Victims of atrocities or victims of the media? Rethinking media coverage of human rights abuses
During the past decade there has been increasing media coverage about human trafficking, exploitation and modern day slavery. In most of these stories the so-called 'victims' of these scourges are depicted in classic stereotypes. For example, once freed from their abuse they are referred to as being 'rescued', usually by a foreigner, or they are presented as being vulnerable people or children, sold by greedy, drug-affected parents who have little regard for their own children. This simplistic presentation of a complex transnational crime not only inaccurately depicts the process of modern day exploitation and slavery, but can also stigmatise and have dire consequences on those recovering from these human rights abuses. This paper based on eight years of research and practice as a community development worker in Southeast Asia aims to propose a best practice for this type of reporting.
Proceedings from 2011 JEAA Conference
International and Development Communication