We want Cambodian Youth to migrate safely — using only legal agents

World Vision ETIP BCC

World Vision’s End Trafficking In Persons (ETIP) Program was a 5-year (2011-2016) regional initiative designed to prevent and respond to the trafficking of people in the Greater Mekong Sub-region (GMS).

The Challenge

In the provinces of Battambang, Siem Reap, and Bantey Meanchay of Cambodia, many youth (17-24 years old) migrate from their rural homes to Thailand in search of work. However, the vast majority (70-80%) do so without proper documentation. Without passports, work permits, or pre-existing job contracts, youth rely on brokers to facilitate their job placement in Thailand. Although some brokers facilitate safe & legal migration, many “bad brokers” falsely promise high salaries, good city living, and other perks.

Once having migrated with “bad brokers,” they often end up in working conditions which are more arduous than promised, with pay that is much less. Even worse, they are extremely vulnerable to labor exploitation, physical and sexual abuse, and trafficking. Many fall into a debt-trap, after taking out loans to pay the high fees of these “bad” brokers.

Our Solution

Early in the program, World Vision ETIP conducted extensive behavioral research with those at risk of trafficking, key influencers, and community leaders. From World Vision’s findings, 17 Triggers developed a full BCC campaign and communication toolkit.

From ideation came two concepts to test: ‘Don’t trust a bad broker,’ a character showing respect at face value but loaded with bling and money, versus ‘Migrate Safely, Use a Legal Agent,’ which showed a cleaned up, smiling agent with proper forms to fill. During concept testing, the legal agent character proved the most effective in ensuring youth were able to identify a legal agent, and know the consequences of people who choose not to. Campaign-Message_Good-broker
‘Migrate safely’ become a full campaign featuring a narrated slideshow, posters, and a card game, all introduced at youth clubs to encourage discussion. Also developed were several radio scripts and a call script for the Migrant Resource Centre to help respond to questions from potential migrating youth workers. 17 Triggers’ BCC tools were translated and used in Myanmar, Laos, Thailand, and Vietnam, in addition to Cambodia. World Vision staff were trained to use the tools and train other partners to implement them as part of the campaign.


  • 17.2% reduction in number of individuals at “high risk” of trafficking in project intervention areas in Cambodia (per the program’s scoring system)
  • Strong increase in Cambodian mothers’ and youths’ attitudes towards creating a protective environment and heightened awareness of the risks associated with illegal brokers and inclination to give information to others
  • Some of the project outputs:

    • Branding
    • TVC / Radio
    • Print

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