Education and Awareness Raising
last updated September 1, 2005

Education initiatives may be directed toward the general public, as a form of awareness raising and information campaigns, or toward women and girls who are vulnerable to being trafficking. There are a number of ways that information can be disseminated to the public- through press conferences, media campaigns, public service announcements, distribution of informational leaflets, documentary films and email and the Internet, for example.

Regardless of the manner in which information is conveyed to the public, an effective anti-trafficking campaign should take into consideration both the audience and the message that is to be conveyed. The U.S. National Advisory Council on Violence Against Women has developed a Toolkit To End Violence Against Women which contains concrete guidelines to NGOs, community and policy leaders who are working to end violence against women in all forms. While the toolkit does not address trafficking specifically, it does include a chapter on Educating and Mobilizing the Public About Violence Against Women with guidelines and action items on public education.

The United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM), in cooperation with the Media Materials Clearinghouse (Johns Hopkins Center for Communications Programs), has published a compilation of materials, Picturing a Life Free From Violence: Media and Communications Strategies to End Violence Against Women that includes sample campaigns developed around the world to address trafficking and commercial sexual exploitation. More information about and guidelines for working with the media can be found in the training section.

Much of the work in the area of education has been directed to providing women and girls who are at risk of being trafficked with information about potential dangers. Advice and information can be disseminated through leaflets and brochures, lecture or video presentations or through educational programs in schools and universities. La Strada Bulgaria has created a set of guidelines called "Things to Think About for Women and Girls Who Decide to Work Abroad," . The U.S. Department of State created a brochure titled, Be Smart, Be Safe, which includes information for women on how they can protect themselves when they travel to and work in the U.S. The promotion of vocational training and general education for girls is another tactic to reduce women's vulnerability to being trafficked.

Many NGOs also operate telephone hotline services, both for victims of trafficking and also to provide information to women and girls who are considering traveling abroad for work purposes. More information about the creation of a telephone hotline and training of hotline staff can be found in the training section as well as the Community Education pages of the advocacy section.