The proliferation of fake news, news reports with photographs and names of survivors of human trafficking, and lack of gender sensitivity in reporting have an adverse impact on the cause and survivors. Irresponsible use of social media also perpetuates human trafficking.
Impulse NGO Network’s (INGON) groundwork on human trafficking issues helped them see that dealing with the press is critical for resolving cases. To build on this, they launched the ‘Impulse Model Press Lab’ to aid sensitive reporting on cross-border human trafficking. Their fellowship programme for media houses across India, Nepal and Myanmar, and Bangladesh is aimed at improving the quality of reporting of cases of human trafficking, inculcating gender sensitivity and providing technical information to media houses. This programme will not only provide information about human trafficking, but also cover legal sensitisation of the press, and building journalist participation in the justice delivery system. They will conduct extensive training, and the selected fellows will write on human trafficking, for publication by the media houses they work for.
Founded by Hasina Kharbhih, the Impulse Model Press Lab seeks to further institutionalise the role of journalists in the justice delivery system and in policy making. It intends to create a cohort of journalists who can specialise in reporting on human trafficking. Such accurate and sensitive reporting of human trafficking will encourage victims to come forward with their cases without any fear of sensationalization.