Public Safety Canada is committed to protecting Canadians from all forms of human trafficking. The problem is that many people in Canada have misperceptions about human trafficking. In fact, when asked to define the term, 95% of Canadians confused human trafficking with human smuggling. To help combat the problem of human trafficking, and teach people the signs to look out for, we first had to educate our audience about what it is.

We developed a campaign that confronted Canadians with common misperceptions about human trafficking and challenged them to rethink what they thought they knew. Using shipping containers as a visual metaphor for human trafficking, we showed that trafficking isn’t about moving people across borders, it’s about exploiting others for profit, generally for sex or work purposes, through different forms of coercion.

The campaign was launched with a 90-second video, set to Billie Eilish’s “when the party’s over”. It shows one possible scenario, a seemingly normal relationship, that could lead to sex trafficking and is punctuated by a shocking stat. The campaign was rounded out by banner executions and social ads that featured labour trafficking and domestic servitude, showing that human trafficking is a complex issue that isn’t easily spotted.

To fight human trafficking, Canadians need to understand what they’re fighting against. We created an awareness campaign that shocked Canadians by showing just how relatable the reality of human trafficking can be.