Youth told to fight modern day slavery

National 2 minutes, 48 seconds


YOUTH are encouraged to support fair trade while acknowledging and fighting modern day slavery and human trafficking.

Bruneian youth Norhayatunajibah Hj Kifli who received a scholarship to attend the One Young World Summit (OYW) in Bangkok, Thailand last year, said the issues of modern day slavery and human trafficking are present in our day-to-day products, supply chains and in our homes.

The civil servant is also the founder of Youth Against Slavery Brunei (YASBN) and ASEAN Youth Ending Slavery (AYES).

“During the summit, I discussed the topic on how global businesses can guarantee safe, fair paying jobs. As the founder of YASBN and AYES, the theme fit the community work I do in increasing awareness of human trafficking and modern day slavery.”

“When we talk about human trafficking and modern day slavery we often question if it is even relevant to Brunei.”

Unfortunately, globally almost 30 million people are trapped in various forms of modern day slavery, said Norhayatunajibah.

“Often times, these issues are not recognised, to make it worse, we are supporting the agent if we keep buying products that treats its workers like slaves.”

She said the forms of modern day slavery include debt bondage, non-payment of wages, passport confiscation, confinement to the home, and contract switching which are often seen as the norm.

“Knowing these forms of modern day slavery, we should ask ourselves and look around, is this the norm accepted in Brunei?”

“These factors of modern day slavery is seen as the norm and deep rooted. Therefore to expose everyone at an early age to the increasing awareness of these forms of modern day slavery is important.”

She said this is the objective of YASBN in organising awareness projects in Brunei and AYES in organising awareness projects in 10 ASEAN countries with the help of the International Organisation of Migration (IOMX).

“With awareness comes call to action. These actions are such as giving better treatment to your employees or by making changes in policies. This is important to lives that are trapped in modern day slavery.”

Norhayatunajibah said the summit discussed other topics from environment to global businesses, disability to statelessness.

“Every session of the summit can either make you tear up or laugh, fill you up with drive and energy to do more for your community and make you realise that no matter how different we are, we are all one young world.”

She encouraged other youth to get out of their comfort zone and shift their perspective by joining the summit.

Youth need to be at their highest potential to see positive changes in the environment, she said.

“This is important because we are equally responsible on the state of the world and the look of our environment today.”

“As we often hear the cliché statement that youth is our future, the changes won’t come if we only stay put and hope for the best to come.

It is up to us to start and work on things that need changes, to be brave and take the first step to contribute more to the economy,” she added.

She described speaking in front of 1,500 participants from 196 countries during the plenary session as her “best memory”.

The annual summit is a platform for youth joined by world leaders to debate, formulate and share innovative solutions for the pressing issues the world faces.

The Brunei Times