we believe we can transform the lives of millions of workers in global supply chains through worker voice, partnership & innovation

Issara Institute is an independent NGO (US 501(c)(3) not-for-profit corporation) based in Southeast Asia and the United States tackling issues of human trafficking and forced labour through worker voice, partnership, and innovation. The Institute was established in 2014 by a team of anti-trafficking experts coming out of the United Nations who created an alliance of private sector, civil society, and government partners to address labour issues in global supply chains.

Issara Institute Update on Our Work and COVID-19

As the current global pandemic has been affecting us all, we want to give you a brief update on the impact upon the work of Issara Institute and those we support.  We hope everyone is staying safe and following public health guidelines, wherever you are.


In early March, we released our 5-year impact report, available at www.issarainstitute.org/impact.  We had planned a series of in-person launches and discussions, but will now invite stakeholders to a series of shorter webinars and Q&A to be held in April.  Invitations forthcoming!  Please email info@issarainstitute.org for more info.


Issara Institute teams in Southeast Asia are currently not conducting in-person outreach to workers and business, and in-person meetings and events are on hold. The safety of our team and communities is paramount, and our teams are generally working from home.


However, we continue to support workers and businesses!  


Our worker voice channels remain as active as ever, and we are sharing valuable information on the pandemic and personal and community safety over these channels on a daily basis, reaching over 200,000 workers.  From sharing great hand washing videos from all over the globe to our own Issara videos on worker rights and benefits (for example, check out this video on sick leave in Thailand, in Burmese with English subtitles), we are ensuring that valuable information is available to Burmese, Khmer, and Thai workers in their native languages, and are working 24/7 to answer questions and assist (as always).  Many workers are scared, lack access to credible information, and many are seeking to return home or remain safe in this uncertain period. We’ll be coming out with new, informative videos for migrant workers every few days, responding to the most urgent questions being raised through our worker voice channels.  


Our teams are also meeting virtually with Thai, Malaysian, and Myanmar businesses to discuss issues and grievances raised over worker voice channels, and to maintain momentum on efforts to improve the recruitment and employment of foreign migrant workers. We are directly supporting businesses with policy advice and quick translation of key communiques to their workers on hygiene, sick leave, and other benefits.  This will be a very trying time for many supplier and recruitment agency businesses, as well as their customers, and we are committed to helping them navigate it.


Please contact us at info@issarainstitute.org if you have specific questions, or ideas for information to share with workers, recruiters, or employers.  We appreciate your continued support and collaboration.

Issara's 5-year impact report has been released!  What has been observed and achieved regarding labour rights, worker welfare, and responsible sourcing from 2014-2019?  

Myanmar Recruitment.jpg

NEW!  A Recruitment Journey

Check out our new video, just screened at the 2019 Issara Global Forum, which highlights the recruitment journey of a Burmese worker coming to Thailand, the pitfalls he encountered along the way, and his messages on safeguarding job seekers and workers and moving to an ethical recruitment process.



Check it out here, including our newly organized video/mini-documentary library, and two 2019 reports on worker voice technologies and labour risks in the Indonesian and Thai fishing industries.






Launched in late 2017!  Includes identification and elimination of first-mile debts and fees.

How do we do it?


(c) 2020 Issara Institute.  All rights reserved.

Issara Institute, Inc. is a registered 501(c)(3) non-profit organization in the United States, and a registered non-profit foundation in Thailand.  All donations are tax deductible.

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