Recently we just finished hosting our first Asia Region Anti-Trafficking Conference in partnership with STOP THE TRAFFIK Australia. We both believe that businesses, unions, government, academia and NGOs really need to work together. Only together can we end this crime and change the lives of many people. It’s a shared responsibility and it takes multi-sector collaboration. Today, we conclude our series hearing from our dear friend, Lisa Cheong, as she recalls her experience at the conference.
DAY 4 - ARAT CONFERENCE
The final day at the ARAT Conference focused on looking at solutions!
Breakout groups in the morning were split up based on solution topics, such as legal and investigation, advocacy, prevention, freedom business, aftercare and research.
I had the pleasure of working with Matthew Fairfax, the founder of the freedom business Kate Korpi Salon in Cambodia, to facilitate the solutions breakout session on Social Enterprises & Freedom Businesses. Attendees had the opportunity to debrief on their strategy, roles, understanding goals, outcomes and also the assumptions they made in their own freedom businesses. The purpose was to look at what assumptions we are making that can limit our approach to business management and proposed solutions.
The entire conference then reconvened again to hear summaries and key learnings from each breakout session. This format enabled all the participants to continue to learn about issues/solutions even if they were not at those breakout groups.
The final activity on Day 4 was a further drill down exercise attendees were asked to form groups based on the countries they were working in and representing. After multiple breakout sessions on issues and solutions, there was definitely a need to see connections made with grassroots practitioners within the countries that they are working in, and ensure that the connections we are making at ARAT continued when we all returned home!
All in all, it has been one of the most encouraging conferences I have been to. Lots of practical learning opportunities about the issues, deep understanding of the importance of collaboration and partnerships and some tangible takeaways. It has been a time where new ideas or new seeds have been planted and the opportunity to develop new pathways for collaboration.
Thank you, Chab Dai and STOP THE TRAFFIK, for showing us the power of collaboration when multiple sectors join together in a space for learning and networking!
Lisa J Cheong, Managing Director of Indradevi Consulting Group (ICG) - Cambodia
At ICG, we seek to create a future that awakens passion, ignites purpose and unleashes the unique potential of Khmer women and girls in all spheres of society through a collaborative process. As a women’s training development company, we provide holistic, customized and contextualized value-based training solutions focused on engaging, equipping and empowering women and girls with the tools and skills needed to enhance their personal and professional development.