March 2019

Farewell

Tina Chan headshot

Friends,

At the end of March, after four years, I will leave my role as Programme Manager at STOP. My heart is heavy; letting go of something which I believe so strongly in, something which I’ve been a part of building, something which I still hold a vision for, of working with people I care about, is not easy for me.

It’s been an amazing journey. I’ve had the privilege of walking alongside many survivors of trafficking. What will I remember the most vividly? The strength and the hope, the power of survival instinct.

I am deeply proud to have been part of creating STOP, and incredibly grateful to all our friends, staff, volunteers, beneficiaries, supporters, and donors for building this organization with us. Thank you for journeying with us!

— Tina Chan

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Hong Kong

Hong Kong owner of Pacific island casino sued over forced labor, trafficking claims

Date: 15 March 2019 
Source: Reuters

Hong Kong-listed Imperial Pacific, the owner of a multi-billion Saipan gaming project, is being sued by former construction workers who say they were victims of forced labor and human trafficking on the U.S.-administered Pacific island.

Access the article here.

#MyFreedomDay: Hong Kong students take on modern-day slavery

Date: 14 March 2019 
Source: CNN

Young people around the world celebrated #MyFreedomDay, an initiative by CNN Freedom Project with events on March 14 each year. Students at Hong Kong International School hosted a panel discussion, to which STOP was honoured to be invited along with Liberty Shared, The Mekong Club, Fair Employment Agency, Fair Employment Foundation and 24 Hour Race.

Access the article here.

Chief Secretary publishes blogpost on Hong Kong government’s efforts to tackle human trafficking

Date: 10 March 2019 
Source: Chief Secretary for Administration’s Office

The government of Hong Kong has committed $62 million to implement the Action Plan to Tackle Trafficking in Persons and Enhance Protection of FDHs but remains resistant to calls for a comprehensive anti-trafficking law. The government recently held a civil society meeting in which STOP and other NGOs participated.

Access the article here.

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Asia

Vietnamese workers, streaming to Japan, face risks as labour system opens up

Date: 19 March 2019 
Source: Reuters

Vietnamese youth – the fastest-growing group of foreign workers in Japan – will be among those most affected by a new scheme to let in more blue-collar workers that kicks off in April. Currently, reported abuses in Japan include low and unpaid wages, excessive hours, violence and sexual harassment. In Vietnam, unscrupulous recruiters and brokers often charge trainees exorbitant fees.

Access the article here.

Asia ride-hailing giant trains drivers to fight human trafficking

Date: 11 March 2019 
Source: Reuters

Southeast Asia’s largest ride-hailing firm Grab said it is to train its millions of drivers to spot victims of human trafficking. Grab, which operates in eight countries from Vietnam to Indonesia, has teamed up with anti-trafficking group Liberty Shared to offer training through its app, starting this year in Cambodia and the Philippines.

Access the article here.

From camps to factories: Muslim detainees say China using forced labour

Date: 4 March 2019 
Source: Hong Kong Free Press

Former Muslim detainees in Xinjiang say they went from China’s “vocational training centres” to factories where they were forced to work for far less than the local minimum wage. China says the centres are part of its efforts to fight terrorism and separatism and denies any use of forced labour.

Access the article here.

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Global

AI is changing the fight against human trafficking

Date: 15 March 2019 
Source: ASEAN Today

Artificial Intelligence is changing the way investigations into human trafficking are being conducted, triggering a shift to citizen-driven investigations. News apps include Hotels-50K, which identifies hotel locations of child sex-trafficking victims, Traffic Jam, which identifies runaways and missing people, and Be My Protector, which processes reports from the public on suspected cases.

Access the article here.

Africa’s new slavery problem: The trade in human beings thrives on the road to Europe

Date: 14 March 2019 
Source: TIME

As conflict, climate change and lack of opportunity push increasing numbers of people across borders, E.U. policies designed to curb migration funnel them into the hands of traffickers. In Europe, vulnerable migrants are being forced to toil unpaid in the fields picking tomatoes, olives and citrus fruits and trafficked into prostitution rings.

Access the article here.

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Resources

Report: “Give Us a Baby and We’ll Let You Go”: Trafficking of Kachin “Brides” from Myanmar to China

Date: 21 March 2019 
Source: Human Rights Watch

This report, based on interviews of 37 survivors, reveals harrowing stories of brides trafficked from the Kachin ethnic minority in Myanmar to China. The report has recommendations for the Myanmar and Chinese governments to tackle the problem.

Access the report here.

Documentary & Photo Journal: Troubled Waters: Child slaves risk their lives on Ghana’s Lake Volta

Date: 28 February 2019 
Source: CNN

Around 20,000 children work on Lake Volta in Ghana, enslaved by the fishermen they call “master.” They are sold by their desperately poor parents to human traffickers, sometimes for as little as $250.

Access the documentary here. 
Access the photo journal here.