A persistent problem that has plagued the world for generations, human trafficking remains a serious issue in Southeast Asia to this day. Typically kidnapped or tricked by offers of jobs overseas, many unsuspecting men, women and youth find themselves smuggled into other countries. Women are often forced into work as domestic servitude and sexual exploitation, while boys and men are trafficked for hard labour in industries such as fishing and prawning. Children are often forced into begging.

As a campaign centred on ending human trafficking and exploitation, MTV EXIT has made an impact in Thailand. It has taken significant steps to educate both local and migrant youth on the dangers of human trafficking through concerts, video content and training that promote safe migration and how to avoid exploitive employment.

MTV EXIT recently collaborated with Microsoft Thailand to host Microsoft Windows Hackathon //Publish/, an app-building contest for students and professional developers to come up with anti-trafficking mobile apps. Held at the Victor Club, Park Ventures Ecoplex, the two-day event had MTV EXIT staff and Microsoft experts on-site to lend advice to six competing teams. The judging panel was made up of representatives from MTV EXIT, Microsoft, Nokia and Thailand’s ‘Princess of IT’, Chatpawee “Cee” Trichachawanwong, a celebrity IT news presenter.

The six-member-strong team ‘EndX’ emerged the winner. Comprising students from different universities across Thailand, EndX had developed a game similar to the well-known ‘Snakes and Ladders’. Players could learn more about the realities of human trafficking through nuggets of information. The app is also a news feed for MTV EXIT and other anti-trafficking events.

“We’re passionate about this cause, so we wanted to develop an app that can capture people’s attention, raise awareness and encourage people to take action to protect themselves and others,” said Patricia “Nan” Duangcham, leader of EndX.

The team won a cash prize of USD1,000 as well as sponsored accommodation and travel to attend MTV EXIT’s ‘Live in Udon-Thani’ concert. The EndX app is available in the Windows Store.