In 2015 when IOM X was just a few months old we brought together 20 youth leaders from all 10 ASEAN countries in Bangkok for the IOM X ASEAN Youth Forum. The goal was to connect with amazing young people who were passionate about social change and the issue of human trafficking and to share knowledge and resources to help them make an impact.
Now, more than two years later, what are they up to? We reached out to five of the participants and asked them for an update!
- What have you been up to since the IOM X ASEAN Youth Forum?
After joining the forum, I co-organized some events in 2015 with some organizations in Viet Nam. In May 2015, I was a facilitator for a training on the Anti-trafficking in Persons Hotline project to talk about modern slavery and build the capacity of nearly 20 students from the Foreign Trade University (FTU). Then, in August, these students and I supported a field-trip activity of the hotline project and World Vision Vietnam. In September, we worked together to organize a 3-day event at FTU, attracting more than an audience of more than a thousand people. Later that year, my friend and I received some small funding from IOM X. With great support from the trained students, we held a series of three activities such as a music night, a training and an online competition on our Facebook page.
2015 was a memorable year for me! I had the busiest and happiest year. Since then, I decided to focus more on my career path and I am always thankful for the opportunity I grasped from the forum. I’m living now in Hanoi and working in human resources for an international organization.
- Are you still involved in the issue of human trafficking in any way?
Yes, in some ways I still continue to raise awareness about human trafficking among my community. I sometimes read articles about human trafficking, migrants or domestics workers, etc. who are vulnerable to being trafficked and exploited. When someone I know plans to work overseas or even travel, I give them some advice on safe migration (e.g leave your travel details with someone you trust, memorize at least one mobile number in case of emergency) in order to help protect them from human trafficking and other risks.
- Is there anything that has stuck with you from the youth forum? Either something you learned or an activity or resource that you have used again?
Well, a lot I think. During the forum, I had a chance to share my planned activities and listen to the others. We could learn from each other and make our own plans better. After the forum, I used some of the warm-up activities I learned in my trainings and introduced IOM X Act toolkit to the participants. It was such an easy resource for new learners. They found it useful when we explained this kit and shared some real experiences. Another great thing from the forum is that I created a network of great ASEAN friends.
- Do you have any advice for young people who want to take action against human trafficking?
Keep a flame of passion. Talk, share and take action with your peers whenever you and they have ideas.