New ways of learning to prevent sexual exploitation

COVID-19 response

Khin Moe Aye
UNICEF Myanmar
18 May 2020

The creative use of technology to bring people together for sharing and learning is developing quickly, stimulated by the social distancing measures in place due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Using the Zoom app and with UNICEF’s support, training on the prevention of sexual exploitation took place on 6 May 2020, engaging more than 70 social workers in at least ten different locations around Shan State.

The representatives from the Government departments of Social Welfare and Labour, the Anti-trafficking Task Force, community youth volunteers, field workers from local and international non-governmental organizations, civil society organizations such as Mawkkon, Karuna Mission Social Solidarity and Braveheart Foundation, and social and health workers from Wa Special Region-2 could choose to access the interactive learning via their mobile phones or attend the training venue in person, observing physical distancing and infection prevention measures.

The two-hour session explored sexual exploitation, in general, and in the humanitarian context with a focus on the occurrence during the COVID-19 outbreak. Legal and social dimensions were discussed along with prevention and response mechanisms, and the roles and obligation of humanitarian workers.

Positive feedback revealed that the training was effective, relevant and useful, providing participants with valuable new knowledge about the survivor-centred approach and the basic requirements of the prevention of sexual exploitation policy for humanitarian organizations. Participants suggested rolling out this training in communities, universities and among the general public.

Southern Wa Special Region-2 participants explained, “This is the first time that we have participated in online training, so it was exciting to manage the technical and communication challenges. Overall, this training was very helpful for us.” 

Determined humanitarian minds and cutting-edge technologies are conjoing to break down the barriers to learning and sharing, opening doors to new opportunities for interaction and growth.