Microsoft is doing its part to reduce human trafficking in Thailand by helping with an educational program. It seeks to educate youth about technology to provide the knowledge and tools to fight the practice.
One arm of the project will take place in Phuket at Prince of Songkla University, with the provinces' Vice Governer, Teera Anantaseriwidhya acting as chair.
“I am quite concerned about youth in isolated rural areas as they are vulnerable and at risk of becoming victims of human trafficking,” said Teera. “Providing computer and IT knowledge to students is a step in the right direction. When students learn these skills, they can broaden their knowledge and have a lot more information at their fingertips – not only about human trafficking, but other areas as well.”
In 2014, the US Department of State categorized Thailand as a Tier 3 destination for human trafficking. Many victims are forced into the sex trade of labor. “Tens of thousands of victims, by conservative estimates—are migrants from Thailand's neighboring countries who are forced, coerced, or defrauded into labor or exploited in the sex trade,” said the report.
The new program will trial with 1,200 students and will cover seven provinces in Thailand. As well as Phuket, campuses in Chiang Mai, Chaing Rai, Payao, Yala, Pattani, and Narathiwat will participate.
This isn't the only human trafficking program Microsoft has hosted in Thailand. In May, the Redmond giant hosted its YouthSpark event with the goal of raising awareness and training.
Workshops on cover the creation of promotional videos through technology and anti-tracking mechanisms. Over 220 youth participated in the project, making it an ideal proving ground for today's bigger program.
Microsoft continues to do good work in Thailand and other regions, supporting important issues. With hope, the trial will lead to further expansion and a reduction in victims as a result.