Journalists, students, civil society organizations and official authorities working in the human trafficking field are gathered for an international digital conference marking the end of the project THALIA, run in cooperation by Södertörn University and Council of Baltic Sea States. During 2012, the project has organized panel seminars in eight countries in the Baltic Sea region to facilitate meetings and discussions between journalism students and professionals such as practicing journalists, police officers, prosecutors and human rights lawyers. The conference provides an opportunity to discuss and reflect further on the relationship between trafficked human beings and the representations of them in the massmedia.

The conference is organised by Södertörn University and Council of Baltic Sea States, CBSS, as part of their international project Towards thoughtful, informed, and compassionate journalism in covering human trafficking (THALIA), which explores the role of media and journalism in shaping our understanding of human trafficking.

Given that most citizens will knowingly never encounter human trafficking and may not have sufficient knowledge on the issue, journalists and the media have a crucial role in raising awareness as their reporting is often the most common and sometimes only source of information. Engaging current and future journalists to accurately and compassionately shed light on the issue of human trafficking has been placed as a priority in the THALIA project. Therefore, one of the main objectives of THALIA is to partner up with students and teachers of journalism in the Baltic Sea Region in the work against human trafficking, and to raise the awareness on the topic among future journalists.

Within the frame of the project, workshops and seminars on the topic of media and human trafficking have been organised in eight countries in the Baltic Sea region. So far, over 450 journalist students have participated in interactive activities giving them a comprehensive insight on the issue of human trafficking, and valuable tips from renowned journalists experienced in covering trafficking and related crimes.

The conference marks the end of the project and includes panels where practicing journalists share their experiences, student collaborating in the project presents their work, and scholars and teachers discuss the role of collaborations across both geographical and institutional borders. The conference will discuss questions such as:

  • What is the role of media when it comes to shaping the general understanding of human trafficking as a crime and phenomenon?
  • Which human trafficking exploitation forms are covered by media in our region and beyond?
  • How do we avoid stereotypical reporting on the topic?
  • How can state agencies and organisations partner up with media in order to further raise awareness and prevent human trafficking?
  • What steps can universities take to increase the knowledge on the topic of human trafficking, among future journalists?

More information

Date & time: December 7, 09.30-15:15

Arranged by: Södertörn University & Council of Baltic Sea States

The conference is free of charge, open to anyone interested, and takes place via Zoom.

Registration and zoom link: https://cbss.org/event/thalia-conference-on-medias-role-in-shaping-the-understanding-of-trafficking-in-human-beings/

 

Urban Larssen
Södertörn University,
urban.larssen@sh.se

Edi Mujaj, CBSS, edi.mujaj@cbss.org