Press Release Immediate
Friday 21 September 2018
London. UK. Silvia Mera announced by Human Rights at Sea as a speaker for the International Maritime Human Rights conference 2018. Human Rights at Sea is delighted to present Silvia Mera, another speaker for the International Maritime Human Rights Conference 2018.
Silvia Mera is Program Director at the Mekong Club, where she coordinates and supervises anti-trafficking projects and a 32-member strong association of businesses. Silvia works with multinational corporations from several sectors, advising them on their anti-trafficking policies and practices. She is also involved in regional activities with partners such as the UN, and delivers training and presentations on the topic both in Asia and overseas. From 2010 to 2015, Silvia worked in business development and supply chain management in Europe and Asia.
Silvia will be talking about ‘Apprise’, a project developed by the Mekong Club & the United Nations University Institute of Computing and Society. Apprise – victim identification app, is a smartphone app aimed at supporting NGOs and law enforcement in identifying potential victims of exploitation during investigations and rescue operations.
During preliminary research, several factors hindering chances for victims to be identified were observed, including: language barriers and problems communicating with rescuers; lack or mistrust of interpreters; migrant workers’ fear of reprisals for speaking out, and inconsistency of questions asked.
Apprise aims at overcoming these issues and help victims of exploitation to self-identify and seek help. The app offers screening questionnaires that NGO workers and law enforcement can use to approach and interview potential victims. Each questionnaire plays through audio files in the languages of the interviewee, this way overcoming language barriers, illiteracy, and ensuring confidentiality.
The app is being currently tested in Thailand and offers screening questions adapted to four contexts: forced labour in manufacturing; forced labour at port/at sea; forced begging, and sex trafficking. Besides Thai and English, questionnaires are available in 11 languages widely spoken by migrants in Thailand.
Silvia will partake in session 2 of the conference, on the topic of ‘Technology and Human Rights’.
Visit the website and book a ticket for the 2018 International Maritime Human Rights Conference here.