Forming a Coalition
One of the foremost experts on human trafficking and modern-day slavery, Siddharth Kara recently said in a Forbes interview that one “primary challenge has to do with the inability of activists in the field to catalyze a more unified grassroots movement to combat the issue. The antislavery moment remains highly fragmented, and as a result, its ability to mobilize social opinion and lawmakers on the issue has been hampered.”
He’s very right. Not only does it fail to move social opinion and lawmakers, it also means each organization on the ground deals with a quite limited scope. But human trafficking is a problem too big and too pervasive to confront in piecemeal.
Recognizing this truth, SOLD is working side-by-side with other organizations in the region to create a coalition of partners. Last week, we attended meetings in both Chiang Rai (near where our resource center is located) and the larger city, Chiang Mai, aimed at creating an alliance wherein various organizations can share resources and information, working together to combat the trafficking of humans into slavery.
The coalition involves not only NGOs, but also governmental agencies, and we even heard a presentation from a member of the Royal Thai police. We learned more about different policies and practices in place, so if we come across a case outside our scope, we know exactly what kind of information authorities need before they can act on it, and we know exactly where we can get help. We are working to share with each other sources of help and knowledge, so that we can all call on each other’s expertise and advantages, whether it is in prevention, intervention, or aftercare. All these things can go a long way to helping us present a more united front.
Collaboration between different agencies isn’t always easy, but members walked away from the meeting excited for what we could achieve by working together, and armed with better resources and action plans. We walked away feeling a little less alone.
— Jade Keller