Two Malaysian NGOs have launched Southeast Asia’s first mobile app — called Be My Protector — for the public to report suspected cases of human trafficking.
Tenaganita and Change Your World say the project has taken two years to develop, and it is available in eight of the region’s local languages.
The innovative app is currently available for download, and it allows users to attach pictures, describe the situation of exploitation, and mark the severity of the suspected case. Change Your World co-founder Kelvin Lim noted that users can submit reports anonymously.
The Malay Mail explains that verified cases of trafficking will be sent on the authorities:
The complaints will then be investigated by Tenaganita, which has been dealing with human trafficking for the past three decades, which will also forward complaints to the police and relevant authorities as and when necessary.
The app was conceived following a campaign that Change Your World, a youth empowerment group, and Tenaganita conducted with the Selangor state government in 2015 to raise awareness about human trafficking in the state.
“We did a campaign with over 200 volunteers that reached over 500,000 people through social media and engaged with over 30,000 people in over 11 locations,” Lim said.
However, the campaign could not be expanded to other places due to the lack of funding, Tenaganita co-founder Aegile Fednandez said.
“That’s when the idea for the app came about,” she said, adding that Tenaganita is determined to make sure that the application is a success. Kelvin says they are hoping for 100,000 downloads for the application by the end of 2018, and 1 million downloads by 2023.
Two politicians, former Selangor speaker Hannah Yeoh and incumbent Kinrara assemblyman Ng Sze Han, attended the launch of Be My Protector last week.
The app can be downloaded on both Google Play and Apple Store, via bmpmy.org.