top tips for journalists covering migration and trafficking

(English) Human trafficking is one of the fastest-growing transnational crimes and a serious violation of human rights. Our media should be more focused on this.

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(English) Your body, your rules: a brief introduction to consent

(English) Consent means to give permission for something to happen or agreement to do something. But it also means to have the free will to say no.

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(English) A victim of sexual exploitation is freed. What happens next?

(English) Rescuing victims from sexually exploitative situations isn’t always enough to ensure they go on to live happy and successful lives.

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(English) Can you see me? How to spot, report, and stop human trafficking

(English) “Can You See Me?” launched in Thailand earlier this year, showing consumers how to spot, report, and stop human trafficking.

From Trafficking Victim to Activist

Korban Trafficking yang jadi Aktivis: Cerita ABK

  Rizky Oktaviana terjebak berbulan-bulan di tengah laut sebagai korban buruh paksa di kapal penangkap ikan, ribuan kilometer dari Indonesia. Sekarang dia bagikan ceritanya dan memimpin aktivisme untuk mereformasi industri perikanan di Indonesia sebagai Koordinator Advokasi di Serikat Buruh Migran Indonesia (SBMI). Kami bertemu dengan Rizky untuk mendengar tentang pengalamannya dan dapat memberikan opini tentang … Continue reading “Korban Trafficking yang jadi Aktivis: Cerita ABK”

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Domestic Worker Rights: Gauging the Impact of Open Doors

Hiring a live-in domestic worker in Southeast Asia is not uncommon among middle and upper income families. These domestic workers are often migrants from other countries. Unfortunately, domestic workers – and especially those living with families – can face abuses such as no weekly day off, having to be on call 24 hours a day, … Continue reading “Domestic Worker Rights: Gauging the Impact of Open Doors”


Tanya Judy: Nasihat dari BMI di Hong Kong

Click here to read in English. Apa yang diinginkan buruh migran Indonesia? Apa keperluan mereka? Apa nasihat mereka untuk calon buruh migran? Untuk menemukan jawabaan, kami mewawancarai Sri Martuti (nama panggilnya Judy), PRT migran di Hong Kong.   Judy berasal dari mana? Mengapa Anda memutuskan bermigrasi ke Hong Kong? Sudah berapa lama bekerja di sini? … Continue reading “Tanya Judy: Nasihat dari BMI di Hong Kong”


ORGANized Crime: Trafficking for Organ Removal

  Around the world every day, there are hundreds of thousands of people waiting for an organ. A study from 2013 revealed that 118,127 organs were transplanted that year, but this only covered about 10 per cent of the global demand.[1] Waiting lists to receive an organ are long. In the European Union, the average … Continue reading “ORGANized Crime: Trafficking for Organ Removal”


Who are Human Traffickers?

Human trafficking is a complicated issue. When explaining it, we often talk about how victims were deceived, and the exploitative situations they were forced into. But there is one key part that is rarely discussed: Just who are the traffickers? Understanding who human traffickers are and what their motivations are can help us to better … Continue reading “Who are Human Traffickers?”


Inside IOM X: A Conversation with Tara Dermott

Since launching in late 2014, IOM X has reached close to 200 million people with entertaining and educational content to encourage safe migration and public action against exploitation and human trafficking. But where does a campaign like this come from? In the case of IOM X, you have to go back to another USAID-funded project, … Continue reading “Inside IOM X: A Conversation with Tara Dermott”

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(English) My Poem, My Voice

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A Culture of Migration

  With 59 million (documented) migrants from the Asia-Pacific region moving beyond their national borders, it is important to understand what drives people. While researching the attitudes of migrants, particularly what motivates them to migrate, the same theme of poverty and hopes of a better job kept coming up. However, in a region where migration … Continue reading “A Culture of Migration”


IBM and IOM prototype game-changing mobile app to help domestic workers.

  “Oh, this could be useful!”, says Champa (34) a migrant domestic worker from Myanmar while looking at the phone she is holding. “This can help domestic workers communicate more easily with their employers – and this is so important to prevent tension in the first place”. She briefly looks up and smiles; a brief … Continue reading “IBM and IOM prototype game-changing mobile app to help domestic workers.”


