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Southeast Asia

Persistent poverty and widening inequality are some of Southeast Asia’s biggest problems. Much of the region is in the Pacific Ring of Fire, which also increases its exposure to natural disasters. These factors render the most vulnerable and disadvantaged people defenseless in coping with the multifold economic and social challenges they face in their lives.

Our work in the region, specifically in Indonesia and the Philippines, is focused on providing humanitarian assistance for people affected by natural disasters as well as  on promoting safe migration and combatting human trafficking. With our local partner organizations we are ensuring the awareness and application of women’s and children’s rights. Our goal is to sustainably improve the living conditions of the marginalized and disadvantaged people in Southeast Asia.  To achieve this, we partner with national and local NGOs who support people’s social structures and strengthen their self-help and advocacy capacity. We also cooperate with various stakeholders from the government, the civil society and academia.  This  approach helps promote the collective empowerment of communities and capacitating local organizations to sustainably tackle various issues.

Southeast AsiaPhilippines

Immediate response to the suffering caused by Typhoon Rai in communities in Southern Leyte

Typhoon Rai (locally known as Odette) hit the Philippines just before Christmas 2021, when the season of storms was supposed to end. This most violent of all typhoons in 2021 caused widespread destruction and suffering, affecting more than 11 Million people in its wake.

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[Translate to Englisch:] Teilnehmer der Gemeinde bei einem Übungseinsatz (Foto: AWO International / Ecoweb)
Southeast AsiaPhilippines

Capacitating local communities on disaster risk reducation and management

The Philippines has and will still continue to experience many natural disasters. Fortunately, with the various efforts of different humanitarian organizations and the government, many activities geared toward making the country better prepared for and resilient to calamities are taking place.

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In trainings and workshops children and young people learn about their rights and how they can fight for them. (Photo: AWO International)
Southeast AsiaPhilippines

Halting child trafficking and sexual exploitation

Time and again, children and women on the Philippine island of Mindanao become victims of human trafficking for sexual exploitation. In addition, cases of sexual abuse on the Internet are becoming more frequent. Together with our partner organization Child Alert Mindanao, we implemented protective measures and education programmes to strengthen the awareness on and protection of the rights of children and women.

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E Participants in a stakeholder dialogue discuss strategies for safe labour migration. MMCEAI brought together 52 representatives from local government agencies and community organizations (Photo: AWO International)
Southeast AsiaPhilippines

Protecting migrant workers from exploitation and abuse

Every day, many women from the island of Mindanao leave their families to migrate abroad for work. A large percentage end up being exploited and abused. Together with our partner organization, MMCEAI, we aim to facilitate for a safer migration process for all stakeholders involved.

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The boat, with which Norbhen Costańo goes out, is rented. One day's catch is barely enough to feed his family. (Photo: Mark Henry/AWO International)
Southeast AsiaPhilippines

Plastic waste instead of fish, exploitation instead of income

The coastal communities of the Philippine province of Sarangani depend heavily on fishing. But commercial fishing fleets empty fish stocks and fishermen lose their livelihoods. If they are hired for industrial fishing, they often fall victim to exploitation and human trafficking.

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A group therapy by our partner organisation Talikala for girls who have been victims of sexual abuse. (Photo: AWO International)
Southeast AsiaPhilippines

Fight against sexual exploitation of girls and women in Davao

Poverty and unemployment are the main causes that push many girls and women in Davao to become prostitutes and victims of human trafficking. Many girls are only 14 years old. Together with our partner organization – Talikala, we work to protect women and girls from sexual exploitation.

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The CMA team at a case conference. (Photo: AWO International)
Southeast AsiaPhilippines

Strengthening the rights of domestic workers in migration

About 10 percent of the Philippine population live and work abroad as migrants. This is mainly due to poverty and a lack of income opportunities in the country. Many women work as domestic helpers, where they are often exposed to abuse and exploitation. Together with our partner organization Center for Migrant Advocacy, we work to protect migrant domestic workers and their rights.

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AWO International provides emergency aid for people who have lost their homes and livelihoods as a result of the two typhoons Goni and Vamco (Photo: AWO International/CONCERN)
Southeast AsiaPhilippines

Emergency aid for people affected by two severe typhoons in Malilipot

Super typhoon Goni (Rolly) and his smaller brother Vamco (Ulysses) devastated the homes and livelihoods of hundreds of thousands of people within two weeks, plunging them into a desperate situation in the midst of an unmanageable pandemic. Together with our partner organisation CONCERN, we are helping particularly hard-hit families.

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Members of the migrant women's group, "Pada Patuh" in Ketapan Raya Village, hold a discussion with children of migrant women to identify and address problems. (Photo: AWO International)
Southeast AsiaIndonesia

Protecting migrant women from Lombok from human trafficking and violence

Poverty and a lack of job opportunities in many communities on the island of Lombok push people to migrate to seek better economic prospects; a large percentage of these migrants often become victims of human traffickers. Together with our partner organization – ADBMI, we are implementing a project to protect migrating women and men.

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Participants in a training course for organisational management from our partner organisation PPK. The former migrant women want to work against human trafficking in community organisations. (Photo: AWO International)
Southeast AsiaIndonesia

Safe migration for migrants from Lombok

Extortion, exploitation and violence are violations of rights that happen to many migrant workers. In their search for a better life for themselves and their families, they often end up in extremely precarious working conditions. Together with our partner organization - PPK, we worked for the protection and rights of migrant workers.

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 In an information and education campaign, the pupils were taught in a playful and entertaining way about, among other things, concrete rules of conduct in the event of an earthquake. (Photo: AWO International/YSI)
Southeast AsiaIndonesia

catastrophe prevention in earthquake affected communities in Lombok

Many months after the earthquake of 2018, the event continues to have an impact. In this context, the willingness of the population to learn how to take precautionary measures and better prepare for future natural forces is especially great. This is one of the contributing factors to the success of the project that AWO International's partner organization, SHEEP Indonesia, is implementing with local actors.

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Our partner organisation INFEST offers education and information on the subject of secure migration as well as workshops and training courses. In this way, former migrants or family members can pass on their experiences and knowledge on the subject. (Photo: AWO International)
Southeast AsiaIndonesiaMalaysia

Strengthening rights for migrant workers across borders

Hundreds of thousands of people leave Indonesia every year in search of better income. Many of them run the risk of becoming victims of abuse, exploitation and human trafficking. Together with our partner organization - INFEST, we are committed to facilitating safe migration and promoting decent working conditions in Indonesia and Malaysia.

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