The anti-modern slavery sector relies on strong stories and eye-catching images when writing about modern slavery. Raising awareness of the issues and the prevalence of modern slavery is essential, but so often, as survivors of modern slavery tell us, the images and language used to tell these stories do not reflect them accurately or in a dignified way.
All too often, disempowering language and images are used to drive the narratives around modern slavery and extreme exploitation, sensationalizing the experience of modern slavery today. Sensationalist images and language can unintentionally create or reinforce stereotypes or negative prejudices.
You can help change this by adopting the My Story, My Dignity Pledge as an individual or on behalf of an organization, company or institution that publicly shares human trafficking and modern slavery information and cases. By adhering to the pledge, you can help ensure accurate and respectful representations, so that we are all better informed on the realities of modern slavery and better equipped to end it. The anti-modern slavery movement must create the space for leadership from lived experience, helping identify lasting solutions.
The My Story, My Dignity Pledge principles:
- Choose respectful images that are representative of the issue. Choose stock images carefully.
- Select text that accurately represents the story. Be careful to avoid sensationalist language.
- Respect survivors’ right to privacy and dignity.
- Obtain prior consent to using a personal story, be transparent and accurate about the process and how it will be used.
Read Freedom United’s content guidelines to see how we live by the pledge.