School of Public Policy Capstones

Publication Date



Human trafficking is a serious crime that consists of slavery in modern forms all over the world. Despite the rapid economic growth in China during the past few decades, the situation of human trafficking in China remains serious. The clandestine and secretive nature of human trafficking makes the crime hard to combat. However, in January 2011, an online anti-­‐child trafficking activism initiative named SNAPSHOT was initiated on Weibo, the Chinese version of Twitter. SNAPHOT encourages citizens to take picture of child beggars, children that are trafficked and forced to beg on the street, and upload their pictures online. The goal of SNAPSHOT is to reunite trafficked children and their families, and to provide clues for the police force to combat human trafficking. This paper explores the socio-­‐demographic characteristics, patterns of civic engagement, and motivations of citizens who participate in SNAPSHOT through its online campaign on Weibo. I discuss the implications of these findings for anti-­‐human trafficking non-­‐profit efforts in China, examining the opportunities and challenges of using new media platforms for these campaigns. This paper makes policy recommendations to SNAPSHOT and other non-­‐governmental organizations in the field to build sustainability of their advocacy networks.