March 2018

TCDN conducts community forum, bringing together various stakeholders, to address trafficking in persons and safe migration

Human rights abuses are all too common in border areas of Myanmar. However, Thwee Community Development Network (TCDN), through a grant from Tetra Tech’s Promoting the Rule of Law Project (PRLP), is addressing these abuses by utilizing interactive forums to engage the community. Recently, TCDN held an Anti-Trafficking and Safe Migration Forum at Myawaddy for 130 participants (53 women and 77 men) from 34 organizations, including civil society, the Kayin State Parliament, media, religious leaders, and government departments from both Myanmar and Thailand. The forum sought to:

  • Raise awareness of trafficking in persons (TIP) and safe migration at border areas;
  • Enhance the rule of law as part of the democratic transition;
  • Address the challenges and needs of trafficked persons and migrant workers; and
  • Improve collaboration between Myanmar and Thailand to combat TIP and support survivors/victims.

The forum was an interactive process with 5 discussion groups focused on trafficking issues, rights of women and children, safe migration, health and education of migrant worker’s children, and drug and gambling prevention. Over a two-day period, group leaders facilitated a process that identified issues and developed solutions that fit with the local community. Recommendations from the groups were compiled and presented to Members of Parliament and key stakeholders to build commitment for change and promote new measures at the regional parliament. The forum also included role plays based on true stories and songs for active participation by community members and high school students.

Through their grant, TCDN is collaborating with various government officials and community organizations to support victims/survivors by providing counseling and safe houses. Additional activities include advocacy meetings and workshops with local government officials. Their community based approach continues to bring together local citizens and government officials to find the best solutions to assist victim/survivors and protect vulnerable populations. With support from PRLP, TCDN continues to provide a more inclusive and responsive approach to addressing TIP and preventing human rights abuses.

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