Case Study

Communications Design for Anti-Trafficking

How can designing effective communications help reach the most hard-to-reach populations?

SafeHorizon_USA_map

This was the question facing Safe Horizon, one of the largest service providers for survivors of human trafficking in the United States, at desigNYC in 2012. Each year, an estimated 700,000 to 2 million people are trafficked globally. Services exist to help them, but reaching victims of human trafficking is exceedingly difficult. Victims are often isolated with little access to information. They may not know their rights, how to seek support, or that they are even being “trafficked”.

Since 2001, Safe Horizon’s Anti-Trafficking Program has assisted more than 500 survivors of human trafficking in New York City. Seeking to scale their impact, Safe Horizon partnered with Reboot to develop targeted outreach materials that could help trafficked persons better understand the severity of their circumstances and the services available to support them.

Panthea Lee speaks at TEDxDumbo

In New York City, victims of human trafficking are often hidden in plain sight. They are male, female, and transgender; they are of every age and ethnic origin, hailing from within New York City and from around the world. Close proximity to major international ports, a large population of immigrants, and a concentration of informal industries means severe labor rights violations can occur and go easily undetected. Tightly controlled movements and limited access to information also mean that victims are often unaware of the organizations they can turn to for help. They may not know their rights, how to seek support, or that they are even being “trafficked”.

Safe Horizon’s Anti-Trafficking Program provides a variety of critical services that combat individual instances of trafficking, in addition to helping foster systemic change. The challenge has been and remains reaching victims effectively. Safe Horizon partnered with Reboot to develop targeted outreach materials that could help trafficked persons better understand the severity of their circumstances and the services available to support them.

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