Five Point Guide For Migration Reporting
Media and Trafficking in Human Beings – Guidelines
In April 2018 the International Centre for Migration Policy Development (ICMPD) published Media and Trafficking in Human Beings – Guidelines, authored by the Ethical Journalism Network’s Aidan White as part of a project funded by the European Union. In his introduction to the guidelines White wrote:
“These guidelines aim to help editors and reporters to better understand the issues and to shape their stories in ways that avoid the dangers lurking in an aggressive and competitive media landscape.
The rush to publish, the confused and unreliable world of social media, and the rise of propaganda and political influence add to concerns that journalism is becoming trapped in a world of sensational headlines and sound bites.
Human trafficking, which is closely linked to slavery and forced labour, is a complex social problem that requires thoughtful, informed and, above all, compassionate journalism to provide context, give voice to the victims and assist in the search for solutions.
Media and journalism should play a positive role in persuading the world that trafficking can be diminished if not eradicated. Political leaders and the public at large need to read, hear and see the full story. It is an essential first step in generating the political will needed to overcome the fundamental causes of human trafficking.
The advice and suggestions set out in these pages can help journalists to think twice about how they report on trafficking; to consider the legal and human rights issues involved; the treatment of the victims, their privacy and welfare; and how to tell the story with humanity and style while helping audiences to understand better what must be done.