Sexual exploitation of young people is an urgent issue. Nevertheless, we still face two persistent problems: on the one hand, a lack of awareness and ability to spot important signs; on the other, the fact that making a report is too complicated.
We will blow the dust off of this issue with a shocking campaign. The fictitious site www.scholierensekswerk.nl will lead to a new platform where the threshold for reporting will be eliminated as far as possible through service design. More reports mean more cases will be taken on, more perpetrators taken off the streets and more victims helped. Or even better, prevented from becoming victims in the first place.
What was it like to participate in No Minor Thing?
‘Working on this complex project inspired us in many ways. We chose a method in which we use commercial knowledge to create social impact. This, after extensive research, analysis and discussion, resulted in two projects. For the first project we ended up completely out of our comfort zone: developing a game to help immigrants become less vulnerable for sexual exploitation. In the second concept, we put on our marketing binoculars to evaluate the instruments currently used around this social problem. Our conclusions were simple. There’s too little information and awareness around the problem, and reporting suspicions or crimes is too complicated.’
‘Complex social issues as sexuality, respect and power are not really talked about and are misunderstood. In that sense there is a lot of improvement possible for families and schools.’
While working on this project, what has caught you by surprise the most?
‘We were most surprised by the big taboo surrounding this subject. This isolates the problem and creates difficulty in finding a solution. Complex social issues as sexuality, respect and power are not really talked about and are misunderstood. In that sense there is a lot of improvement possible for families and schools.’
What role do you attribute to design when it comes to this type of social issue?
‘Traditionally, designers are a binding link between producer and consumer. They understand both worlds and because of that speak the language of the policy makers and the market. This position is of great value in finding solutions for social problems and in the translation of ideas. In this sense the designer is the perfect mediator. Furthermore, designers think in solutions, without being hold back by bureaucracy, policy and rules. This optimistic mentality and determination creates the right mindset for finding new ideas.’