Regional Network Meeting
Non-governmental, United Nations and academic stakeholders from across Southeast and East Asia came together for an action-packed day focused around counter-trafficking in Bangkok on 30 September.
The program kicked off with a half-day workshop on applying a Communication for Development (C4D) approach to human trafficking prevention interventions, facilitated by our partners from IOM X.
In the afternoon, IOM X and UN-ACT co-chaired the quarterly Regional Network Meeting, this time with a thematic focus on ‘Shifting attitudes as part of a comprehensive behaviour change approach to counter-trafficking’. The panel discussion saw initial presentations from the ILO, Love Frankie and Rapid Asia, and highlighted the importance of time, inclusivity and a culturally adopted approach in bringing about changes to behaviour.
A session on programming updates allowed partners to present to each other their last quarter of implementation as well as plans going forward, with a particular focus on identifying synergies and opportunities for collaborations between those present.
Finally, discussions on ‘latest trends and developments in human trafficking’ raised advocacy efforts, or the lack thereof, for the ratification of the ASEAN Convention Against Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children as well as support for the preparations towards implementation. The group also discussed the nexus between sex work and human trafficking, with a special focus on the notion of ‘consent’ and the complexities around that.
The day ended at the launch of the latest issue of the After Trafficking Review on ‘Trafficking Representations’ at the FCCT in Bangkok. The GAATW-supported publication scrutinizes the often simplistic solutions to a complex phenomenon, as presented by the media, policymakers and humanitarian debates, without challenging the structural and causal factors of inequality underpinning human trafficking.
Around 40 participants from a variety of different organizations attended the Regional Network Meeting – some from Cambodia, Myanmar, Hong Kong, or even the United States – suggesting a growing interest in the forum that seeks to ensure a more coordinated and collaborative response to human trafficking across the region.
If you are working on human trafficking-related issues from a regional perspective in Southeast/East Asia and you would like to attend the Regional Network Meeting, don’t hesitate to drop us a note at firstname.lastname@example.org.