The United Nations University Institute in Macau welcomed a new team member, Monticha Puthawong, in March 2018. Monticha will be working with Hannah Thinyane and Karthik Bhat to pilot Apprise, a system to help frontline responders to perform initial screening of migrant workers in situations of labor exploitation. Monticha will act as the Thai coordinator, overseeing the successful pilot and evaluation of Apprise. This pilot, funded by Humanity United and Freedom Fund, will investigate the use of tech to support the identification of labor exploitation within the seafood industry in Thailand. It is an activity within the Migrant Tech project at UNU Institute in Macau.
In the first week of March, Hannah, Karthik, and Monticha began the initial rollout of the app, meeting with key NGOs in Thailand. These meetings mark the start of an initial two-month pilot aimed to validate the question lists, translations, and vulnerability calculation that form the basis of the system. The team met with migrant workers who had been in exploitative situations, NGOs who work to identify potential victims, and the Command Center for Combating Illegal Fishing who are responsible for screening fishing boats for victims of exploitation. The team will work closely with NGOs and government in 2018, to monitor and evaluate the different stakeholders’ perceptions on the usefulness of Apprise for initial screening of potential victims.