Canada has just launched an ad campaign to raise awareness about human trafficking. Backed by the Canadian government, the Blue Blindfold media blitz is based on the campaign of the same name launched in the UK back in 2007. Based around the motif of people wearing blue blindfolds, the campaign urges the community: “don’t close your eyes” to modern day slavery.
The Canadian Crime Stoppers Association—which describes itself as a “civilian, non profit, charitable organization that brings together in a triparte relationship, the police services of a community, the media and the community in the fight against crime”—was given permission to adapt the UK’s Blue Blindfold campaign for a Canadian audience. Media is to be produced for television, radio, newspapers, and educational brochures (the UK campaign also utilized billboards).
The campaign is receiving some criticism from people who say it doesn’t do enough to actively stop modern day slavery and human trafficking. New Democrat parliament member Olivia Chow asked why Canada was three years behind the UK in adopting a comprehensive ad campaign against human trafficking. From CTV:
“Olivia Chow said that a public awareness campaign doesn’t go far enough to address the problem.
Instead, Chow said that Ottawa should be working to provide ‘comprehensive’ legal services to the victims of human trafficking, so pimps and criminals can be convicted and stopped.
Chow told CTV’s Power Play on Tuesday that many foreign women trapped in the sex trade are afraid to come forward, since they believe that officials will deport or arrest them.
If the victims are afraid to talk, this means that traffickers aren’t brought to justice, Chow said.
‘There’s very, very little chance of them being convicted, and they know that.'”
The real question is: why doesn’t the US have a comprehensive, national media campaign against modern day slavery?