Team: What the studio
Brief C: From subtle signs to action
About No Minor Thing
What can designers do to help combat sexual exploitation of children? That is the question posed by WDCD in collaboration with the Dutch Public Prosecutions Service (OM) and the Ministry of Justice & Security in an invitation-only design challenge.
In No Minor Thing: The What Design Can Do Challenge to Combat Sexual Exploitation of Children, selected design teams had the opportunity to come up with new ways of tackling this issue. Read more on the results of the project and approach of What The Studio.
About No place for sex trafficking
No Place for Sex Trafficking is a certification programme rewarding hospitality services that are committed to actively preventing sex trafficking.
Through our online platform, staff at hotels, bars and restaurants, as well as taxi drivers, can follow interactive training courses and learn how to spot the signs of sex trafficking. By doing so, their employers will obtain a certificate and a package of print and digital materials which they can use to communicate their social responsibility and create awareness amongst their customers, including potential buyers of sex. This will be supported by a communication campaign that will raise awareness in society of sex trafficking.
Read more on this project on the No minor thing platform >
How did you experience participating in No Minor Thing?
‘We are glad that the assignment has been taken so seriously by WDCD and OM, who have been really supportive and proactive by providing us with their knowledge and network. Without their participation our project would be more of a utopia, and now there are chances that it actually becomes real.’
‘Designers don’t need to become the experts, but we are the dreamers, the ones who can help to think bigger, to communicate better and to make the findings of experts accessible for more people.’
While working on this project, what has caught you by surprise the most?
‘The awful facts around sexual exploitation of minors and illegal prostitution. Also finding out that the Dutch society is completely unaware of this issue, and that so few hospitality businesses are taking action to prevent this type of crime. It surprised us in a good way that policy institutions are actively combating this crime, and have acknowledged that design can be a useful tool for them.’
What is, in your view, the role of design in dealing with these kinds of social problems?
‘In our particular experience throughout this project, we realised that there are experts doing a very good job in figuring out how to combat those social problems. Designers don’t need to become the experts, but we are the dreamers, the ones who can help to think bigger, to communicate better and to make the findings of experts accessible for more people. In our project, this is what could happen when the experts who develop the trainings for hotel employees are willing to collaborate with designers.
Is it your intention to continue your project after the closure of the challenge?
‘If there is enough funding to continue, yes.’