Implementing Public Awareness Campaigns


Public awareness campaign common strategy employed by anti-trafficking organizations in order to spread messages of awareness, understanding, and resources about human trafficking to large audiences. It is difficult to conclusively measure the effectiveness of public awareness campaigns. However, some suggestions for conducting effective anti-trafficking public awareness campaigns include the following:


  • Produce materials in coordination with local support systems, including law enforcement, advocates, service providers, students, and other relevant parties so that messaging is consistent. Such partnerships may also make it possible to blend funds for maximum impact.
  • Use consistent, agreed-upon language to describe the issue.
  • Tailor materials as much as possible so that the message disseminated is clear. For example, campaigns may focus on foreign born or domestic victims, adults or children, or sex or labor trafficking.
  • Create a message that is impactful but not salacious. Testing messages on focus groups can enable groups to enhance the effectiveness of their campaign and to discern whether the intended message is being conveyed.
  • Refrain from using images of chains or other forms of restraint, as often youth involved in CSEC and trafficking remain in their situation through coercion, lies, and threats.
  • Consider using “shadowed people” or silhouettes of youth, rather than photos of scantily-clad youth in various stages of undress.
  • Plan to release campaigns in conjunction with other anti-trafficking events (see reverse).
  • Include the National Human Trafficking Hotline information (888-373-7888) or text “HELP” to BEFREE
  • Use social media to spread your message to a wide audience at no cost. Update your posts regularly so as to keep your audience engaged.
  • Use multiple outlets and media forms. Examples include educational events; poster, postcard, and other media campaigns; protests and awareness events; petitions, lobbying, and fundraising; educational speeches; informational flyers; concerts and street dramas; research studies; personal testimonials; and other advocacy efforts.


Global Anti-Trafficking Advocacy Days


  • January: National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month
  • January 1, 1863: President Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation took effect proclaiming
  • the freedom of slaves in the ten states then in rebellion
  • January 11: National Human Trafficking Awareness Day
  • February: Teen Dating Violence Awareness and Prevention Month
  • February 1: National Freedom Day
  • February 20: World Day of Social Justice
  • March 8: International Women’s Day
  • March 25: International Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Slavery and the
  • Transatlantic Slave Trade
  • April: National Child Abuse Prevention Month
  • April: Sexual Assault Awareness Month
  • First full week in April: National Crime Victims’ Rights Week
  • May 1: International Workers’ Day
  • June 4: International Day of Innocent Children Victims of Aggression
  • June 12: World Day Against Child Labor
  • August 23: International Day for the Remembrance of the Slave Trade and its Abolition
  • First Monday of September: Labor Day
  • September 22, 1862: President Abraham Lincoln’s announcement of the Emancipation
  • Proclamation
  • October: Domestic Violence Awareness Month
  • October 15: International Day of Rural Women
  • November: National Runaway Prevention Month
  • November 25: International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women
  • December 2: International Day for the Abolition of Slavery
  • December 6, 1865: The United States adopted the 13th Amendment, outlawing slavery
  • and involuntary servitude (except as punishment for a crime)
  • December 10: International Human Rights Day
  • December 17: International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers
  • December 18: International Migrants Day

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