Behind open doors

  At the May 2016 press launch of Open Doors: An IOM X Production, an Indonesian woman came up to me and said, “This is really good. It is so good to see positive stories, rather than negative ones, used to teach a lesson”. The woman, who had previously worked as a domestic worker in … Continue reading “Behind open doors”


Know your audience: Prisana Impact Assessment

  Getting the message right takes more than a group of communication practitioners. You need to go to the experts: those to whom the message is intended. When IOM X develops videos, it conducts consultations with people from its target audience. For Prisana: An IOM X Drama, IOM X invited a group of young people to … Continue reading “Know your audience: Prisana Impact Assessment”


Gửi những người lao động Việt Nam ở nước ngoài

Nếu bạn từng là người Việt ở nước ngoài, bạn sẽ biết không nơi nào cho bạn cảm giác là nhà như ở Việt Nam! “Nếu bạn đã từng ra nước ngoài, bạn sẽ biết rằng không nơi nào có cảm giác giống như ở Việt Nam.” Tôi đọc được lời bình luận này trên 1 … Continue reading “Gửi những người lao động Việt Nam ở nước ngoài”


Dear Linko

I would like to thank you for making sure that I always make it to work on time. I know you do not have to wait for me every morning as you have plenty of other customers you could be transporting during the morning rush. But either way you diligently still wait for me even … Continue reading “Dear Linko”


Dear Fitri

I know we haven’t talked in a long time, but I wanted to reach out. When we met last year — albeit briefly — and you told me your story it stuck with me. It didn’t fit the pattern. I had always seen in the news how domestic workers were being abused abroad, exploited for money by illegal recruiters … Continue reading “Dear Fitri”


Dear migrants that I’ve interviewed

I’ve talked to many of you through my work as a researcher for an organization that supports migrants. I know I told you then, but just wanted to thank you again for participating in the interviews and focus group discussions that help make our work grounded in real, lived experiences. Having moved from my home … Continue reading “Dear migrants that I’ve interviewed”


To the woman with the baby

Before my son was born, I spent months finding the perfect apartment. Clean, bright, airy and safe. I decorated his nursery, following tips recommended in the baby books I was reading. I felt that everything had to be just perfect for his arrival. Around the same time that I was doing this, a big fence … Continue reading “To the woman with the baby”


About #LettersforMigrants

#LettersforMigrants is a new campaign from IOM X that aims to build public support for migrants’ well-being, showing that they’re human beings who deserve to be treated well. To contribute, send us your letters to and we’ll post them online!     Ideas for letters: 1. Personal stories if you have a connection to migration … Continue reading “About #LettersforMigrants”


Dear Migrant Workers

A few years ago, I left Malaysia for the first time to embark on a study abroad journey in Australia. It was the first time I left home. I was excited in the beginning. The first few months were like a honeymoon. But the harsh reality kicked in after three months. Like my peers, language … Continue reading “Dear Migrant Workers”


Dear sister, brother, uncle, aunt, father, mother, friend

I am writing to you who I feel connected to. Because just like my parents, you decided to leave your home country and look for job opportunities in a foreign country. And why did you decide to do this? Because your home country could never offer your children — the next generation — access to education, health, and even … Continue reading “Dear sister, brother, uncle, aunt, father, mother, friend”


Turning What You KNOW into What You DO!

Smoking is bad for our health, yet some of us continue to smoke. Not wearing a helmet while riding a motorcycle is dangerous, yet some of us still do it. Regular exercise is important, yet some of us can go weeks (or years!) without working out. We know what’s good for us, but we don’t … Continue reading “Turning What You KNOW into What You DO!”


Rescued from One Facebook Message

Can social media help rescue victims of human trafficking? It might sound unbelievable, but recently we told you about Pisey¹, a distressed Cambodian man who contacted us on Facebook. Recruiters promised him a job aboard a foreign fishing vessel as a translator, but he soon found that he was being forced to perform hard labour, … Continue reading “Rescued from One Facebook Message”


Migration for men and women – is their experience any different?

Remember seeing the images below of Cambodians leaving Thailand following the coup d’état in June 2014? Photo Credit: The Guardian More than 250,000 Cambodian migrants crossed the border at the time due to fears of arrest. IOM Cambodia conducted interviews with 667 of these returning migrant workers to better understand their migration experiences (before, … Continue reading “Migration for men and women – is their experience any different?”


