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 May. The training focused on how to produce radio shows that would teach listeners about the benefits of safe migration, and how to follow the steps to migrate safely.
Out migration is very common for Lao people, particularly those from rural areas where jobs are scarce and low-paid. They are drawn to neighboring countries, such as Thailand, by higher wages, the language (Thai and Lao are very similar) and familiar cultural traditions. In 2013, it was estimated that more than 926,000[1] Lao migrant workers in Thailand.[2] Using irregular channels for migration (including migrating without the right documents – such as a passport, visa and/or work permit) is common amongst Lao migrants as it known to be much cheaper then regular channels.[3] This can increase their risk of being trafficked or exploited due to their illegal status in the country.

Sharing information on the radio about the steps required to migrate safely is one thing, but convincing listeners to practice safe migration is much more difficult – especially given passport, visa and/or work permit and recruitment costs, as well as lengthy processing times.
The way information is conveyed through radio needs to be attractive, cool and engaging so that listeners are convinced that investing time and money in their migration journey now will pay off in the end.

During the training session, IOM X worked with community radio volunteers from three different provinces (Sayaboury, Xiengkhouan and Salavan) to brainstorm creative ideas on how to get audience members to recall key action messages, as well as engage them to be part of the development of the shows. Some of the ideas that came up were radio drama shows, talk shows and call-in shows. Radio shows where the audience can directly engage with the content – such as by calling in and asking questions, being part of the development or testing of a radio script, listening and relating to the characters in the radio stories, and/or adding humour, drama or action can help to ensure that audiences will walk away with practical knowledge that they will remember.
The radio volunteers are now taking the development further, and we look forward to seeing what they produce!

[1] International Labour Migration Statistics (ILMS) Database for ASEAN. 2013. International Migration in ASEAN. p.2. Available at for download at:  http://apmigration.ilo.org/resources/ilms-database-for-asean-international-migration-in-asean-at-a-glance
[2] Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation. 2013. Lao Labor Migration and Remittance. p. 7. Available for download at: http://www.sdcmekong.org/2014/03/lao-labor-migration-and-remittances/
[3] Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation. 2013. Lao Labor Migration and Remittance. p. 7. Available for download at: http://www.sdcmekong.org/2014/03/lao-labor-migration-and-remittances/  

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 in partnership with the Viet Nam Government and RMIT Viet Nam. The participants spend three weeks together to learn about migration, human trafficking, human smuggling and how they can collaborate regionally. And technology is a big part of that!
BCAMP alumni stay in touch through a group on Line that allows them to easily share information about what they are seeing at different border points and to get immediate feedback from their counterparts in other countries. A fake passport can be identified in seconds and this speedy collaboration can also help identify potential victims of human trafficking.
There are over 7 billion mobile phones in use around the world, even more than the world’s entire population, and more and more people are using smartphones. This means that media and technology-based initiatives are becoming increasingly accessible as a means of addressing global challenges.
In Lebanon, a local NGO worked with creative agency Ogilvy to create a series of radio ads in the languages of migrant domestic workers who were often not allowed to leave the homes of their employers. The radio ads sounded like they were for water parks and spas but the information was actually telling domestic workers who they could contact if they were being abused and needed help.
Globally, NGO Terre des Hommes partnered with advertising agency Lemz to create Sweetie, a 3D computer model of a young girl that was used to tackle the online sexual exploitation of children. Names, locations and webcam footage of abusers was gathered and cross-referenced with Google and other public sources until 1,000 abusers caught in the act were identified from 71 countries. This information was then handed over to the authorities.
These are just a few examples of how media and technology is being leveraged around the world to help stop human trafficking and exploitation. In addition to the launch of 6degree.org,the world’s first crowdfunding portal to support individual survivors of human trafficking, IOM X has more innovations in the works. Stay tuned!
Do you know of some cool ways that media and technology are being leveraged to help stop human trafficking and exploitation? Share them and tag #IOMX!

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 Home launch at Empirica, Jakarta, on 25 May 2016

The IOM X Happy Home campaign consists of two key components, with the joint aim to help stop the exploitation of domestic workers. The video component includes Open Doors: An IOM X Production and Sebuah Harapan: An IOM X PSA.
The digital component includes a dedicated landing page for all the elements to sit in one place, including the videos, an e-learning portal, a quiz to find out if you would be a good employer, shareable facts and helpline numbers.
The IOM X Happy Home press launch took place on 25 May in Jakarta. It was an opportunity for us to publicly recognize the diverse partners that contributed to the campaign, and for all partners to stand together to effect positive change for exploited domestic workers. The event also enabled us to engage with influencers in a meaningful way to bring attention to this important topic.
We invited a hugely diverse group of people to attend the event – from local and international government representatives, to counter-trafficking advocates, domestic worker right groups, students, online influencers and, of course, media.
More than 250 people showed up, including 44 journalists and 80 domestic workers.
We made sure there was a lot to do when they arrived. After registering and picking up a bag of IOM X educational swag, guests were invited to take a photo in front of the photo wall, a kitschy living room adorned with facts about the exploitation of domestic workers. The photos were later printed out on an IOM X and partner branded frame as a souvenir for guests, with a reminder to visit the IOMX.org/HappyHome landing page.
Photos in front of the photo wall were lated printed out on a branded frame as a souvenier for guests.
Next up was a t-shirt printing table. Guests could choose between one of four designs, each with a strong message about domestic worker rights. Choices included “Respect creates a happy home” and “A day off creates a happy home”, and again the landing page URL took a prominent place on the front of the shirt.

