Interdisciplinary Conference on Human Trafficking at the University of Nebraska


Date of this Version



Presentation for 2011 Interdisciplinary Conference on Human Trafficking, September 29 - October 1, 2011, Lincoln, Nebraska. Copyright © 2011 Prawit Thainiyom.


In 2006, MTV and USAID launched, "MTV EXIT (End Exploitation and Trafficking)," a multi-media, multi-platform awareness and prevention campaign against human trafficking that has reached over 20 million people in 21 countries in the Asia Pacific. This paper describes the campaign background, design and message strategies and the outcome evaluation of the MTV EXIT documentaries, which were developed to build knowledge and influence attitude and behavior of the target audience on human trafficking. Both quantitative and qualitative research methods were employed for the outcome evaluation in six selected countries: China, India, Indonesia, Japan, Philippines and Thailand. Quantitative data was collected before and after documentary exposure through surveys using online access panel while qualitative data was gathered from focus groups. The Mind-Set Barometer, an indicator in which knowledge, attitude and behavior measures were weighted and incorporated into a composite score, was used in quantitative evaluation to measure the effects of campaign exposure. While some variations could be observed, the Mind-Set Barometer scores increased across all sites during the post surveys, showing positive effects of documentary exposure among research participants. The qualitative research provided key insights that the MTV EXIT documentaries had great potential in raising awareness about the issue, but should include stronger call to action to engage audience. This paper calls for the anti-trafficking community to conduct rigorous campaign evaluation to access outcomes, impacts and values of their communication activities. It also advocates that media campaigns can be effective tools in creating awareness and increasing prevention of human trafficking.