To passport or not to passport? — That is the question

Ever considered going to another country, for vacation or work, without a passport? The answer might be obvious to you — but for millions around the world, it’s not as clear. It is estimated that there are 25.8 million migrant workers in Asia Pacific[1], of which four million are in Thailand, mostly coming from Cambodia, Myanmar and … Continue reading “To passport or not to passport? — That is the question”


A letter to you(th) about ending human trafficking

Dear you(th), You and I are a part of the 1.8 billion young people in the world. I am a 24-year-old young woman from Portugal. I’ve had plenty of opportunities to choose my education, my career and my happiness. Growing up, I loved watching Brazilian soap operas. There was one in particular that followed the … Continue reading “A letter to you(th) about ending human trafficking”


Free-to-host photo exhibition aims to protect domestic workers

‘No One Should Work This Way’ is a free-to-host photo exhibition by renowned photographer Steve McCurry that spreads awareness of the physical and psychological abuse domestic workers can face, and aims to encourage countries to ratify the International Labour Organization’s (ILO) Convention №189. IOM X recently sat down with Mr. Yoshiteru Uramoto, former Regional Director … Continue reading “Free-to-host photo exhibition aims to protect domestic workers”


Behind closed doors: How two unique campaigns are helping to stop the exploitation of domestic workers

What goes on behind closed doors? Often we’re content not to know. ‘It’s not my business’ we might say, or ‘it’s a family matter’. But hidden from public view, behind the closed doors of private homes, an estimated 1.9 million domestic workers are being exploited in the Asia Pacific region. So how do we open … Continue reading “Behind closed doors: How two unique campaigns are helping to stop the exploitation of domestic workers”


Creating “No One Should Work This Way”

Sometimes a body of work starts because something sticks with you. An idea. An image. A story. In my case, it was a sentence. Well, several sentences. “You’re a dog. You’re a pig.” “You’re so dumb. You’re worse than a pig.” “Come here, dog. Come here. You are stupid. You are a dog. … You’re a … Continue reading “Creating “No One Should Work This Way””


A letter to a F(riend)/(oreign) domestic worker

A few weeks ago, IOM X approached me to write a blog article. I attended the IOM X ASEAN Youth Forum in 2015 and am part of activities to raise awareness about human trafficking and exploitation at my university. The premise for the blog sounded interesting. I was asked to visit the website and write … Continue reading “A letter to a F(riend)/(oreign) domestic worker”


SOS! Students opposing slavery come together in Washington.

  When we arrived, we were welcomed by Jean Baderschneider, CEO of the Global Fund to End Slavery, and sponsor of the Students Opposing Slavery (S.O.S.) Summit. We stayed with Jean for our entire visit and one of the biggest privileges was hearing about her experiences and learning from what she shared with us during our … Continue reading “SOS! Students opposing slavery come together in Washington.”


Playing the victim – Actors assist police in better identifying victims of human trafficking

An officer from the National Police of Timor-Leste (PNTL) is nervously staring at the young woman in front of him. She has just been rescued from a karaoke bar where she had been forced to have unprotected sex with up to 10 customers a day. She is scantily clad, wearing heavy makeup and shaking violently … Continue reading “Playing the victim – Actors assist police in better identifying victims of human trafficking”


IOM X Belarus set to connect with young Belarusians

IOM X Belarus launched today, marking the first IOM X campaign to take foot outside the ASEAN region. You can visit their new website here: Funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the new campaign aims to increase awareness of human trafficking among young Belarusians and encourage them to contribute to … Continue reading “IOM X Belarus set to connect with young Belarusians”


IOM X Roadshow model rolls out in Cotabato

As a Communication for Development (C4D) campaign, IOM X designs its communication activities in close consultation with its target audience.   The IOM X Roadshow model is a great example of how this works. The model comprises of three parts. First there is a Participatory Planning and Capacity Building workshop (yes, we know that’s a mouthful, let’s … Continue reading “IOM X Roadshow model rolls out in Cotabato”


Thiri’s 23-year Journey as a Domestic Worker

In late 2015, IOM X sat down with Thiri*, a Myanmar domestic worker working abroad. Her remarkable story is below.   After her father died in 1992, Thiri left her village in Myanmar’s Kachin state on a meandering journey that would take her through military checkpoints; a hidden forest border crossing and secret late-night truck … Continue reading “Thiri’s 23-year Journey as a Domestic Worker”


Hoops for Sansa Rani

On a rainy Saturday morning this month, Hindson Her, founder of GOAT Basketball, Seoul’s largest amateur basketball troupe, met with Dustin Kerns and Eunjin Jeong, both employees of IOM Seoul, at Jamwon Han River Courts. They set up tents, hung posters and prepared for the arrival of23 teams and more than 100 spectators. This year’s … Continue reading “Hoops for Sansa Rani”


Knowing Before You Go is Critical

  Samnang*, a 33-year old from Banteay Meanchey province in Cambodia, learned the hard way that working abroad without the right documents is not worth it. Thai authorities deported him after working illegally in the construction sector in Prachinburi Province. “Do not trust anyone who promises to help you cross a border without the right … Continue reading “Knowing Before You Go is Critical”


Testing, testing, 1, 2, 3 – Migrate Safely!

