app launched to help women migrant workers facing sexual violence in thailand
Thailand – A new mobile app has been launched in Thailand to help women migrant workers facing sexual harassment and violence in the country. The app offers lifelines to women migrant workers at risk from violence.
“Smart Domestic Workers” is the collaboration between United Nations (UN) Women and Thai NGOs, including the Foundation for Labour and Employment Promotion, to help women migrant workers in Thailand. The Smart Domestic Workers app aims to protect women workers from sexual violence.
Boonsom Namsomboon, secretary-general of HomeNet Thailand, said that the mobile application is available in four languages: Thai, English, Burmese, and Khmer. She further said that 80 percent of female migrants face sexual violence in Thailand, but very few of them file complaints to police officers.
Dararai Raksasiripong of the Migrant Women Project in Tak’s Mae Sot said the workers’ rights situation in Thailand deteriorated in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic. Pol Maj Gen Thitawat Suriyachai, commander of the Cybercrime Investigation Division, said that violence against women increased rapidly during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Melissa Alvarado, UN Women Asia-Pacific Regional Adviser on Ending Violence against Women, said that around 24 percent of women in Thailand had faced sexual or physical violence from their husbands during the pandemic but were afraid to seek help from police.
Alvarado also said that 80 percent of women migrant workers are experiencing at least one form of violence but do not want to report it out of fear of being deported.
How will the app help women migrant workers?
The app will provide information to female users on ways to protect themselves from sexual violence in the workplace. The app also ensures to help workers when they face a dangerous situation. It will also provide them guidelines on how to avoid a confrontation and where they can get assistance. The app can also be used to search for hospitals, police stations and NGOs.