What can trafficking look like in NI? Part 1
By Megan
June 15, 2021

People (especially young people) being forced to produce sexual content on a webcam/phone camera.

The next question on your lips is likely… How do we keep young people safe?/How do we stay safe?

Here are some tips:

  1. Have conversations about boundaries- we don’t have to do everything that our partners ask especially if it doesn’t make us feel good or makes us feel unsafe.
  2. Make sure you know who you are talking to online- someone from school etc if you are a parent/youth worker ask open questions about who they are chatting to.
  3. Make sure accounts are private on social media with no personal info in your bio (even though accounts are private bios are public) someone may have a private account but have their Snapchat username in their bio, this like locking your front door without locking the backdoor. Predators will add young people on snap and claim to be their age or a little older.
  4. Turn location off in apps like Snapchat- Let your trusted friends who you know in person have your location but not anyone who you don’t know from real life.
  5. Help young people understand that they should be communicating with someone who is age-appropriate e.g a 19 year old male talking to a 13 year old female asking for naked pictures is not ok and vice versa. Do not just end conversation there explain that someone who is that much older will have different expectations from conversations and would maybe bring up some things that they aren’t ready for and that you want to keep them safe.
  6. If their “webcam is broken” and they want you to always have one on for them but don’t want to show their face is a sign they maybe aren’t telling the whole truth about who they are.

These are a few things that we can all do to stay safe online. If you are a young person reading this and feel like some of these things sounds similar to what’s happening to you please talk to a trusted adult- parent/guardian, social worker, youth worker or a teacher. We all deserve people to be honest about who they are online and in person.