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Thailand: Learning to strengthen social media and communication work

Thailand: Learning to strengthen social media and communication work

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by Fish Ip published Oct 26, 2015 04:03 PM
Participants at learned online communication skills and IDWF communication platform at ILO-IDWF-ITUC Regional Workshop on Organising Domestic Workers: an exchange of knowledge and experience among practitioners.
When
Sep 27, 2015 from 02:00 PM to 05:00 PM (Universal / UTC0)
Where
Bangkok, Thailand
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THAILAND -

Migrant domestic workers go on online communication and social media platforms. They are mostly live-in workers. These platforms connect them to friends and outside. Effective use of these platforms can promote knowledge exchanges among workers, help organizing and advocacy work of domestic workers organizations.

Therefore, with the ILO PROMOTE project support, this practical training workshop introduced some features, tools and skills on IDWF communication platforms to participants, as well as existing online petitions.

This workshop on Social Media and Communication was organized on 27 Sep 2015, Day 3 afternoon of “ILO-IDWF-ITUC Regional Workshop on Organising Domestic Workers: an exchange of knowledge and experience among practitioners”. There were 45 participants from 16 countries including Bangladesh, Cambodia, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Netherlands, Lebanon, Malaysia, Nepal, Philippines, Singapore, Somalia, Thailand, South Africa, USA and Brussels.

Besides the organizers, the participants were local and migrant domestic workers leaders and organizers from migrant domestic workers unions and organizations, trade union centres and CSOs . The workshop was held in Bangkok, Thailand. A manual of IDWF Communication Platform was distributed to the participants.

The participants were frequent users of online communication platforms. They all said they were using social media and going to websites.

“So what are the questions you have in mind when you are using these online communication platforms, social media, in your organizing and advocacy work?” Fish Ip, facilitator of the workshop, asked the participants.

“I want to know how to maximize the use of facebook in reaching out and make it attractive. How?”
“Which application is the easiest for them to learn (illiterate workers), especially in considering this can be a part of pre-departure training for migrant domestic workers.”
“How do we make social media as a tool for organizing?”
“How do we maximize exposure of campaign events?” asked by the participants.

There were some questions raised regarding the security issue, government monitoring, shutting down of website or facebook, blocking of campaign events. Unfortunately the workshop was not able to answer due to time and knowledge constraints.

Good practices demonstration

Experienced participants were invited to share the tips.

They were Leo Tang of Hong Kong Confederation of Trade Unions (HKCTU) and Julius Cainglet of Federation of Free Workers (FFW), Philippines.

How to make an attractive messages / postings in facebook:

  • Julius shared the following tips by demonstrating his personal facebook postings:
  1. Always be clear the message that you want to convey and have a clear picture of message;
  2. Use some quotes of a prominent person or from an event talking about a specific issue.
  3. Use of Memes: a picture showing an image and text to make it interesting.
  4. Take advantage of celebrities. E.g. CNN Philippines
  5. Make use of public events. E.g. quiz bees related to childe labour
  • Leo shared tips by demonstrating successful HKCTU facebook postings and infographic:
  1. Stories (workers’ stories)
  2. Information especially something that others don’t know – statistics that is readable and understandable.
  3. Petition with a picture: message should be clear in the picture/graphic (e.g. petition deadline )
  4. Maximize of social atmosphere: make use of a popular event to talk about an issue (e.g. World cup)

It was reminded the participants that Facebook and Twitter were commercial sites. Information postings would not stay forever. For information to be stable, one should share and store it on website.

Introducing IDWF Communication Platform

Fish introduced the IDWF website and the manual to participants. Hem and Malaka, two student helpers, were there to assist in the practical training. First of all, Fish introduced and demonstrated the google translate function. She then introduced the site map of IDWF website.

Online Petition

She demonstrated how to join the current petitions in IDWF website. After the demonstration, participants were required to sign on IDWF petition (Petition against abuse of Nepali domestic workers by Saudi Arabia diplomats) and ITUC petition - Stop the trafficking of Mauritanian women to Saudi Arabia

It was shared that the online petition was useful in publicizing the issue and generation of support. The petition could be a general call appealing to the general public or government. It could be also addressed to specific persons. In some petition websites, all petitions could be directly emailed to a government official.

E-discussions

Prior to the meeting, an e-discussion on organizing migrant domestic workers was organized by IDWF and ILO. There were more than 12 people shared their thoughts in the e-discussion. The discussion was summarized and circulated in the meeting as well as in the website. They learned how to post comments, pictures in the e-discussion.

IDWF Facebook

IDWF facebook page and its facebook group were introduced to the participants. Some tips were shared:

  • When you post something regarding IDWF, change the setting of the post ‘Public’, instead of “friends”. This allowed your postings to be shared and seen by all other people – if you really want the world to see your post.
  • Message should be short and sweet
  • Use hashtags

IDWF website

IDWF website allowed registered members to post information. This could bring collective effort to do posting of domestic workers activities and news onto the community page, especially IDWF had limited staff.

Participants learned the registration process in the website and how to upload and share a photo, file, link in the website through the community button.

Quiz

At the end of the training workshop, there was a quiz to test the knowledge of participants on the website use:

  1. Find out the list of affiliates in Latin America (3 names of organizations)
  2. Find out the IDWF Congress report, read page 38, 39, the IDWF 5-year plan. Read aloud one objective.
  3. Find out the 10th country who ratified C189, when was the ratification, which date, month and year.
  4. Find the latest newsletter of IDWF. Get all your group members signed up for IDWF newsletter.
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