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3. Identifying the Need


Conduct some research on the issue of trafficking and exploitation in your community before starting an Empower club. It may be useful to sort research into generally applicable information about trafficking in a larger area (such as a country or state/province) and information that is only applicable to the community in which you are hosting the awareness campaign.

The key questions you will use to shape your research will depend on what you already know and the resources you have at your disposal. You should aim to answer the following questions:

  • What are the forms of trafficking, exploitation and abuse that happen here?

  • What is the history of trafficking/exploitation/abuse in this community?

  • Is this a source, transit, or destination community?

  • Who (age group, gender, population, etc.) is being trafficked/exploited/abused?

  • What do people already know about and what information are they lacking?

  • Are there common misconceptions about trafficking/exploitation/abuse that this community should be educated about?

  • What are current organizations doing to prevent trafficking/exploitation/abuse?

  • What are the services available to victims and individuals at-risk in this community?

  • What services are lacking and how can victims/at-risk individuals protect themselves?

  • What are the legal rights and protections guaranteed by the legal system, and how can victims/at-risk individuals use those rights and protections?

  • Who are the groups or individuals in the community that victims/at-risk individuals can consult if they want more information or find themselves in a vulnerable situation?

Here are some outlets that you can use to start researching:


Stories that are published by news outlets on trafficking, exploitation and abuse provide the most recent and up-to-date information. They can tell you what is happening now and what people currently know. You can use news stories to bolster your content, as well as to identify topics that are less often publicized. For example, if you notice that recent stories focus more on particular sites for trafficking activity, such as hotels, your campaign can supplement this information with other sites, which may include low-income communities and transit points such as airports and borders.


Research that is conducted by academics and professionals can be useful in understanding the historical context of trafficking in a particular area. It can be difficult to read through, but often the results and discussion portions of relevant papers offer useful information you can use to support your content. Make sure that the sources you consult are legitimate, and always check (at least skim) the research methodology section to make sure there are no major holes in the approach used.


If you know of another organization(s) that is currently working to prevent and intercept trafficking related activities or restore and rehabilitate victims, it may be useful to consult with one of their staff to gain a better understanding of how organizations and agencies today are addressing the issue and the information they have gained in their programs and operations.

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