While some of us are glued to our smart phones for news, there are many communities where radio is a valuable tool for people to get information.   With this in mind, IOM X and IOM Lao PDR conducted a three-day training for community radio volunteers, local government representatives and NGOs in Vientiane on 16-18 … Continue reading “Testing, testing, 1, 2, 3 – Migrate Safely!”


Whose Line is it anyway?

What’s the role of media and technology when it comes to human trafficking prevention? This was the question that the IOM X session posed at the Border Control Agency Management Program (BCAMP) with participants from nine countries in Asia Pacific.   BCAMP is sponsored by the Australian Department of Immigration and Border Protection and presented … Continue reading “Whose Line is it anyway?”


How to reach 50 million people in one day

As a regional project to raise awareness about human trafficking and exploitation, we’ve learned something very important over the years: it’s not enough to just create content, you need to announce it with a bang. When it came time to roll out our Happy Home campaign, we did exactly that.   The IOM X Happy … Continue reading “How to reach 50 million people in one day”


What makes a home happy?

Globally, one in every 13 female wage earners is employed in domestic work. To put it in perspective, that’s roughly the same amount of people who use Facebook, and EVERYONE uses Facebook. When we started talking about live-in domestic workers, also known as maids, nannies or helpers, at IOM X, it was a new area … Continue reading “What makes a home happy?”


Walk this way: The behaviour change journey

It may have sounded easy enough when Aerosmith told everyone to “walk this way” in their 1986 song but behaviour change involves a lot more than just issuing an order. It’s a journey that starts with shifts in knowledge, then attitude, and ultimately changes in behaviour. Cambodian counter-trafficking practitioners came together to discuss behaviour change … Continue reading “Walk this way: The behaviour change journey”


And the winner is….

  Back in January, IOM X worked with an amazing youth-led organization called Project Liber8 on a human trafficking awareness-raising workshop with young YouTubers and media students called Advoc8: The YouTube Edition. Check out this blog post for more information about the workshop.   A few months later this creative crew had created six videos highlighting sexual … Continue reading “And the winner is….”


Common misconceptions about migrant workers

There are many myths about migrant workers. These myths are harmful as they help spread negative attitudes towards migrants. That’s why we wanted to help shed some light on these common myths and see if there is any truth behind them. 1. Migrant workers only benefit their home country. False. While remittances from migrant workers … Continue reading “Common misconceptions about migrant workers”


Packing a big message into 3 MINUTES

Today was the first day of filming for our upcoming Public Service Announcement (PSA) to help raise awareness about the fair treatment of domestic workers amongst Indonesian employers. The PSA is going to be short and sweet, just three-minutes long. It’s hard to pack a lot into three minutes, especially when a country doesn’t already … Continue reading “Packing a big message into 3 MINUTES”


“Waiter – The IOM X Innovations menu please!”

  If you enjoy quotes we have a fun challenge for you. Go to your preferred quote-website (Brainy Quotes, Goodreads), type in the word “innovation”, read through the results and try to find a prominent humanitarian amongst its authors. You will be looking for a long time. But why?   The ALNAP Review of Humanitarian … Continue reading ““Waiter – The IOM X Innovations menu please!””


How to explain human trafficking to your friends and family

Can you imagine having your freedom taken away? Your freedom to move, to choose, to plan your own future? This is the reality for more than 20 million people around the world who are victims of human trafficking. Most of us are aware that human trafficking exists, and that it is a global problem, but … Continue reading “How to explain human trafficking to your friends and family”

IOM X News – January 2016

IOM X is at the forefront of developing media and technology solutions to help prevent human trafficking and exploitation in Asia Pacific. Here are some highlights of what the organization achieved last quarter, from October-December 2015. 566,000 people globally know more about different issues related to human trafficking.   From October to December, over half … Continue reading “IOM X News – January 2016”


Hello from IOM X

  IOM X is the International Organization for Migration’s (IOM) innovative campaign to encourage safe migration and public action to stop human trafficking and exploitation. The campaign leverages the power and popularity of media and technology to inspire young people and their communities to act against human trafficking – the buying and selling of people … Continue reading “Hello from IOM X”


Artikel Terpopuler


(English) Win a trip to the USA to attend the Students Opposing Slavery Summit 2018!

(English) Tell IOM X why you care about ending slavery and what you’re doing about it, and you could win a trip to the SOS Summit in Washington DC!

blog index image

(English) The Real Life of Fishing Labour

(English) Want to work as a fisher in Thailand? Know your rights! Watch this video to find out how you can prepare for working as a fisher in Thailand to protect yourself and your family.

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