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Apprise: Sentinel Surveillance of Labor Exploitation and Its’ Potential Impact on Migration Policy

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Regional Integration and Migration Governance in the Global South

Part of the book series: United Nations University Series on Regionalism ((UNSR,volume 20))

Abstract

Migration within and between countries in the Global South is an increasingly significant factor in the social and economic development of developing countries. While this strategy has benefited millions of internal and international migrants, it has also given rise to exploitative working conditions, as booming markets and rapid urbanization have led to a constant demand for cheap labor. These exploitative working conditions, when left unchecked, can range from payment under minimum wage and discrimination, to more severe kinds of exploitation, resulting in situations of forced labor, through a process of human trafficking. This chapter introduces Apprise, a system we have developed and are currently piloting in Thailand to support a sentinel surveillance approach to identify patterns of exploitation. It describes the design and evaluation of Apprise to support frontline responders to consistently and proactively screen for and identify victims of exploitation among vulnerable populations, including migrant workers. The chapter argues that by storing screening responses, these records can become a critical resource to inform migration policy, by providing a nuanced understanding of trends and patterns of exploitation. This data can be used by policymakers to formulate responses in order to prevent new cases of exploitation, protect victims, and to prosecute exploiters.

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Notes

  1. 1.

    ASEAN, the Association of South East Asian Nations is a regional intergovernmental organization comprising: Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam.

  2. 2.

    As defined by ILO Minimum Age Convention (C-138) and ILO Worst Forms of Child Labor Convention (C-182).

  3. 3.

    Prior to undertaking this study, research approval was obtained from the UNU-CS Human Subjects Research Process Board (#201703-01).

  4. 4.

    Each question must be aligned to a law enforcement act, as ‘victimhood’ in legal terms is an infringement of either criminal or labor law.

  5. 5.

    We use the language selected for interview as a proxy for nationality of worker.

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Acknowledgments

This work is undertaken in collaboration with The Mekong Club, an anti-human trafficking NGO based in Hong Kong, and funded by Humanity United and Freedom Fund.

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Correspondence to Hannah Thinyane .

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Thinyane, H., Sassetti, F. (2020). Apprise: Sentinel Surveillance of Labor Exploitation and Its’ Potential Impact on Migration Policy. In: Rayp, G., Ruyssen, I., Marchand, K. (eds) Regional Integration and Migration Governance in the Global South. United Nations University Series on Regionalism, vol 20. Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-43942-2_11

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