Use LinkedIn to help victims of sex traffickingBY ANDRIES VAISMAN
To raise awareness of sex trafficking in Singapore, a group of us from the BBH Asia Pacific Barn program created a profile on a LinkedIn account based on true stories of victims’ experiences. The profile tells the story of the way many women and children are tricked in to the sex trade every year.
We launched the project in collaboration with the nonprofit Humanitarian Organisation for Migration Economics (HOME) to educate the public about the way in which women and children from all over SE Asia are coerced into illegal sex work against their will. Often times, these women are deceived into taking on debt in her home countries for a jobs that leave them stranded in illegal sex work upon arrival in Singapore.
With nearly 800,000 users in Singapore alone, LinkedIn is the most popular social media platform for professionals to share stories about their careers. That's why we chose it as the core medium. Our goal is to leverage the network to connect with those who have the greatest opportunity to amplify the issue nationally. The more connections the profile makes, the more people are informed about the issue.
Though education is the primary goal, we felt it was important that engaged users could do their part to take action. On the campaign's website, TrickedIn.com, we've included ways for interested individuals to donate to HOME’s existing shelter and even sign up to volunteer to support victims in need of direct assistance.
In its first day, Kim Diya made more than 150 LinkedIn connections, and received online coverage in Asia, Europe and the US. Unfortunately, the account was restricted just a few hours after being released. We've written a plea to get Kim Diya's profile reinstated, and are currently reviewing the case with LinkedIn.
We hope the profile will go back up, but ultimately it's about raising awareness. The Singapore government released a National Plan of Action against trafficking earlier this year; we want everyone to understand what's going on so we can help take steps to address the issue.
For more information on sex trafficking in Singapore, and how users can connect with the project to help, check out www.trickedin.com.