Researchers in EM Youth and Social Media Risks

Research concept note - EM youth and social media risks


Provide the first-hand research needed to inform the design of a campaign to raise awareness of social media risks among ethnic minority youth in communities affected by human trafficking.

The problem: Many instances have been found where human trafficking victims were first contacted by traffickers or their agents via social media chat (often lying to them about friendship, romance or work opportunities). It is not known how common this is, or whether youth in at-risk communities understand how to lessen the risk of communicating with fake or stranger accounts online.

What is known is that many ethnic minority youth are active users of social media and chat apps, and they are at risk of being contacted by agents or actors associate with human trafficking networks. Ethnic minority youth, their parents and communities may not be armed with the knowledge and skills needed to lessen or avoid risks associated with social media and chat apps. Programmatic solutions like the child welfare telephone hotline are not currently effective mechanisms to lower risks.

Overview of current need:

Research is needed to ensure that campaign key messages target the exact problems faced by ethnic minority youth, and that solutions or steps recommended are positive contributions to lowering risks associated with the interconnection between social media and human trafficking agents and networks.

Proposed research team:

  • One senior researcher with extensive field experience and survey research design background;
  • One or two junior researchers with the ability to lead engaging focus group discussions with EM youth.

Proposed steps:

  • Interviews with NGO staff involved in anti-trafficking interventions (Blue Dragon, Hagar, Pacific Links, other);
  • Interviews with community leaders, officials and law enforcement in at-risk communities;
  • Anonymous survey questionnaire for EM youth examining their knowledge of digital safety and their practices related to social media and chat;
  • Two or more focus group discussions with EM youth to discuss the survey results, and ideas related to education and awareness on social media risks;
  • A report with recommendations based on the above research and data;
  • A final workshop with Blue Dragon, SecDev Foundation and a social media campaigning expert to design programmatic interventions based on a social media campaign and/or offline workshops targeting at-risk youth.

To apply:

Interested applicants should contact Ms Do Thi Hong Thuan at [email protected] before 15 November 2020.


Job Details
Organisation Name: 
SecDev Foundation
Application Deadline: 
Sun, 2020-11-15