IOM X AND YOUTUBE STARS TO YOUNG THAIS: YOU CAN PREVENT EXPLOITATION IN MANUFACTURING

BANGKOK, 27 MARCH 2018 – Young Thais have the power to change the world. This was the message at the launch of IOM X’s Do you know who made it? campaign today, which asks young Thais to take the lead in making smart purchasing decisions that reinforce the fair treatment of workers in the manufacturing industry.

IOM X is the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID)’s campaign to prevent human trafficking and exploitation.

In partnership with some of Thailand’s top YouTube creators, IOM X will reach more than 13 million Thai YouTube users with stories that highlight the good side and the bad side of the manufacturing industry.

From Bie the Ska’s drama depicting a father’s misery on the production line of a mobile phone factory, producing the very product his daughter is begging him for; to VRZO’s “Happy”, an ironic look at how clothes are marketed, versus how they are made; to BILLbilly01’s animated music video highlighting the fact that there are people making the clothes that we wear, IOM X’s Do you know who made it? campaign deep dives the manufacturing industry.

Softpomz gets  the inside scoop from kids on what’s fair and what’s not when it comes to work; and Picnicly interviews restaurant owners working to improve the lives of their staff and suppliers.

“Here’s the truth: whenever we make a purchase, we risk supporting exploitation. But if we choose what we buy wisely, we can contribute to breaking the cycle of abuse that harms the people behind the products,” said Tara Dermott, IOM X Program Leader.

There are approximately 16.6 million people in forced labour in Asia Pacific, across a variety of industries, including manufacturing. [1] Annual illegal profits from forced labour in Asia, including manufacturing, are an estimated US$52 billion. [2]

Human trafficking victims in manufacturing jobs in Asia Pacific often live in substandard housing, are not paid their full salaries and have their documents confiscated to prevent them from leaving their jobs. [3] They may be subjected to unpaid overtime, hazardous working conditions (such as working with toxic chemicals and dangerous machinery) and are at risk of injuries resulting from repetitive motions. [4] Not having the right protective clothing and gear can lead to serious health issues such as cancer, respiratory illnesses, dermatological problems, liver damage, hearing problems and neurological problems. [5]

Debt bondage – the practice of forcing someone to pay off a loan by working – is a common practice used in the manufacturing industry to keep victims bound to their workplace. For example, a migrant working in the electronics manufacturing industry in Southeast Asia pays an average of US$500-1,200 in recruitment fees; often these fees are then deducted from the worker’s salary. [6]

IOM X launched the Do you know who made it? campaign with USAID, Google Thailand, Love Frankie and TQPR.

Visit IOMX.org/tham to better understand where the products you buy come from, and how you can help prevent the exploitation of the people who make them.

REFERENCES:

[1] International Labour Organization, Walk Free Foundation and International Organization for Migration (2017), Global estimates of modern slavery: forced labour and forced marriage, p.19.

[2] International Labour Organization (2014), Profits and Poverty: The Economics of Forced Labour p. 13. 

[3] Verité (2012), Human Trafficking & Global Supply Chains: A Background Paper, p. 18. Available from http://www.ohchr.org/Documents/Issues/Trafficking/Consultation/2012/BackgroundPaper.pdf.

[4] Verité (2015), Strengthening Protections Against Trafficking in Persons in Federal and Corporate Supply Chains, p. 51.

[5] Ibid, p. 51; 127.

[6] Ibid, p. 54.

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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