In Southeast Asia
Extreme vulnerability caused by lack of development and education, coupled with inadequate response systems, allows traffickers to flourish.
To reduce vulnerability, ZFA supports anti-trafficking training programs that build awareness and sensitivity among the vulnerable and empower them to protect themselves.
The first step is helping the community to recognize the problem. Our community outreach and public awareness campaigns target the most vulnerable – poor families, rural communities, youth and children. The campaigns help local communities to realise it is important to acknowledge the problem and to work together to prevent the problem from growing.
The next step is to create a vigilant community safety net to continue policing long after the initial training has ended. ZFA’s work in Southeast Asia is based in Thailand where we support education and practical training programs to assist government agencies, local law enforcement, schools, social service providers, village leaders and local faith-based organisations to identify, prevent and report trafficking. ZFA’s in-country partner has built a referral network primarily in the cities and rural areas of Thailand but also in locations in other countries that acts as an early warning system to identify at-risk children and communities.
The team at ZOE deals with human trafficking professionally. As we educate more people and awareness of human trafficking and slavery grows, more victims are identified. Since 2007, ZOE International Foundation has received 767 case referrals and requests to provide services prompting 236 investigations resulting in 149 children receiving help. In addition, over 18,000 individuals in Thailand have completed ZOE’s human trafficking awareness program.
In Australia, ZFA raises awareness through the media, entertainment industry, influential voices, speaking engagements, internet communities, and by encouraging university and high school involvement. We strongly believe that awareness of the trafficking problem must be widespread and cooperation and collaboration among anti-trafficking organisations strengthened.
In 2014 ZFA teamed up with accomplished curriculum writer Mark Easton, to develop a set of six lesson plans to give teachers the resources they need to teach Year Ten students about child trafficking and the ways in which organisations and individuals are responding.
The lesson plans are based on a case study of a Burmese girl who was forced to work in a begging ring. Students follow her story from her kidnap in Myanmar through her experiences in Thailand and eventual repatriation to her family. This is based on an actual case although some of the details have been changed to protect her identity.