The Bali Process on People Smuggling, Trafficking in Persons and Related Transnational Crime

UNESCO Projects Related to the Trafficking of Girls and Women

1. Research on the Trade in Minority Girls and Women from Yunnan, Myanmar/Burma, and Lao PDR into Thailand.

This is a long-term, on-going (1996 - 2002) cooperative research project between the Culture Unit of UNESCO/PROAP and the Ophidian Research Institute. The research has been supported by grants from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, the Else Sackler Foundation, and the Spunk Fund Inc. The research contributes to the UN IAP.

Focus: The project investigates the cultural, economic, historical and social factors in the trade in minority girls and women in the Upper Mekong region. The objective is to analyze the structure of the trade in women and girls from highland minorities, through time, in order to develop knowledge-based prevention strategies.Coverage: Myanmar/Burma, Lao PDR, Thailand, and Yunnan, China.

2. Social Sentinel Surveillance for Trafficking.

This project is being carried out by UNESCO/PROAP (Culture Unit) for the UN Inter-Agency Project on Trafficking. The pilot phase of the project began in January 2001, and will run for 18 months.

Focus: The aim of this project is the development and testing of a village-based, GIS-linked sentinel surveillance system and computerized database for tracking and analyzing the changing patterns in the trade in girls and women from the Upper Mekong sub-region, as this trade flows into Thailand. The project works with numerous NGOs (coordinated by FACE) and agencies.

3. Minority Language Radio Programming for Trafficking Prevention.

This project is being undertaken in cooperation with Radio Thailand, Chiangmai. (The project started in 2/2001).

Focus: The project will produce culturally appropriate radio programs in Akha, Lahu, Lisu, Yao (Mien), Hmong, Shan and Karen to address issues relevant to trafficking and other migration dangers.

The Culture Unit of UNESCO will work with Radio Thailand, Chiangmai in the production and testing of programs and audio tapes in minority languages. The station already broadcasts in these seven languages, and has a large audience extending into Southern China and Laos.

Other partners include, the UN IAP, numerous minority NGOs and networks. In the future, we will be developing cooperation with ILO/IPEC.

The first product will be the development of a Shan 'soap opera', which will explore the dangers of trafficking in a compelling way designed to appeal young people. The program will be developed in cooperation with Shan women's groups.

UNESCO will also provide training in radio production, writing, and programming for local groups to contribute programs on this and related issues.

4. Highland Citizenship Project. (2001-2002)

Focus: Our research has shown that lack of citizenship is the single greatest risk factor for hill tribe women in Thailand for being trafficked. This project will train and support NGOs to assist hill tribespeople in meeting the Thai requirements for registration and citizenship.

UNESCO will cooperate with the UN Inter-Agency Project on Trafficking of Women and Children (IAP) and with a wide variety of Thai and hill tribe NGOs, universities, and Thai Government agencies.

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