Date/Deadline: 30 Nov, 2020

Break the Chain is a 2-month-long programme that will bring together young leaders and changemakers from across ASEAN and Australia to better understand modern slavery, human trafficking, and forced labour, and work together to find regional solutions.

From January to March of 2021, the digital program will be co-delivered with partners and provide opportunities for collaboration, knowledge-sharing and policy outputs through capacity-building workshops and masterclasses with leaders in the field. The aim of the program is to create an energised, capable, and dynamic network of young people to become the next thought leaders and innovators on the topic of modern slavery and human trafficking.

The program’s focus on building connections and promoting thought leadership amongst engaged, informed and capable youth will culminate in a report highlighting youth perspectives on policy and business solutions, opportunities for collaboration and the prominence of these issues in a post-COVID region.

Why is now the time for multilateral collaboration?
In the wake of COVID-19, youth-led regional collaboration on issues of modern slavery, human trafficking and forced labour is more important than ever.

Economic instability from COVID-19 is leading to a predicted increase in labour exploitation. School closures have left young people vulnerable to early marriage, forced labour and sexual exploitation. UNDODC has warned of increased enforcement measures from lockdown further driving transnational crime underground, whilst impacting on state’s ability to provide essential services to victims of crime. Non-essential services such as on-site police and labour inspections have also been affected, and some justice systems are limited in the services they can provide.

All of these factors mean that modern slavery, human trafficking and forced labour are set to significantly increase. Already, there are currently an estimated 45.8 million people living in slave-like conditions throughout the world. As the impacts of COVID-19 continue to unfold, it is critical that we accelerate regional collaboration to combat these issues.

Australia and ASEAN remain at the forefront of the global trend in addressing these issues. In passing the Modern Slavery Act 2018, Australia joined the forefront of the global trend in seeking to address this issue on both a global and regional scale. Now more than ever, there is an appetite for international co-operation on this issue.

Now is the time to harness this attention to highlight innovative solutions and feature young voices on an issue that disproportionately affects young people in the Indo-Pacific.

Running from January 2021 to March 2021, the programme will consist of a series of exclusive webinars, workshops, and networking events led by the Break the Chain team, the delegates’ own experiences, experts, and leading organisations working on modern slavery, human trafficking, and forced labour in the region.

The programme will focus on:
– Developing and building knowledge about the nature of modern slavery, human trafficking, and forced labour in the region in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic
– Upskilling young leaders in the field in important skills such as policy pitching, design thinking, and project planning
– Creating a regional network of young people engaged in modern slavery, human trafficking, and forced labour and promoting Australian and ASEAN people-to-people relationships
– Promoting and amplifying the voices of youth across the ASEAN region and Australia in the modern slavery, human trafficking, and forced labour space
– The programme will provide delegates with the opportunity to share their own unique experiences within workshops and sessions, as well as facilitating the production of an Op-ed on the most prominent and emerging issues about modern slavery, human trafficking, and forced labour in the region. This Op-ed will be published on the AASYP Horizons blog.

Delegates will also contribute to the production of a youth voices communique that will, with the help of regional partners, be utilised to advocate for increased youth representation on a broader platform.

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