A Campaign Designed to Drop Sales.

Human trafficking is the buying and selling of human beings to meet demands for forced labour and prostitution.

With South Africa’s counter-trafficking legislation still pending, there is very little our police can do to fight these cold-hearted criminals. There is a greater need to keep comprehensive statistics of how many men, women and children are lied to, stolen from their families, trafficked back and forth across our borders and forced to live lives of indescribable horror as forced labourers, sex slaves and child prostitutes.

Our client, the Southern African Counter-Trafficking Assistance Programme (SACTAP) has been working with the South African Government and civil society to prevent the recruitment, trade and abuse of our society’s most vulnerable.

We realised that human-trafficking relies on the fact that potential victims are uninformed. So we needed to talk to the community directly, the way human traffickers do. Like the recruiters, we targeted children near schools or just walking the streets of poverty stricken townships and dense urban slums where unemployment and forced prostitution are common. And like the criminals, we employed an element of deception: We created tunnels with false walls which precisely matched the walls behind them, so that when people walked through, they disappeared –leaving onlookers wondering what had happened to them. By forcing people to imagine the unimaginable, the potential victims actually became the message.

What the IOM had to say about the campaign:

“There is currently a strong partnership between the Government of South Africa, civil society, and local communities to take action against human trafficking. IOM applauds TBWA for its support to these efforts through a creative campaign that opened the eyes of community populations and school children, and urged them to see the truth when offered dubious opportunities that promise a better and easier life.”
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