The WSCF AP Human Rights Workshop on the theme, "Youth, Migration and Human Trafficking" was held from 2-10 of June 2008 in Bogor, Jawa Barat, Indonesia hosted by SCM Indonesia (GMKI). It gathered together 30 young people who are Human Rights officers or Coordinators of the SCMs in Asia-Pacific to learn and share about the social, cultural, gendered, political, religious and economic problems concerning ‘forced’ migration and human trafficking. It had the following specific objectives:
The Workshop had the following components in its program:
A keynote presentation on the Regional and Global Context and Perspective on Migration and Human Trafficking was presented by a migrant leader, Connie Bragas Regalado from a Migrant organization called MIGRANTE. A Student Panel Presentation was organized on specific issues of Migration and Trafficking from the perspective of participants from Australia, Philippines, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Myanmar, Thailand, Korea and Taiwan. An input on Migration, Trafficking and Human Rights (UN International Conventions on Migration) and Case Studies on Human Rights, Migration and Trafficking from Mr. Wahyu Susilo from Migrant organization in Indonesia.
These inputs from resource persons, country reports from participants and group discussion helped participants to understand the varied aspect of forced migration and trafficking in different countries, such as forced marriage between migrant women and local men in Korea and Taiwan, the right of abode for mainland Chinese women coming to Hong Kong, the Labor Export Policies (LEPs) in the Philippines and Indonesia, trafficking of Thai women for prostitution to Australia, cross-border trafficking in Thailand, child-trafficking in India, forced migration due to the armed conflict in Sri Lanka.
The Workshop enabled participants to deepen their analysis of the problems experienced by people who are ‘forced’ as migrant workers or victims of human trafficking, and draw parallel stories from the Bible Studies presented by Rev. Emmi Sahitian and reflect upon their role as Christian youth in responding to the problem of Migrations and Trafficking.
Without confining the participants to the discussions and bible studies, they saw the face of migration as they were exposed to the realities of Indonesian migrants settled in the 2 villages of Sukabumi in West Indonesia. They understood the pain and pathos of the Migrants as they lived and interacted with families and migrants returnees from Malaysia and Middle East, who shared their experiences and grievances. Families feared for the lives of their loved ones who have left them to work abroad but are now missing. Stories of physical abuse, sexual abuse, none payment of salary, overworking by the employers and exploitation by recruitment agencies were common among the almost 30 families they lived and shared their time during exposure. Without seeing the help from the government, migrants fall prey to unscrupulous agencies and syndicates, who victimize them again and again even in their own locality where they come from. The so-called development impact of migration claimed by the Indonesian government is contradictory to the current living conditions of the migrant people and their families in these communities.
At the last two days of the Workshop, a skills training on Human Rights Advocacy work was led by Necta Montes Rocas. This session included inputs on the nature and objectives of Human Rights Advocacy Work, the aims and objectives of Advocacy Work, Stages of Advocacy, Forms and Techniques of Advocacies and Advocacy Plan. At the end of this session, participants were able to develop their HR Advocacy Plans at the national level.