Human trafficking is arguably the fastest growing criminal industry in the world. An estimated 2.5 million people are victims of human trafficking each year. Despite this prevalence, evidence suggested low awareness and understanding in Qatar of what constitutes human trafficking and its occurrence at a local level. Prior to launching an awareness campaign and capacity building programs, QFCHT deemed it important to identify local attitudes and perceptions about human trafficking.

This paper aims to gauge current awareness and understanding of human trafficking among Qatar residents and to identify community misunderstandings and knowledge gaps.

This quantitative research consisted of a total of 426 face-to-face intercept interviews (in Arabic and English) with a stratified random sample of Qatar residents. Quotas were set according to four nationality groups so that demographic comparisons could be made. Interviews were conducted by 20 volunteers and QFCHT staff throughout July and August 2011. All interviewers underwent an extensive briefing by a qualified market research consultant and a quality audit was conducted on 10% of completed surveys.

The results of this research confirm there is limited awareness and recognition in Qatar of the overall concept of human trafficking. However, in general after being provided with a definition, respondents accurately reflected that the categories of people most affected by human trafficking in Qatar are domestic workers and labourers. Almost half (48%) of respondents did not know which organisations in Qatar provided services to victims.

A significant proportion of Qatar residents interviewed had a limited understanding of the meaning behind the term human trafficking. The findings indicate a further need to build the awareness among residents of Qatar of the types of human trafficking occurrences and ways to combat them. Human trafficking promotional campaigns need to focus on targeting nationalities where understanding is at its lowest and on issues specific to the categories of people most affected in Qatar. Campaigns should also focus on increasing awareness of support services available to victims such as the services offered by the QFCHT. Recommendations are included in the research report.


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