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World Day Against Human Trafficking – Singapore
July 30, 2022 @ 8:00 am - 5:00 pm
Human Trafficking – a Global Concern
Human trafficking has always been a pressing public concern which transcends all races, social classes, demographics and gender. No population is exempted from such ever-present threats. Human traffickers are motivated by greed, they do not respect human rights, and preying on the vulnerable, thus damaging the psychological, emotional and physical well-being of their victims.
Use and Abuse of Technology
As the world evolved with advances in technology, traffickers have since made use of trending social media to recruit their victims. Many of these social media involves apps where traffickers could go into to obtain the personal information of users and the ability to have private conversations with them. These popular Apps are Facebook, Tiktok, Instagram, Twitter, Reddit, WeChat, Youtube, etc. As such this year’s World Day Against Human Trafficking theme titled “Use and Abuse of Technology” is very relevant to our women and children.
Teenagers and Social Media
We had 3 participants aged 7 to 14 years of age, who were all exposed to social media as mentioned above. During the activity, Ms. Brenda showed two videos on how social media was used and manipulated by creating fake profiles in order to attract young girls ages between ages of 12 to 18 years old.
Video A (Source – Youtube): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6jMhMVEjEQg&t=0s)
Video B (Source – Youtube):https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7mH93tQ4n8M
After watching the videos, one resident expressed that she was puzzled as to why the teenager in Video A would come out of her house to meet the boy. The question started off with a good session for residents to share their opinions. One of them shared that the girl was curious about boys at that age. While another resident shared that perhaps that girl needed love and was desperate. The residents’ opinions were similar to that of Video B. One resident got the message on the dangers of social media and that one must be careful when using social media.
Ms. Brenda then moved on to enforce the 3 stages of human trafficking (ACT + Means + Purpose = Human Trafficking). To further enforce the 3 stages, Ms Brenda showed a slide on teaching residents how to spot a traffickers and what traffickers look for when they are online.
At the end of session, the residents made their own poster by choosing and writing on social media apps which they are familiar with as a reminder on what they have learnt about social media and how they could protect their love ones. From their written work, one can see that they have got the message of setting their social media account to private settings, not to talk to strangers and not to share too much of their personal life with strangers on the internet.
Towards the end of the programme one resident shared that the biggest impact on her was the video of those teenagers meeting the boy with the fake profile. She realised that while she is curious about the opposite sex which is part of her developmental growth at age 14, she needed to know herself more in order to be grounded should she meet with similar situation when using social media.