SINGAPOREAN STUDENTS PILOT INTERACTIVE HUMAN TRAFFICKING AWARENESS APP

30 NOVEMBER 2015, SINGAPORE
Summary
Pilot project by the International Organization for Migration’s X Campaign, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), U.S. Embassy Singapore and Microsoft underscores the role of technology in the fight against human trafficking.

The International Organization for Migration’s X Campaign (IOM X), along with its partners USAID, U.S. Embassy Singapore and Microsoft, today presented the findings from IOM X Connect Singapore – its pilot outreach project aimed at raising public awareness for the issue of human trafficking in Singapore.

As part of the pilot project, university students from National University of Singapore (NUS) and Singapore Management University (SMU) participated in a workshop where they learned about human trafficking and the increasing role technology is playing, both in terms of recruitment of victims, and for counter-trafficking efforts. Following the workshop, and aided by the new IOM X Learn, Act and Share App, the students set off to busy public areas to test 100 Singaporeans’ knowledge on the issue.

Findings revealed that while a majority of Singaporeans (75 percent) knew the correct definition of human trafficking, only half of them (50 percent) were able to correctly identify who could be a potential victim of human trafficking.

“While the findings from IOM X Connect Singapore revealed a broad understanding of human trafficking and exploitation in Singapore, the severity of the issue has been largely underestimated. Human trafficking continues to impact countries all over the world including Singapore, and we believe that by driving widespread public awareness and support to counter this, we will be able to help prevent exploitation and better protect the victims at large. We are delighted to see how the use of technology and the IOM X Learn, Act and Share App have helped us to gain quick and accurate insights into the public’s understanding of the issue, and this information will help us to design better activities and messages that are relevant to the rest of the ASEAN community,” said Tara Dermott, Program Leader, IOM X.

The students discussed the findings and their experiences at today’s IOM X Connect Singapore Conference, a dialogue on how technology is impacting the fight against human trafficking. The event also featured an expert panel including U.S. Embassy to Singapore Deputy Chief of Mission Blair Hall, Microsoft Vice President, Asia, Stefan Sjostrom and actress and advocate Eunice Olson.

“Over the last decade, the global community has made appreciable progress in understanding human trafficking. Social media and technology have played a crucial role in expanding our efforts to raise awareness by enabling us to reach new audiences and to amplify our message,” said Blair Hall, Deputy Chief of Mission, U.S. Embassy Singapore.

The IOM Learn, Act and Share App, which was created by IOM X and Microsoft, is now available for download at the Windows Store, and has the potential to be re-versioned and scaled to further awareness of human trafficking and exploitation in the region.

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Note to Editors: The full video of IOM X Connect Singapore can be viewed here.

About IOM X
IOM X is the International Organization for Migration’s (IOM) innovative campaign to encourage safe migration and public action to stop human trafficking and exploitation. The campaign leverages the power and popularity of media and technology to inspire young people and their communities to act against human trafficking – the buying and selling of people for the purpose of exploitation – which is happening in every country in the world today. IOM X is produced in partnership with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). For more information, please visit IOMX.org

About USAID
The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) is the principal U.S. Government agency extending assistance to countries worldwide recovering from disaster, trying to escape poverty and engaging in democratic reforms. USAID’s Regional Development Mission for Asia, based in Bangkok, oversees a broad portfolio of regional and transnational programs, and also provides support to several USAID bilateral missions in Asia as well as manages programs in countries in which it does not have a permanent presence. Its regional approach addresses problems that cross national boundaries, such as human and wildlife trafficking, HIV/AIDS, natural resources conservation, trade and political and economic conflict. Please visit www.USAID.gov for more information.

About the United States Embassy Singapore
The United States Embassy in Singapore consists of 19 U.S. Federal Government sections and agencies working in Singapore and across the region. Through the U.S. Embassy, the United States maintains a strong bilateral relationship with the Government of Singapore and stands ready to assist the more than 40,000 American citizens in Singapore, many of whom work for American businesses with offices in this country. Additional information about the U.S. Embassy in Singapore can be found at http://singapore.usembassy.gov.

About Microsoft
Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT” @microsoft) is the leading platform and productivity company for the mobile-first, cloud-first world, and its mission is to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more.

Quotes
"While the findings from IOM X Connect Singapore revealed a broad understanding of human trafficking and exploitation in Singapore, the severity of the issue has been largely underestimated. Human trafficking continues to impact countries all over the world including Singapore, and we believe that by driving widespread public awareness and support to counter this, we will be able to help prevent exploitation and better protect the victims at large. We are delighted to see how the use of technology and the IOM X Learn, Act and Share App have helped us to gain quick and accurate insights into the public’s understanding of the issue, and this information will help us to design better activities and messages that are relevant to the rest of the ASEAN community." Tara Dermott, Program Leader, IOM X
"Over the last decade, the global community has made appreciable progress in understanding human trafficking. Social media and technology have played a crucial role in expanding our efforts to raise awareness by enabling us to reach new audiences and to amplify our message." Blair Hall, Deputy Chief of Mission, U.S. Embassy Singapore
Spokespeople
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About IOM X

IOM X is the International Organization for Migration’s (IOM) innovative campaign to encourage safe migration and public action to stop exploitation and human trafficking.

The campaign leverages the power and popularity of media and technology to inspire young people and their communities to act against human trafficking. IOM X moves beyond raising awareness to effecting behaviour change by applying a Communication for Development (C4D), evidenced-based and participatory framework to tailor messaging for its activities.

The campaign is produced in partnership with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).

Learn more at IOMX.org

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