On 29 Nov 2014, Crossroads, our collection of advocacy videos on migrant workers, refugees, and stateless people in Malaysia, was screened to 100 first-year Law students at Universiti Malaya, Kuala Lumpur.
Representatives from Pusat KOMAS and Tenaganita, our local partners for Crossroads outreach in Malaysia, presented the films Polis Pao, Perangkap, and the animated clip, Terabai. Both organisations had also recently worked together to screen Crossroads on International Migrants Day 2014.
The students asked several questions during the Q&A sessions conducted after each video, and expressed their enjoyment of the interactive event. Fajar from Tenaganita effectively managed to shed light on the negative perspectives on migrant workers that some of the students seemed to have, such as, “They take the jobs of locals”, “They cause crime”, and “They come here through illegal means”.
We concluded by sharing that every human being has a right to livelihood and movement, and so should be allowed to travel to wherever necessary, especially to survive, but within the limits of the laws of the countries that they are traveling to and from.
With the Crossroads videos as a medium for more similar engagements with the Malaysian public, we hope to play our part in changing perceptions on migrants there, one screening at a time.