What are the e ffects of mass media campaigns on the norms and behaviors of police officers as pertains to human tra fficking? Namely, can mass media campaigns be employed to induce shifts in knowledge, attitudes, beliefs and practices (KABP) of law enforcement officers, that might reduce the incidence of modern forms of slavery and assist victims of human traffi cking? Mass media, especially `entertainment education, (e.g. comic books, radio soap operas, and street theater) is frequently used as a tool for social change to convey messages around issues such as public health, gender rights, conflict resolution, or development strategies through stories that are both realistic and entertaining. Yet how can we know the e ffects of such campaigns? Specifically, do diff erences in message formats and content a ffect the impact of campaigns against human tra fficking? The research presented here shows that mass media entertainment campaigns can e ffectively convey messages around human traffi cking, influencing attitudes, norms and behaviors of law enforcement officers around the issue. It also demonstrates how messages whose content emphasizes victim empowerment appear to be more e ffective than negative, fear-inducing appeals.
Margaret Boittin is an Assistant Professor of Law at Osgoode Hall Law School (York University, Canada). Her first book, entitled The Whore, the Hostess and the Honey: Policing, Health, Business and the Regulation of Prostitution in China, is under contract with Cambridge University Press.