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Backstage to the future is a social action project exploring the use of arts, cultural and creative approaches to assist civil society organisations (CSOs) in making positive social changes, particularly in supporting safe migration in Viet Nam. 

The project proposes a ‘backstage’ approach of capacity building to enable Vietnamese CSOs as dynamic players on the ‘front stage’ contributing to development processes. The project aims to strengthen CSOs’ role in mobilising and sensitising all levels of society to support safe migration in Viet Nam. Within the scope of this project, participating CSOs employ innovative approaches and creative platforms in raising awareness, promoting behaviour change, and mobilising members of civil society, private sector actors, and legal and public bodies to respond to the pressing issue of human trafficking and unsafe migration. The project’s focus is to benefit vulnerable populations at risk of trafficking or returned victims in urban, semi-rural and rural areas of Viet Nam by ensuring that they have information about the risks of trafficking and safe behaviours, receive support from diverse levels of society and can access public support services.

The overall objective of the project is to contribute to enhancing the role of CSOs in Viet Nam’s efforts to combat human trafficking.

The specific objective of the project is that grassroots CSOs employ innovative approaches to mobilise and sensitise all levels of society (public, private, civil) to respond to the problem of human trafficking and unsafe migration in 10-15 hot-spot source communities in Hải Phòng, Quảng Ninh, Nghệ An, Hà Tĩnh and Quảng Bình provinces.

The innovative approaches refer to non-political, non-institutional and non-conventional responses using creative platforms, such as forum theatre, viral video, online drama, TV talk shows, podcasts, social media, apps, off-line cultural and creative events, etc., to raise awareness, as well as to motivate and mobilise all levels of society (public, private, civil) in responding to the human trafficking and unsafe migration. On one hand, these approaches will promote government support services available (formal), while on the other hand will motivate and generate support, assistance and protection from families, communities and the wider society (informal). This will address hesitance victims may feel towards the formal system such as the bureaucracy of getting involved with the legal system or social bias and stigma, while ensuring that victims and at-risk individuals have access to the support they need. 

Backstage to the future is a three-year project co-funded by the European Union and the UK Government, and implemented in partnership between the British Council, Viet Nam Institute for Culture and Arts Studies and the Viet Nam National University Youth Union.