Is youth engagement crucial in running successful awareness-raising campaigns?


GLO.ACT Kyrgyz Media Planning with YouthIssyk - Kul Region, Kyrgyz Republic - 7 August 2018 - The Global Action against Trafficking in Persons and the Smuggling of Migrants ( GLO.ACT) organized, from 2-4 July 2018, a media workshop for over 30 representatives of youth organizations from seven regions of the Kyrgyz Republic. The workshop was organized in close cooperation with the State Agency on Youth Affairs under the government of the Kyrgyz Republic, and in partnership with GLO.ACT project implementing partners IOM and UNICEF.

In terms of context, the last migration report of the State Migration Service published in 2017 reveals that about 47% youth stated that they want to leave the country for the purpose of employment abroad. Yet most of them do not know anything about the relevant legislation of their destination country, including employment rules and procedures. Therefore, they become one of the most vulnerable groups targeted by criminal migrant smuggling and human trafficking networks.

GLO.ACT Kyrgyz Media Planning with YouthIn 2017, GLO.ACT organized the nationwide awareness rising campaign entitled "100 Days against Trafficking in Persons in the Kyrgyz Republic" in partnership with key government stakeholders and civil society in seven regions of the country.  The campaign covered a broad range of public events organized by each region with the participation of over 10,000 people, including over 70% youth. Following the successful delivery of the "100 Days against Trafficking in Persons" campaign, a closing conference was organized in January 2018 thath led to a set of recommendations for the future. One of the main recommendations was for participants to further engage youth and youth organizations and directly involve them in the planning and delivery of the 2018 awareness raising campaign by using a "peer to peer" approach. The thinking behind this was that such an approach would lead to even better outcomes and may result in behavioral change amongst youth.

In his welcoming remarks, Mr. Mirlan Parkhanov said, "Youth have the power to change their future. We have to work together with relevant government stakeholders and civil society to effectively prevent human trafficking and migrant smuggling amongst the young population. Many young people are leaving the country, and we need to educate everyone about the potential risks."

GLO.ACT Kyrgyz Media Planning with Youth

This was the first time that over 30 representatives from youth organizations and young leaders attended a media workshop organized by GLO.ACT and relevant civil society organizations. During the workshop, youth organizations and young leaders were taught about trafficking in persons and the smuggling of migrants, their definitions and what the difference is between these two crimes, and how they fit with international and national legal frameworks. They also became more familiar with TIP law implementing government agencies and civil society organizations working in seven regions. GLO.ACT presented a recently launched video and distributed publication capturing the successful delivery of "100 Days against TIP" campaign among workshop participants. The IOM representative shared with workshop participants useful information on existing national referral mechanisms for victims of trafficking in persons and smuggled migrants. This included the sharing of the hotline "189" information about crisis centers and shelters as well as the recently launched mobile application called "Migrant Guide". The UNICEF representative delivered a separate session on forced marriages and child marriages as one of the forms of exploitation of trafficking in persons. They also spoke about the phenomenon of "bride kidnapping" that frequently ends tragically with victims either committing suicide or becoming a homicide statistic. The phenomenon has been on the increase amongst the young population in the Kyrgyz Republic over the past few years.

GLO.ACT Kyrgyz Media Planning with Youth"I can now say that I have a much better understanding about trafficking in persons. It is an issue that touched my heart. As a young leader, I will make a huge effort to help prevent and fight against this crime," said Almira, a young leader from the Osh region during the wrap-up session of the meeting.

The main focus of the 3-day workshop was team building and joint planning to further deliver the "100 Days against TIP" campaign as one team. As a result, a detailed media plan for the delivery of the "100 Days against TIP" campaign was developed by youth organizations, and a new youth network is under establishment. Media plans will be endorsed by local government authorities and will be implemented in partnership with relevant government stakeholders, civil society organizations and international community.

On 12 July, GLO.ACT presented a detailed media plan with cost estimation of activities at the TIP coordination meeting hosted by the OSCE with participation of representatives of the Embassy of the United States of America, IOM, ILO, UNICEF and UN Women. Meeting participants expressed their interest to join and support the nationwide awareness raising campaign that will start on 10 September 2018 and run until 10 December 2018. UNODC will be the lead GLO.ACT agency coordinating all the activities in the seven regions.

GLO.ACT Kyrgyz Media Planning with YouthThe Global Action to Prevent and Address Trafficking in Persons and the Smuggling of Migrants (GLO.ACT) is a four-year (2015-2019), €11 million joint initiative by the European Union (EU) and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC). The project is being implemented in partnership with the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF). GLO.ACT aims to provide assistance to governmental authorities and civil society organizations across 13 strategically selected countries: Belarus, Brazil, Colombia, Egypt, Kyrgyz Republic, Lao PDR, Mali, Morocco, Nepal, Niger, Pakistan, South Africa, Ukraine. GLO.ACT works with the 13 countries to plan and implement strategic national counter-trafficking and counter smuggling efforts through a prevention, protection, prosecution, and partnerships approach. It supports the development of more effective responses to trafficking and smuggling, including providing assistance to victims of trafficking and vulnerable migrants through the strengthening of identification, referral, and direct support mechanisms.


For more information, please contact:

Madina Sarieva
GLO.ACT National Project Officer


Twitter:  @glo_act