Cooperation with JICA

Cooperation with JICA

Event Report

FY2020 Knowledge Co-creation Program "Promotion of Networking among ASEAN Countries on Anti-Trafficking in Persons”

Date:November 20, 2020 / January 28-29, 2021

The purpose of this online seminar was to mutually learn from one another about harm from trafficking in persons that immigrant workers and others have faced during the COVID-19 pandemic in each countries and the measures respective countries have promoted to combat it, and to deepen the networks.

The seminar consisted of a Live Orientation held on November 20, an On-demand Learning Course, and 2 days Live Seminars on the topics of “Immigrant Workers and Trafficking in Persons” and “Online Sexual Exploitation” held on January 28 and 29. In addition to 22 attendees from 6 countries, interested organizations and experts in Japan and staff from JICA’s regional offices joined the seminar as the expanded participants, and lively discussions took place.


November 20 (Fri.) Orientation from 11:30 to 13:00

Online live orientation over Zoom was hosted from NWEC conference room connecting 22 seminar participants in six countries as well as regional office staff. Because of the time differences, the event started at 11:30 in Japan, but 8:30 in Myanmar, 9:00 in Thailand, Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia, and 10:00 in the Philippines. Attendees were given briefings on the schedule of the two-month-long seminar, use of the on-demand platform, and their online assignments.

NWEC Main Conference Room

Online orientation

December 20 (Mon.) to February 1 (Mon.) On-Demand Learning Course

On-Demand Learning Course included “1. Introductions of seminar participants and expanded participation members,” “2. Country Reports,” “3. JICA Project Profiles (Thailand, Vietnam, and Myanmar)”, “4. Overview of Initiatives by Organizations in Japan,” and “5. For Questions & Comments,” with which seminar participants and expanded participation members could learn about conditions in each countries and efforts by different organizations at their convenience.

alt Online platform screen

Country Report presentations (Cambodia)

Country Report presentations (Philippines)

Profiles of Organizations in Japan (Solidarity Network with Migrants Japan)

Profiles of Organizations in Japan (JNATIP)

JICA Project Profiles (Myanmar)

JICA Project Profiles (Myanmar)

January 28 (Thur.) and 29 (Fri.) Live ZOOM Seminar

Day 1

Morning session was devoted to the topic of “Vulnerable people and trafficking in persons in the respective countries during the COVID-19 pandemic.” Participants from six countries gave reports on the latest state of affairs of harm caused by trafficking in persons and issues during the coronavirus pandemic in their countries.

Although the degrees of the damage, e.g. the numbers of infected and dead, and government measures to combat it differed from country to country, common issues cited were that the economic impact has been enormous in sectors where there are many women such as tourism and healthcare/medical services, and that immigrant women, who are particularly vulnerable, and women responsible for much unpaid work, have had to shoulder especially large shares of the burden.

Country Report presentation (Laos)

Country Report presentation (Thailand)

In the afternoon session, support-related organizations in Japan reported on the difficulties that non-Japanese residents have faced during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Solidarity Network with Migrants Japan presented a report on emergency support fund activities and the difficulties that immigrants and refugees in Japan have faced, including the loss of employment opportunities and economic difficulties stemming from an inability to return to their home countries. The Yorisoi Hotline, Ichiryu-kai, the Thai Network in Japan, Waelaa-Waaree, and other organizations that operate help hotlines for foreigners living in Japan and provide support via accompanying services gave reports about violence against foreign residents including domestic violence, the lack of easily understood information, and the difficulties of support activities themselves, among other such matters affecting them during the pandemic.

Day 2

In the morning of Day 2, presentations were given about efforts in Japan and Thailand on the topics of sexual exploitation and sexual violence in cyber space against young women and children.
From Japan, the NPO PAPS reported on the realities of harm done to young people by having sexually explicit images taken against their will spread on the internet and explained PAPS’s support activities for the victims.
From Thailand, officer of the Thai police taskforce on online sexual exploitation and abuse of children and the HUG Project founder Booms Mosby made a presentation on their collaborative activities to tackle the grave issue. They work together from investigations to the taking of victims into protective custody and provide long term support for the children. They have taken over 100 children into protective custody during the lockdown.

In the afternoon, participants gathered by country in breakout rooms on Zoom or in JICA offices, and spent 30 minutes discussing Action Plans.
In their presentation, participants reported that they were able to learn from one another about COVID-19 situation in respective countries and different initiatives. Many stressed the importance of sharing information and data in ASEAN, and the needs to provide training for staffs to improve their skills further, etc.

Online seminar joined by over 70 people from seven countries including Japan, was an opportunity to share with others that while they face universal problems related to the pandemic, there are also circumstances and issues that differ from country to country. Attendees were able to reaffirm the importance of making cooperative ties among them even stronger. The online seminar had concluded with attendees voicing their hope that they will all be able to meet in person in a future event.

alt Commemorative photograph (seminar attendees, expanded participation members, JICA and NWEC staff)

Lastly, we sincerely thank all the organizations and people who gave their invaluable help in creating the online presentation materials as well as support to carry out this online seminar.

International Cooperation