Safe Migration Systems: IOM, Viber Team Up in Belarus

Posted: 
08/03/18
Themes: 
Counter-Trafficking, Private Sector Partnerships

Minsk – More than half of Belarus’ 9.5 million people use the global messenger service Viber, which was created in Minsk more than seven years ago, to quickly exchange messages, receive information, and make phone calls at home and abroad. Now, a new IOM Belarus Viber community has been established to share travel information and inform people about the potential risks they face, including human trafficking.

IOM Belarus and Viber signed the partnership agreement on 30 July, symbolically launching the new relationship on World Day Against Trafficking in Persons, to disseminate information and tips about safe migration.

The partnership involves the creation of an IOM Belarus Viber community and the development of promotional activities to reach the target audience.

"The partnership with Viber will be a significant contribution to preventing human trafficking in Belarus," said IOM Belarus Chief of Mission Zeynal Hajiyev.

“The IOM/Viber community will be an innovative supplement to the work of the existing hotlines supported by IOM and run by NGO partners. It will make information available 24/7 in any place in the world.”

Veronika Kesova, Head of Viber’s development centre stressed that safety is one of Viber's major priorities. “To be the partner of an organization like IOM, which takes care of human health and (migration) interests is extremely important for us. We want to help IOM help people to consider all the risks, including the risk of human trafficking when planning to travel. We hope that the new community will help users avoid crisis situations.”

The community is expected to help reach people who don’t feel comfortable calling hotlines and telling operators their problems. According to the hotline statistics, women call the hotline more often, suggesting that men may not feel comfortable receiving consultations in this manner.

Join the IOM Belarus Viber community:  https://vb.me/iombelarus.

For more information please contact Olga Borzenkova at IOM Belarus, Tel: +375 17 2882742, Email: oborzenkova@iom.int

  • IOM Belarus and Viber sign the partnership agreement in Minsk, Belarus. Photo: IOM