Understanding Public Knowledge and Attitudes towards Trafficking in Human Beings

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Tuesday, November 25, 2014 - 2:00pm
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Tuesday, November 25, 2014 - 2:00pm to 3:30pm

CPS Research Fellow Kiril Sharapov will present his research paper on the differences in the levels of awareness of human trafficking among the general public in Great Britain, Ukraine, and Hungary.


The purpose of this research report is to present headline results of the research project 'Understanding Public Knowledge and Attitudes towards Trafficking in Human Beings', which explores public understanding of human trafficking in the three case-­‐study countries: Ukraine, Hungary and Great Britain.

This paper discusses the outcomes of representative surveys of public opinion in the three case study countries -­ Ukraine, Hungary and Great Britain. These surveys were undertaken by national market research agencies in December 2013 – January 2014, and included nationwide, random-­sampled and population-­weighted samples each consisting of 1,000 respondents.

The paper is divided into 4 parts. Part 1 provides an overview of some of key theoretical and methodological considerations in relation to public opinion research, and the link between public opinion and public policies. It includes an overview of the survey methodology, and reviews responses to the survey's open-­ended question, which asked respondents to describe, in their own words, what they understood human trafficking to be. It also includes an overview of which sources of information informed respondents' knowledge of human trafficking.

Part 2 provides an overall assessment of respondents' understanding of human trafficking based on their answers to a series of statements related to human trafficking. These statements are based on the outcomes of the literature review and national policy analysis undertaken as part of this research project (see, for example, Sharapov 2014); they reflect some of the key policy and media representations of human trafficking, which, as this report demonstrates, appear to have an impact on how trafficking is understood by members of the general public.

Part 3 provides a summary of statistical procedures and manipulations with the survey data, including the analysis of consolidated sub-­scales, correlation and factor analysis.

Part 4 provides a summary of opinions and views expressed by anti-­trafficking non-­governmental organisations in Ukraine, Hungary and the United Kingdom interviewed within the context of this project to explore their responses to the survey outcomes and to the broader issues of public awareness of human trafficking. Where possible, it includes feedback by relevant government departments. In providing a summary of these perspectives, this part puts forward a summary of potential policy implications and areas for further research.