Asia Region Anti-Trafficking Conference - Day Three

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 continue to hear from our dear friend, Lisa Cheong, as she recalls her experience at the conference.

DAY 3 - ARAT CONFERENCE

Momentum continued building on Day 3 of ARAT as we moved from a broad regional perspective to drill deeper on specific issues.

In the morning session, Carolyn Kitto and Fuzz Kitto, presented on ''Shared Responsibility'' and emphasized the need to see beyond the problem to find solutions. They also quoted from a book called ''Collaborating with the Enemy'' by Adam Kahane on how to work with people we don’t agree with, like or trust. Talk about stretching one’s perspective and moving out of comfort zones!

This set the tone for the rest of the day as we moved into ''speed networking'' – a time for connecting with others in the room that we have not met before. It’s been such a blessing to share and hear from others that we normally do not come across. Another wonderful way to build a learning community that is beyond our borders!

The rest of the morning was spent on “Framing the Issues”, a brainstorming exercise involving our collective experiences on various issues ranging from sex trafficking, forced marriage, labor trafficking, migration and refugees, and domestic work. This laid the groundwork for afternoon, as there were corresponding breakout sessions for each of these topics as a time to learn from experts and from other practitioners. Each breakout session focused on drawing out the the issues, gaps and overlaps in services, trafficking patterns and routes of victims, and intervention strategies. This was all mapped out by everyone on a physical map as a visual and collective exercise.

I love the fact that these learning opportunities today have challenged us all to think outside of the box – we have to, particularly in the process of collaborating with “the enemy” to achieve the same goal of ending human trafficking. Entertaining new types or forms of collaboration (while a stretch) is ultimately a powerful practice if we can move pass our egos and agendas. Our network solution will have the greatest impact.

ARAT proved to be an amazing opportunity to cultivate new friendships and encourage each other to keep running the race that has been set before us.

Written by 

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.