Deficiencia de la comunicación para la Prevención (PROBLEMA) / Eficiencia en la comunicación para la Prevención (SOLUCION)

Yanina Basilico
National Coordinator of the Executive Committee for the Fight against Human Trafficking and Exploitation and for Victim Protection and Assistance 

To begin with, I would first like to thank Pope Francis, the man that turned his papacy into a crusade against slavery. Thank you, Francis for supporting us, for putting the spotlight on this matter. Thank you Marcelo Sánchez Sorondo, our beloved Monsignor, for your total compromise, sacrifice and a life of service against slavery. I want to thank each and every person that made it possible for us to be here today, discussing for a world without violence and slavery, a fight that we have made our own.

What I would like to do today is invite you to discuss the shortcomings and deficiencies that I have observed in prevention and communication campaigns. I have noted some points that, in my opinion, are not being considered at the time of building these campaigns. For example, if we talk about primary prevention, we are supposing a campaign directed towards groups of greater risk and vulnerability, with the purpose of preventing them from joining exploitation circles; we would be talking about the need to transmit a prevention message before a certain situation occurs, for example through training workshops.

In situations that are generally associated with the migration process, which some people are forced to undertake, you can observe – in transit, or during transit and subsequent settlement – the great number of vulnerabilities that put these people in a situation of disadvantage. As Pope Francis said at the Mayors’ Summit in July 2015: the exodus of people from the countryside to the large urban centers is inexorable and puts them in situations of vulnerability that are sometimes exploited by mafia networks. It is in this situation of lack of protection and of non-containment where one must arrive efficiently with a communication campaign for prevention.

And the Pope goes on saying: “It’s because this awareness comes from the centre toward the peripheries, while the most serious and profound work is starts at the peripheries and moves toward the centre; in other words, from you to the conscience of humanity”.

There are many causes that – consciously or unconsciously – lead to an inefficient formulation of our communications strategy, and we should constantly be reviewing them. Generally, the responsibility to prevent certain situations lies with the State, at different levels. Central powers have communication tools to elaborate those messages which are intended to have a massive reach, but unfortunately, in many cases they do not manage to take into consideration the particular socio-cultural characteristics of each region or minority group, who are usually the most vulnerable and those who are at greater risk of being captured. Facing this reality, and with this in mind, it is necessary for these creative teams to include representatives of Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) to work on the topic they wish to prevent, and also specialists but, above all, survivors of the scourge of trafficking, in order to have a broad, real and territorial outlook, and not just a simply theoretical and technical one.

This interdisciplinary and interpersonal vision will contribute to the elaboration of clearer messages, giving more visibility to the problem we aim to solve, and that way achieve our goal. That is why it is essential for the technical teams of these creative laboratories to incorporate in their analysis the social and cultural patterns of the recipients; it is fundamental in order to be effective.

During this analysis, it is necessary to keep in mind, for example, how and through what means of communication these groups are being informed. Focusing and tailoring messages to particular audiences through the right channel also helps to make use of the available resources for media production and contracting outlets.

Another aspect that would ensure the effectiveness of the campaign is the permanent and constant advertising of the issue in the mass media, varying contents according to the overall structure of the campaign. The need for a well-structured communication campaign, directed and transmitted through the appropriate channels, has a direct relationship with the budget allocated to it but also its political determination and weight on the national agenda.

The challenge in the coming years implies a great deal of commitment on the part of the governments that are really willing to work for the vindication of people’s rights that have been quashed. It is not impossible. It is an attitude towards life, a political decision aimed at equity and respect for the human being, to consider the budget allocation for social issues as important as the one for public works, but also to put together broad and participative production teams and elaboration of audiovisual content.

Faced with the realities and shortcomings that many of us in the different places where we live observe during our daily life, I would humbly like to propose some guidelines that, although they are not immediate solutions, will surely open new spaces for discussions in which we, young people, will play a decisive role.

For example:

·      The determination of a budgetary allocation according to the meaning that the violation of human rights represents for each State.

·      The formation of a broad interdisciplinary communications team that takes into account territorial and technical viewpoints to elaborate its messages.

·      The imperative need to draft, among the different levels of government, a law that obliges the media to give free spaces to support permanent official campaigns.

Finally, where I am working now, we have survivors of this crime on our team. It is the first time that the Argentine National State officially includes and works with victims of this crime, and listens to them to be able to help them in an articulated way. That’s why I wanted to show you the brochures we have made that say, “Let’s open our eyes. How to prevent. What we can report. Where to report. The trafficking of people is not easy to detect, if something looks doubtful, do not hesitate and report it by calling 145, which is a free and anonymous national helpline”.

Thank you very much.




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