Posters provide graphic warnings about child trafficking
The Prevention of Child Trafficking (PCT) team uses these posters in their program to end child trafficking in central India. If you’d like to read about their method and results from 2017-2022, click here.
This anti-trafficking campaign is part traveling classroom and part movie night. The PCT team hosts movie nights, school assemblies, and volunteer training. But here’s another effective tool they use to teach villagers and children about child trafficking.
Spreading the word through posters
These posters feature colorful lessons about how to prevent child trafficking. Each of the three posters featured below works to educate young women – the most common victim of child traffickers.
Want a challenge? Guess each poster’s message. Then read further to see if you are right.
Helping Girls Become Their Own Superheroes
At the top of the poster, you see a charming image of a young girl happily lost in a book—an image of the life all children deserve. But as you look over the poster, you realize that this sweet bookworm has a dilemma. How will she protect herself from aggressive strangers? The poster teaches girls to defend themselves. They must be comfortable standing up for themselves when men are rude and harass them. The message in this poster is simple: Don’t be afraid. Fight back.
Now, look closer. There is a tiny detail in the bottom right image that offers an empowering message to girls who face street harassment. It’s a secret insult, drawn right into the cartoon. In the bottom right image, one man is running away as fast as he can from our angry young lady. You can see that she has another would-be attacker by the hair and is using her sandal to slap him in the face. To get hit by a shoe—which comes in contact with cow dung, garbage, ash, and many other dirty things—is a serious insult in India.
The above poster where a schoolgirl is the hero, who sends a strange man running and smacks another in the face with her flip-flop, empowers girls like her to physically fight back when strange men get too close.
This poster lists warnings for young women who are vulnerable to the kinds of lies traffickers tell. Men and women will approach girls on the bus and offer them jobs and opportunities that seem too good to be true. And they are.
Many of these girls, when they agree to go with these “friendly” strangers, find themselves sold to the highest bidder for prostitution or child labor. The promises they believed in were nothing more than traps all along.
Don’t be tempted
These temptations—of a fancy apartment, or a private limo, or jewelry, stacks of cash—are depicted in the above poster. A girl daydreams of the glamorous life she could lead if she left her village. In a twist on the “big-city job with a big paycheck” lie, traffickers tell poor girls that they can become Bollywood starlets if they leave their villages and go with them.
These girls don’t know the dangers that lurk in large, unfamiliar cities. The lure of a big paycheck or a celebrity lifestyle is too much to resist, particularly for girls whose families live in poverty. That’s why the PCT team is teaching young women how to protect themselves. They are educating girls and women to know the lies traffickers tell their victims.
It is through education and awareness that child trafficking will be prevented
The PCT team, through their posters and outreach campaign, are working to outsmart child traffickers before they can steal children away.
Want to help the PCT team educate more villagers? Join the World’s Children Prevention of Child Trafficking Community.