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 exploitation, forced begging and, the vulnerability of migrants, all while also promoting the national emergency number in Malaysia -999- that you can call if you’re in trouble or if you think someone else is.

On April 14, 2016, a free screening party was organized at a cool community mall in Kuala Lumpur called Publika and over 200 people attended! The videos were screened and the audience voted for their favourite. The audience votes, plus the number of view each video got on YouTube, determined the winning video.

Before we tell you who won, watch the videos for yourself.

How well do you know human trafficking? Street Quiz – Seanlje

Actor Sean Lee hits the streets of KL to find out what people know about human trafficking. You’ll be surprised by their answers!

500 Days – Tiiral

Most people think of sexual exploitation when they think of human trafficking but you probably haven’t thought about it like this.


Invisible Shackles – FOP (Fellowship of Pie)

A lot of people dream of working or studying overseas. What happens when traffickers take advantage of those dreams?


Modern slavery: what the world doesn’t know – The Weekenders

Human trafficking happens all around the world but it turns out we’re still not talking about it very much, which means there’s still a lot we don’t know. The more you know, the more you see.


You never know @UntilUAsk – Adam Tambakau

Many people migrate in search of a better life but being a migrant can leave you in a vulnerable position. Adam shares his journey from joining the Advoc8 workshop and visiting a local migrant centre to pondering what it all means.


SEX! – The Salad Show

Globally, millions of people are trafficked for sexual exploitation. The Salad Show takes a poetic look at this harsh reality.


All of these videos have helped reached new people with information about human trafficking but there could only be one winner. When the votes were counted and the online views tallied and the winner was….The Weekenders! This group of media students from Limkokwing University highlighted the global scope of human trafficking and the need for more understanding about what it is and what we can do.

Share the videos online and tell us which one you liked the  best by tagging #IOMX #ProjectLiber8.

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 all over the world are huge, migrant workers also generally have a positive impact on the host country’s economy. Migrant workers often do the jobs that others don’t want to. Many of these jobs are not visible to the general public, which causes people to overlook how important migrant workers are for the local economy.

2. Migrants pose a threat to the socio-cultural status quo. False. Particularly in several Asian nations, this fear is prominent. Yet there is no proof to support this claim, especially since migrants tend to represent only a small percentage of a host country’s population.

3. Migrants commit more crimes than locals. False. This is a common fear in many countries. Several studies have shown that there is no evidence to support this myth. Some studies from around the world even show that migrants tend to commit less violent crimes.

4. Migrants carry and spread diseases. Not necessarily. This is not true for documented migrant workers who usually have to go through mandatory health screenings. However, even for undocumented migrants there is no substantive proof that they carry diseases. Trafficking victims, particularly people trafficked for sexual exploitation face a higher risk of contracting HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases.

5. Migrants steal jobs from the local population. False. Migrant workers often take on jobs that others do not want to. There may be some competition with the local population, depending on the job market, however, migrant workers do not only take jobs but also help create more jobs. With an increase in migrants comes an increase in demand for services and products. So while there may be some overlap for certain jobs, migrants in general, are not ‘stealing’ jobs.

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 have legal parameters in place to protect and help guide employers on how to treat their domestic worker.

We turned to the research and consultations we had done with domestic workers and NGOs in Indonesia. The resonating needs that came through were that fair working hours (i.e. not being on call 24-hours a day) and a weekly day off are important to domestic workers.


So back to the three minutes we have to communicate this to employers… We decided to split the PSA up into different ‘voices’. The first voice will set the scene. Here, a domestic worker will talk about her experience working for an Indonesian employer, the good and the bad. The second voice is an NGO activist who advocates for the rights of domestic workers. She will delve deeper into the topic and explain how employers can create a healthy work environment for their domestic worker. And finally, the third voice will bring the issue home on a practical and personal level. This well-known public figure will open his home to our cameras to show how his family co-exists with their domestic workers.


The end result of the PSA is for viewers to watch and listen to these three different voices, and then think about their own ‘voice’ — in other words, what is their relationship like with their own domestic worker, and would adopting any of the practices shared in the video make it better?


The PSA will premiere in Jakarta in May 2016, and will be available online following the premiere.