Two young advocates travel to Washington DC to help end modern slavery

Young people have been at the forefront of positive social change. That’s why, this June, IOM X sponsored two young advocates from Southeast Asia to attend the Students Opposing Slavery Summit in Washington DC. We’re thrilled to introduce you to these two inspiring young women: Alifa Salsabila from Indonesia, and Nur Alia Abdul Bari from Brunei.

Above: Alifa Salsabila, a law student from Solo, Indonesia.

These incredible advocates have been working tirelessly for years to inspire others in their community to end modern slavery.

So why do they want to attend the SOS Summit? Read on to hear from them about what motivated them to take this opportunity.

Alia and Alifa, congratulations on winning this competition! What motivated you to enter?

Alia: I’ve been involved with a local organization, Youth Against Slavery Brunei (YAS Brunei) for many years. This is a capacity-building and enabling project which focuses on promoting safe migration, decent work, and a culture of people and inclusion. From helping organize events, I’ve managed to gain knowledge and real life stories of people being exploited, which helps me raise more awareness for this issue.

Alifa: I believe everyone and everything in this world has stories that need to be told. I love sharing stories through speech, storytelling, drama and debate. These days I like to share stories about value I believe, like human rights for all. This led me to study law at university to see how these values can be lived in out in our legal system.

Above: Nur Alia Abdul Bari, a young advocate and student from Brunei.

What are you most looking forward to at the SOS Summit?

Alia: I’m looking forward to meeting people who’ve had first-hand experience working on ending modern slavery, including students and experts. This summit is also a great chance to meet others with similar interests to me from different backgrounds, to share and exchange experiences and knowledge in the issue of modern day slavery and to gain fresh perspectives.

Alifa: I would really love to learn about Abraham Lincoln’s fight against these issues from experts and people who have been continuing his fight until today. I cannot wait for them to share the history, their real experiences and their knowledge. I would also love to get a clearer picture of work happening elsewhere in the world on this issue.

How would you like to use these new skills and connections when you return?

Alia: Upon returning to Brunei, I would like to share with my community and YASBrunei everything I’ve learnt so we can improve our projects in the future and be more effective as a movement.

Alifa: I would like to use these new skills and connects to speak louder about these issues. I hope to this with help me organize more fruitful discussion and brainstorms in my community, and create stronger research and collaborations with the wider anti-trafficking community.

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