IOM X Communications Intern

Position Title: IOM X Communications Intern
Duty Station: Bangkok, Thailand
Type of Appointment: Internship Contract, three months
Closing Date of Vacancy: March 08, 2018 Estimated Start Date: As soon as possible.

Established in 1951, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) is the principal inter-governmental organization in the field of migration and works closely with governmental, intergovernmental and non-governmental partners. IOM is dedicated to promoting humane and orderly migration for the benefit of all. It does so by providing services and advice to governments and migrants.

Context: IOM X is the International Organization for Migration’s groundbreaking campaign to encourage safe migration and public action to prevent human trafficking and exploitation. By leveraging the power and popularity of media and technology, and using a Communication for Development (C4D) approach, IOM X inspires young people and their communities to act against human trafficking. In partnership with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), IOM X works closely with key stakeholders and influencers across the globe, including international and local celebrities, media and corporate partners, anti-trafficking and youth organizations, government agencies and young people to drive a worldwide movement.

Scope of Work: Under the overall supervision of the IOM X Campaign Programme Team Leader and the direct supervision of the IOM X Communication & PR Officer, the incumbent will be assigned, but not limited to, the tasks outlined below. The incumbent shall observe IOM’s Data Protection Policy and other relevant guidelines as necessary as per instruction from the Programme Team Leader.

  1. Support resource mobilization as well as the establishment and management of new partnerships through conducting research and writing of concept notes, pitch decks, proposals and presentations.
    Support Research and Learning activities by analyzing data necessary for IOM to strategically plan and implement its IOM X communications activities.
  2. Assist with generating summary reports of IOM X research findings for internal and external dissemination.
  3. Support the development of fact sheets and content to be used via social media.
    Assist the planning, logistics and organization of meetings, seminars, trainings and workshops when needed.
  4. Assist with the adaptation and versioning of IOM X Campaign content for wider distribution. Such tasks may include, but not be limited to, updating scripts, time coding, reformatting and amending layout.
  5. Editing and proofreading of public communication materials.
  6. Perform such other duties as may be assigned.

Eligibility and Selection

The Internship Programme aims at attracting talented students and graduates who have a specific interest in, or whose studies have covered, areas relevant to IOM programmes and activities. Interns must be between 19 and 36 years old and should have less than two years of relevant working experience. The Internship Programme is open to candidates of any nationality.

Minimum Experience and Requirements

  • Must hold an undergraduate degree in human rights, human trafficking, migration studies, development studies, international relations, education, journalism, communication or related fields;Proven research and analytical skills are essential, as the candidate will be required to collect research about human trafficking from a variety of resources and summarize in short reports that will be distributed to staff, counter-trafficking stakeholders, and general public;
  • Flourish in an international, multicultural, multilingual environment;
  • Ability to work both with minimal supervision and hand-in-hand with the supervisor;
  • Fluent English writing and communication skills;
  • Familiarity with computer programs, including MS Office programs (Word, Excel, Access, PowerPoint, Publisher), Survey Monkeys.

Desired Qualifications

  • Experience working in a multi-cultural setting. Demonstrates initiative with the ability to express ideas
  • Persistent, calm, and polite in the face of challenges and stress
  • Proven experience in conducting quantitative and/or qualitative research is desirable
  • Accepts and gives constructive criticism
  • Sensitive to gender issues, personal commitment, efficiency, flexibility.

General Information

a) Interns are granted a stipend of Baht 12,018 per month as partial contribution to accommodation and living expenses. Interns benefiting from an internship allowance or scholarship granted by his/her University or other sponsoring body that includes financial remuneration will not be eligible for the stipend.

b) Any work produced by interns during their internship within the framework of the duties assigned to them should be used for academic purposes exclusively. All economic and moral rights (copyright) pertaining to such work will remain the exclusive property of IOM.

How to Apply

Interested candidates are invited to submit their applications via e-mail to [email protected] by March 08, 2018 at the latest, referring to this advertisement. Please include the reference code ROBKK-2018-002 followed by your full name in the subject line.

Applications must include: a) a cover not more than one page, specifying the motivation for applications; b) a curriculum vitae; c) a duly completed IOM Personal History Form (click here to download the form); and d) 2-3 writing samples (any relevant topic).

Internship applicants will be contacted only if under serious consideration for an internship assignment.

Posting Period: From February 22, 2018 to March 08, 2018.

Is independent child migration a form of child trafficking?

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

By Mark Capaldi, Head of Research and Policy for ECPAT International.

A question I repeatedly get asked in my work is, how many trafficked children are there in the world? To be honest, I have a standard response that recounts the challenges of accurately estimating the nature of this underground, criminal activity.

Much of my professional life has been spent working on issues around ‘child sex trafficking’, visiting rescue, recovery and reintegration projects, overseeing research projects. It’s a huge and alarming issue.

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. (c) Flickr / Creative Commons

Yet at the back of my mind – as I read the myriad of UN and NGO reports that graphically depict the coercion, violence and abuse that these children suffer – is whether there is another side to the story? Is the significant movement of children in search of work just automatically assumed to be child trafficking?

