Project Profile

Partnering with Companies to Counter Human Trafficking in Thailand

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Project Name

Thailand Counter Trafficking in Persons Project (USAID Thailand CTIP)

client

United States Agency for International Development Regional Development Mission for Asia (RDMA)

Prime Contractor

Winrock International

Partner Organizations 

Resonance, BBC Media Action, Liberty Shared

Country

Thailand

Time Period

October 2017- September 2020

Mechanism

Leader with Associate Awards (LWA)

Challenge

Human trafficking is a global crime that involves the movement of persons through the use of force, fraud, or coercion for the purposes of exploitation. Trafficking is a modern form of slavery, depriving victims of their humanity and basic freedom. Many victims are channeled into forced labor – involuntary work done under threat of penalty.

According to the Global Slavery Index, there are an estimated 610,000 victims and survivors of modern slavery living in Thailand. Thailand is a source, transit, and destination country for trafficking in persons. Human trafficking in Thailand is fueled by demand for low-skilled labor in sectors such as agriculture and fishing, tourism, and construction, and it is enabled by deep-rooted social discrimination, as well as a lack of regulation or enforcement.

Solution

The USAID Thailand Counter Trafficking in Persons project (USAID Thailand CTIP) is a $10 million, five-year effort to reduce trafficking in persons and better protect victims’ rights in Thailand. The project works to reduce demand and incentives for using trafficked labor, empower at-risk populations to safeguard their rights, and strengthen protection systems for survivors. The project focuses on the agriculture/seafood, construction, and domestic work sectors. 

As a sub-implementing partner to Winrock International, Resonance leads private sector engagement (PSE) and development of strategic, shared-value partnerships to help counter vulnerabilities to forced labor and worker exploitation in supply chains in Thailand. We look to creatively engage companies – from social enterprises and small and medium enterprises to large Thai conglomerates and global brands – to reduce risk to human trafficking in business operations and provide support and opportunities to at-risk populations and survivors.  

Key Results

  • Partnership to Support Fair Labor at Sea – Through both the USAID Thailand CTIP project and the USAID Asia CTIP regional project, Resonance has helped broker, develop, and implement a partnership with leading global pet care provider, Mars Petcare. The partners seek to reduce labor exploitation in the seafood supply chain in Thailand and beyond. Partnership activities focus on improving worker voice on fishing vessels at sea, building industry capacity for responsible recruitment, and facilitating broader engagement among private sector, government, and civil society stakeholders.
  • Sustainable Sugarcane Partnership – Resonance has helped broker, develop, and implement a partnership to pilot FairAgora Asia’s Verifik8 technology to improve worker voice and wellbeing, increase labor transparency, and promote fair recruitment practices within Thailand’s sugarcane industry. Through this collaboration, USAID Thailand CTIP is supporting the social enterprise FairAgora Asia as it adds new social metric features to Verifik8, a sustainability analytics platform traditionally used to help farms measure environmental sustainability performance. These additions will allow the tool to measure labor standards and worker wellbeing at the farm level. The partners will pilot the new version of the tool in sugar mills and farms in Thailand that source to large global buyers. Collaborating partners include a range of stakeholders involved in the production and sale of sugarcane in Thailand, from smallholder farms and sugar processing mills to large global food and beverage companies.  
  • Rapid Partnership Appraisal (RPA) – Early in the project, Resonance led a robust mapping exercise to identify opportunities for partnerships that leverage private sector influence, skills, and resources to achieve greater impact and sustainability for counter trafficking efforts in Thailand. The team conducted interviews with 26 companies, business associations, NGOs, and government agencies, and identified six partnership opportunities. 
  • Developing Capacity and Sharing Learnings around PSE for CTIP – To develop the capacity of local actors and others who work to combat human trafficking in Thailand, Resonance provides technical assistance focused on PSE and partnership development. We also develop and disseminate knowledge and learnings related to PSE for countering trafficking in persons (CTIP). Examples include:
    • We led PSE capacity development sessions for local NGOs who help combat human trafficking across Thailand;
    • We shared key learnings on PSE for countering human trafficking through a webinar hosted by Freedom Collaborative, an online community platform that unites stakeholders engaged in CTIP efforts worldwide. Titled “Engaging the Private Sector for CTIP (Lessons Learned, Considerations and Partnerships),” the webinar encouraged discourse on meaningful PSE and partnerships to combat labor trafficking;
    • We developed PSE-related resources, guidance documents, and tools designed to increase the knowledge and capacity of NGOs, government, and other critical stakeholders in Thailand to collaborate effectively with the private sector on counter-trafficking issues.

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