Webinar Wrap Up

December 11, 2023

Last month, more than 150 people joined Blue Dragon’s expert panel for a webinar on the unfolding human-trafficking crisis in Southeast Asia. 

The webinar was a collaborative effort between Blue Dragon and Humanity Research Consultancy (HRC), two organisations working to eliminate human trafficking. 

During the session, the panel discussed why there’s been an explosion in instances of human trafficking, what’s causing this troubling trend, how it’s affecting the victims, and what we can do about it.

An Expert-led Panel

Blue Dragon’s founder and strategic director Michael Brosowski spoke of the emergence of trafficking for forced scamming. This new form slavery is taking place in locations referred to as scam compounds. These compounds are popping up across Southeast Asia, with a significant number in Myanmar and Cambodia. Inside them, the victims — often lured there by false job promises — are forced to defraud people around the world.

The growth of this new form of slavery has brought with it a change in the demographics of victims being trafficked. Caitlin Wyndham, research and learning leader at Blue Dragon and an expert in anti-trafficking research and analysis, shared her insights into who is being trafficked and how this differs from what we’ve seen in the past. 

Also among the panellists was HRC’s founder Mina Chiang. Mina has recently been on the ground in Sihanoukville, Cambodia, the town with the largest concentration of these scam compounds. Based on the testimonials of victims who have escaped or been rescued, Mina provided an account of what life is like for people kept in these appalling conditions and the tragic consequences for those who try to flee.

Even once a person is rescued from these compounds, it’s not the end of their suffering; the psychological damage lives on. Tra-My Tran, psychology manager at Blue Dragon, spoke about the effect these harrowing experiences can have on the people that endure them and how important trauma-care therapy is.

Blue Dragon's Anti-human trafficking panel of experts

Caitlin Wyndham (top left); Michael Brosowski (top right); Tra-My Tran (bottom left); Mina Chiang (bottom right)

How to end the crisis

Although there is a crisis unfolding, it is important to remember we can make a difference. We are not powerless. This year Blue Dragon has rescued more people than ever from slavery. Through our Anti-Trafficking Boards we have increased protection against human trafficking for more communities than ever before. And we continue to work with the authorities to ensure the perpetrators of these wicked crimes are brought to justice.

To hear more about this emerging form of trafficking, it’s not too late to watch the webinar. Email info@bdcf.org and we’ll send you a link. To keep upto date with all things Blue Dragon, sign up to our newsletter.

 
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