I decided to do a PhD and spent five years studying independent child migration in Thailand. I was looking at children 15 years or older (generally the legal age that they can work) who have voluntarily migrated, mainly from Cambodia and Myanmar, looking for a better life.

I was fortunate to be able to interview 76 children and youth and virtually all of them had crossed the border into Thailand without the right legal documents (called ‘irregular migration’). As most of these children ended up in poorly paid jobs often working long hours without much time off, the work would be considered exploitative.

As they are still children then by international legal standards they would therefore automatically be classified as child trafficked victims. But this was not how these children saw themselves.

Through listening to their stories I realized how much they valued their migratory experience – they were able to earn money to send home to their families and they felt that they were learning new skills; in their own words, they seemed happy and they were clearly demonstrating significant levels of resilience, competencies and agency. And as I carried out my research I realized that there were thousands of similar children working in restaurants, factories or even construction sites that felt the same way.

Of course, I do not wish to minimize the vulnerabilities and dangers that children can face in their migratory journey or to deny the presence of awful exploitation and worst forms of labour that these children can so often fall victim too. But I also learnt there is a large cohort of migrant children who have positive experiences. Migration and trafficking is on a continuum with the worst forms of trafficking at one end.

Perhaps we need to look beyond the stereotypical assumptions to not automatically label all migrant children as trafficked so that our anti-trafficking efforts are more focused and targeted on those who really need it whilst other child migrants can benefit from more safer and legal approaches to seeking work.

View Mark Capaldi’s research findings here (PDF).

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

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

By Sheila Varadan, Senior Associate at Embode.

One of the first images that likely comes to mind when speaking about child sexual abuse and trafficking is that of the foreign perpetrator. It’s usually a Caucasian Western male in handcuffs being led away by police. The idea that demand from ‘foreigners’ is the reason why children get trafficked into sexual exploitation is a myth that needs to be debunked.

In truth, there is no established link between an offender’s nationality (or ethnicity) and their propensity to perpetrate child sexual abuse. And in fact, research has suggested that a substantial number of perpetrators sexually abusing trafficked victims are either locals or nationals from the same region as their victims.

Why, then, are foreigners constantly seen as the primary predators of trafficked children?

Three reasons:

  1. First, and quite frankly, foreigners stand out. Where a local may be able to evade outward attention by speaking the same language as the victim or feigning to be a parent or family member, a foreigner cannot.
  2. Second, arrests and convictions of foreigners tend to attract more media attention, giving the misleading impression that more perpetrators are foreign than local. Also, and related to this, the rates of foreign arrest and conviction for child sexual exploitation are often confused for rates of perpetration of child sexual exploitation. There is no reliable data on the number of perpetrators engaging in sexual exploitation of trafficked children – only rates of arrest and conviction. And more often than not, arrest and conviction rates are higher amongst Western countries due to their proactive stance on child sexual abuse overseas, and their well-resourced criminal justice systems.
  3. Third, and importantly, the culture of silence and impunity can enable child sexual abuse at the local or domestic level. When a foreigner commits child sexual abuse, it is easier for a community to react as the perpetrator is an outsider, but when the perpetrator is from within the victim’s own community, or in a position of power within the community, the issue of accountability becomes much more complicated. The problem of impunity can be further magnified where there are larger issues surrounding rule of law and corruption.

The bottom line is, anyone can sexually exploit trafficked children. Perpetrators of child sexual exploitation are from all walks of life, all demographics and represent all ethnicities.

About the author: Sheila is currently pursuing a doctorate in Child Rights Law at Leiden University in the Netherlands. For further information, please contact [email protected]

This blog post was written to coincide with a series of short videos launched by IOM X aiming to bust myths about human trafficking for sexual exploitation, which featured Embode Director Aarti Kapoor amongst other technical experts in the field. Check out the full series.

Human writes: top tips for journalists covering migration and trafficking

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.

By Shariful Hasan, former senior reporter of Prothom Alo, and now the head of BRAC’s migration programme.

As a journalist, the foundation of my profession is ethics and values. Good journalists are honest, bold, courteous, compassionate, humble, curious and creative. These all are essential in the field of migration and trafficking too. Truthfulness, accuracy, objectivity, impartiality, fairness and public accountability are the basics of journalism.

These all are same in the field of migration. When IOM invited me to share my experience to the journalists I have asked them to follow ten things for reporting on migration and trafficking. These are:

  1. Show humanity
  2. Write the facts not bias
  3. Know the law
  4. Speak for all
  5. Do no harm to anybody
  6. Know your subject and assess the risks
  7. Don’t offer advice or make promises that you cannot fulfill
  8. Ensure anonymity and confidentiality
  9. Listen to and respect each victim
  10. Do not re-traumatize.

The training I spoke at was attended by 15 journalists from Narsingdi, Narayanganj and Kishoreganj. Facilitated by IOM Bangladesh, the training aimed to build the capacity of journalists reporting on human trafficking. Other key topics included the definition of human trafficking, statistics on human trafficking and migration, what makes people vulnerable to human trafficking, and legal information.

