Navigator – Supporting Safe Migration and Antitrafficking Efforts in Myanmar and Nepal

Navigator – Supporting Safe Migration and Antitrafficking Efforts in Myanmar and Nepal

Overview

In Myanmar and Nepal, nearly 10% of the population works abroad. Many people are vulnerable to exploitation because they lack information about risks, resources, and the legal process.

Through the first phase of the Navigator program, IREX focused deeply at the community level to address "first-mile" human trafficking risks faced by migrants in Nepal and Myanmar. Based on the program's initial assessments, we found that migrants who are prepared in the first mile are better able to protect themselves throughout an often exploitative process.

The Navigator project partners with public information hubs, like libraries, to give migrants accurate information about migration and strengthen community support for safe migration practices.

The project also trains law enforcement officials and supports journalists reporting on human trafficking. Navigator is made possible through a grant from the Walmart Foundation.

Quick Facts

  • Navigator partners with READ Nepal and People Forum for Human Rights in Nepal and with Myanmar Book Aid and Preservation Foundation (MBAPF) in Myanmar.
  • In Myanmar, Navigator works in Yangon, Bago, and Magway—three regions where migrants face the greatest risks of exploitation.
  • In Nepal, the program works in Kavrepalanchwok, Chitwan, Nawalparasi, Bardiya, and Kailali.
  • Navigator has reached 79,000 migrants and families with information about migrating more safely and productively.

Goals

  • Equip people to avoid the worst risks of migration by making accurate information available and accessible at the community level.
  • Build networks between the local institutions that support trafficking victims.
  • Prepare criminal justice system actors, such as police and prosecutors, to effectively serve victims of trafficking.

Project Activities

  • Needs assessment and gap analysis: Working with regional experts on trafficking in persons, the program developed a needs assessment and gap analysis framework to evaluate strengths and weaknesses in countries' efforts to combat trafficking. Using this framework, staff conducted a base assessment of what is creating the gap between policy and laws, and between levels of protection and enforcement in Nepal and Myanmar.
  • Training and reporting stipend program for journalists: Media actors shape perceptions and guide the public conversation about human trafficking.  Navigator worked with Antenna Foundation in Nepal and Yangon Journalism School (YJS) in Myanmar to trains journalists on responsibly reporting about trafficking to broaden the reach of education and awareness initiatives and ensure wider availability of accurate information. Navigator has trained more than 90 journalists.
  • Community resources and information: Navigator is equipping libraries, schools, and other civil society organizations to offer accurate information about legal rights and safe migration, and referrals to appropriate support organizations. Library led community education empowerment initiatives have reached nearly 79,000 people so far.
  • Tailored frameworks for Criminal Justice System (CJS) strengthening: Navigator organized trainings and workshops for CJS stakeholders in Nepal and Myanmar, including judicial committee members, community paralegals, Civil Society Organizations (CSOs), and local police. The program has equipped 140 criminal justice actors to more effectively support access to justice.
  • Technology tools: In Myanmar, Navigator is partnering with the International Organization for Migration to update the existing Miss Migration chatbot. The chatbot provides accurate information to migrants and potential migrants via Facebook, which is the primary source of information for more than 40% of Myanmar’s people and is used regularly by more than 70%.

Partners

Logos for the Walmart Foundation, MBAPF, and READ Global

People

Contact

Amber Ehrke, aehrke@irex.org

Tags

  • Civil Society
  • Gender Equality & Inclusion
  • Media
  • Youth
  • Asia
  • Myanmar (Burma)
  • Nepal