HUMAN TRAFFICKING EDUCATION TOOL
MINISTRY OF COMMUNITY AND SOCIAL SERVICES
How might we effectively educate young Ontarians about the luring practices of sex traffickers?
Develop an engaging and interactive educational tool to arm young people with the knowledge of common ways trafficking happens, so they can better protect themselves and their peers. This web-based app will be used in classrooms and by youth organizations across Ontario.
1. The foundation of the experience is based on the fact that traffickers identify and leverage vulnerabilities in their targets, and everyone has vulnerabilities.
2. The user experience must feel native for our target audience of 11 - 17 year olds.
3. The user experience must feel immersive and individual.
WHAT ARE YOU LOOKING FOR?
Traffickers are quick to identify unmet needs in potential victims, they then systematically work to meet those needs as a means of gaining a victim’s trust. Demonstrating this transactional approach to our target was a key part of the educational objective, so we decided to begin the user experience with a sorting exercise of selecting things a user is “looking for” from a list; be it romantic love, a best friend, money, or a safe place to stay. Based on these selections, we created an algorithm to serve one of the four user journeys. The user is then approached by their trafficker, via chat feature. Users interact with their trafficker using pre-populated responses.
NEEDS A FAVOUR
As the journey progresses each of the four traffickers’ tone begins to change from flattery and affection to more sinister and desperate. A "favour" is asked, in the form of a sexual act.
The “choices” the users enjoyed at the beginning of each journey are slowly whittled away to having no choice at all; demonstrating that traffickers eventually exploit and trap their victims by using threats of physical harm and humiliation to ensure victims’ compliance.
VIEW MORE WORK
At the end of each journey users can scroll through the typical stages of sex trafficking. Links to support resources are provided, as well as a link to further information.