1 December 2015

Singaporeans are familiar with human trafficking but underestimate its extent

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

As part of the project, university students from the National University of Singapore (NUS) and Singapore Management University (SMU) used the new IOM X Learn, Act and Share App to test 100 Singaporeans’ knowledge on the issue.

Findings revealed that while a majority of Singaporeans (75%) knew the correct definition of human trafficking, only half of them (50%) were able to correctly identify who could be a potential victim of human trafficking. In addition, when asked about the total number of human trafficking victims globally, majority of the respondents underestimated the gravity of the issue, with the average response coming up to only 11 million, which equates to around half (53%) of the actual 20.9 million victims globally.

“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 yesterday’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 Singapore’s Deputy Chief of Mission Blair Hall, Microsoft’s Vice President Asia, Public Sector, Stefan Sjöström, actress and advocate Eunice Olsen, U.N. Women Singapore Committee’s Public Awareness & Youth Initiatives Manager Mrinalini Venkatachalam and Jolovan Wham, Executive Director of the Humanitarian Organization for Migration Economics (HOME).

“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, US 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.

View the associated video

posted from Bloggeroid