Guests select t-shirts with their favourite message at the t-shirt printing booth.

We knew from past experience that getting 250 people to sit down at the start of the event is not an easy task, so we tried something different. At 11:15 am sharp, the lights dimmed and the music changed.
No announcement was made, but conversation stopped and attention turned to the center of the room as three famous Indonesian actors walked on to the stage. Over the next three minutes – and in complete silence – they acted out a scene of an overworked domestic worker whose employers come to the realization that she deserves a regular day off. It was a powerful moment, and set the tone for the rest of the event.
Famous Indonesian actors Restu Sinaga, Ayusitha and Indy Barends act in the silent play.
Putting together the event run-down for the main part of the event was pretty easy. We first invited some of our core Happy Home campaign partners – IOM Indonesia, the U.S. Embassy Jakarta, the Ministry of Manpower (Republic of Indonesia) – to give opening remarks. Following this, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Republic of Indonesia) officially opened the event.


Brian McFeeters (Deputy Chief of Mission, U.S. Embassy Jakarta).

A panel discussion took place next, with representatives from IOM X and UN Women, as well as Anggun Bima TKI. Bima was a domestic worker in Singapore, who has recently found fame as a finalist on Indonesia’s popular talent show Dangdut Academy 3.

Panelists from left: Bima, Dermott, Sari Nila (Event Host) and Thongthumrong.

The premier of Open Doors: An IOM X Production took place during the panel discussion. The video is a three-part drama about families and their domestic workers. In each story, the family goes through a moment of reflection, where they recognize that everyone needs a break, and that not meeting their domestic worker’s needs is having a negative impact on both the family and their employee.
The reaction from the audience was emotional. A number of the domestic workers in the room stated afterwards that the videos hit a nerve – they had personally experienced very similar situations to the women in the video.
“The videos are close to reality. They are very good. I can personally empathise with these domestic workers,” said Nita, an Indonesian domestic worker who attended the launch event.
Employers of domestic workers were equally moved, including event host Sari Nila who paused for a moment to regain her composure following the screening.

The audience watches the premiere of Open Doors: An IOM X Production.

While Open Doors looks at the situation for domestic workers at a regional level, Sebuah Harapah: An IOM X PSA looks at how positive changes can be made on a practical level. Dede Yusuf, a former actor and current Head of Commission IX of the House of Representatives of the Republic of Indonesia, was invited to the stage to introduce the PSA. Again, it was well received by the audience, some of whom had been instrumental in its production.

Guests watch the premiere of Sebuah Harapan: An IOM X PSA

The event concluded with media interviews with the speakers, and a packed lunch for all guests.

Dede Yusuf (Head of Commission IX of the House of Representatives of the Republic of Indonesia)

So why do we say a launch event is critical to a campaign? The evidence is in the numbers.
More than 38.5 million people were potentially reached through media coverage of the event, and 12.8 million were reached through Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
Over 62,000 people took a direct action online to support the campaign – be it taking our domestic work e-learning or quiz, sharing a fact about domestic work, or even just liking/commenting on one of our #HappyHome social media posts.
In just seven days, the Happy Home videos were viewed over 1 million times online.

Sustaining the campaign after a launch event like this is key, and one way we are doing this for Happy Home is through broadcast partnerships. In June, Sebuah Harapan will be aired on Nin Media in Indonesia, and Open Doors will air on Channel 7 in Thailand. Further broadcast of the videos in the ASEAN region will be announced soon.
The audience reached through the IOM X Happy Home campaign will continue to rise as the campaign rolls out, but as it stands now, over 50 million people have potentially learned more about the important issue of exploitation in the domestic work sector. All this, thanks to our launch event. At IOM X, this what we call ‘announcing it with a bang’.
Visit IOMX.org/HappyHome to view the videos, test your knowledge about the domestic worker rights and take a quiz to find out if you would be a good employer.

The IOM X Happy Home campaign was made possible as a result of valuable inputs from government and non-government partners across the ASEAN region.
The Happy Home launch event was supported by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Manpower of the Republic of Indonesia, ASEAN, U.S. State Department, United States Agency for International Development (USAID), UN Women, the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT), Love Frankie, BBTV Channel 7 (Thailand), Nin Media, Rapid Asia, Jala PRT, SBMI, HomeNet and H.O.M.E.
To learn more about domestic worker rights, or to report suspected exploitation, please contact the following organizations:
In Indonesia: Jala PRT, www.jalaprt.co, [email protected], 021 217 971 629 (or +62 217 971 629 from outside of Indonesia)
In Singapore: H.O.M.E., www.home.org.sg, 1 800 797 7977 (or +65 6341 5525 from outside of Singapore)
In Thailand: HomeNet Thailand, [email protected], 02 513 9242 (or +66 2 513 9242 from outside of Thailand)
In Malaysia, call 999 to report exploitation.