What is your signature innovation, your new idea, in one sentence?
Interaction pursues an ambitious public awareness campaign through creative advertisements throughout Transnistria, offering a free hotline, dispelling myths about foreign employment, and informing the public of traffickers' recruitment tactics.
Describe your innovation. What makes your idea unique and different than others doing work in the field?
Interaction is the only organization in Transnistria, an area that staunchly denies the existence of human trafficking within its borders, that works toward the prevention of human trafficking and provides assistance to victims there. The program is unique in that it accepts responsibilities that would normally fall under the jurisdiction of the state, but which have been completely ignored by the Transnistrian government. Far from receiving any assistance within Transnistria, Interaction has continuously fought against human trafficking despite opposition and consistent persecution from within the region against the organization's leadership and members.
Bold advertisements and the establishment of a hotline represent an innovative movement in the traditionally Soviet, isolationist environment of a separatist region. Experience has shown that the intensity of the advertising campaign directly influences the number of preventive and emergency calls to the hotline.
Delivery Model: How do you implement your innovation and apply it to the challenge/problem you are addressing?
The most recent campaign focuses on raising awareness through media outlets such as commercials on television and in minibuses (where passengers become a captive audience) and trolley-bus sideboards. Interaction also uses billboards and radio advertisements, as well as brochures, flyers, and ongoing movie showings about the realities of human trafficking and exploitation. Volunteers hand out stickers and pocket calendars, along with information booklets.
How do you plan to grow your innovation?
The first commercials in mini-buses appeared the first week of June, 2008 as the most recent addition to Interaction's advertisement campaign. These advertisements continue to raise awareness in the community about the hotline and the dangers of trafficking. Ineraction also plans to increase the audience by conducting informational seminars for at-risk populations in schools throughout the region. Transnistrian youth volunteers lead these seminars. Interaction is also working to enhance and expand the program's website as a resource for the community and abroad.
Do you have any existing partnerships, and if so, how do you create them?
Although Interaction is the only organization in Transnistria working against human trafficking, it maintains close ties to other organizations such as the Moldovan office of the International Organization for Migration in Chisinau, OSCE, and Front Line, the international foundation for human rights defenders. Founder and director, Oxana Alistratova, has been instrumental in forging relationships with these groups, individually approaching directors and inviting them to contribute to efforts in Transnistria.
Within the advertisement campaign Interaction maintains contracts with the advertising agencies Exclusive, Travel Group, and Start Still. In addition, Interaction has developed and maintained unofficial relationships with three journalists who consistently promote the activities of Interaction through positive newspaper articles.