In the field of migration a journalist should listen to people and being a genuine and empathic person. Reporting on migration and trafficking demands a higher level of understanding of trauma. So whenever we talk to the victims we should understand his condition. Children and girls are the prime victim of human trafficking. So, before talking with them or taking photos we should ask for consent and should be more careful on reporting.

Video: journalist journalists training in Dhaka

The facts on how are Bangladeshis are migrating today

Migration is incredibly important for Bangladesh, and the facts show why:

  • Each year, nearly half a million workers leave Bangladesh for overseas employment. In 2017 the number was 1,008,525.
  • According to UN the world counted 258 million international migrants in 2017, representing 3.4 per cent of global population.
  • According to Bangladesh Bureau of Manpower, Employment and Training (BMET) from 1976 to 2017 more than 11 million people went abroad as labor migrants.
  • Migrants from Bangladesh sent USD 176.2 billion in remittances during this time.

Human trafficking is one of the fastest-growing transnational crimes and a serious violation of human rights. So, not only migration trafficking is also an important issues for Bangladesh. Our media should be more focused on these.

Bangladeshi’s face many problems during their journey. These include: high fees for migration charged by recruitment agencies, low wages, lack of information, discrimination, exploitation and abuse and deficient services to protect the rights of workers. As journalists, we can help by reporting on migration management and ensuring people are protected with decent employment.

Where to find more information

If anybody wants to report on migration and trafficking he may go to Ministry Of expatriate welfare and oversees employment, Ministry of Home and Ministry of Foreign affairs. BMET, Wage Earners Welfare Board (WEWB), Dhaka Shahjalal International Airport, BAIRA these are also good sources.

In district level local journalist can go District Employment and Manpower Office (DEMO), DC offices, Local police stations and to the victims and to the families. But before covering Journalist should have the knowledge on migration, immigration and trafficking law in his own country and the global scenario.

Find more information here: (English here)

Your body, your rules: a brief introduction to consent

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.

By Jennie Williams, legal consultant and human rights lawyer

Consent is a complex matter involving many emotive and conflicting ideas that affect a multitude of issues involving the governance of women, sex, gender, society, legislation and politics.

This is a very brief but important synopsis, and although this is written in the context of primarily females, it is transferable to all genders and sexual orientations. 

Consent is a complex matter involving many emotive and conflicting ideas that affect a multitude of issues involving the governance of women, sex, gender, society, legislation and politics. This is a very brief but important synopsis.

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. It is about making a decision knowing one’s own mind, but with the ability to recognize the impact of numerous determinants including external factors ie economic forces and circumstances. As these factors change, so can consent. Consent, therefore, sits on a spectrum fluctuating between informed, coerced and forced.

Consent is often mistaken as once given or obtained for a certain situation, is then presumed to continue for perpetuity. This is wrong. Consent is a decision given based on an acknowledgment that a person has the right to change their mind according to evolving circumstances as they are perceived. Consent given by a woman or man, therefore, must be re-evaluated by both parties during these times of change in the event it has changed or been withdrawn.

Unfortunately, placing consent in a sexual context seems to obscure its true meaning and validity, as can be seen in numerous rape cases of sleeping or comatose women, or sex workers who have agreed to one sexual act but are forced to commit another. In these circumstances, men have often successfully claimed that unlimited consent exists due to a presumption or expectation of it being previously provided, or an absence of refusal.

Placing consent in a non-sexual context may clarify things somewhat. For example, you ask someone if they would like a cup of tea and they agree, so you make them a cup. However, upon your return they have fallen asleep, but you do not proceed to pour the tea down their throat thinking and presuming they still want it. Similarly, if they change their minds when you present the tea to them, and want water instead, you don’t force them to drink the tea. Or, if you unilaterally decide to make them coffee instead, you don’t insist they consume it. To present it in this form, it seems absurd to continue to presume consent exists. A change in circumstances requires an automatic and immediate reassessment of the existence of consent and under no circumstances should it be ignored or presumed.

Affirmative, conscious, and voluntary agreement to engage in whatever activity, whether this is a sexual encounter, or a form of employment for example, is crucial. A lack of protest, resistance or silence, does not mean consent. Affirmative consent must be ongoing throughout a sexual activity and can be revoked at any time and for any reason.

This is absolutely critical for all parties to understand, particularly against a steady and continuous backdrop of legal cases on sexual assault that either ignored or considered women’s consent to be acquiesced simply based on negatively judgmental factors including being a prostitute / drunk / unconscious / sexually active / wearing revealing clothing etc. All of these factors are entirely irrelevant to the facts of the act in question and the liability of the perpetrator’s behaviour and state of mind, that has, and continues to, allow men to act with impunity as to the consequences. Failing to ascertain the presence of consent can be the difference between, for example, a mutually agreeable act of sex and rape, or being smuggled and trafficked.

It is important to note here that forced consent, including any act of physical or psychological violence against a woman, using threats, fraud or the endorsement of lies and misrepresentation to induce consent, whether that allegedly involves her consent, is a crime and has no legal basis. If you are forced, then you are not consenting as there is no freewill involved.