Technology To Combat Human Trafficking

With an estimated 24.9 million victims worldwide at any given time, human traffickers prey on adults and children of all ages, backgrounds, and nationalities, exploiting them for their own profit. 

In the US between 15,000 and 50,000 women and children are forced into sexual slavery every year and the US Department of Health & Human Services estimates the total number of victims stands at 240,000 to 325,000. 

While the changing nature of technology means that traffickers are increasingly hard to track, it also means that there are a growing number of ways to combat human trafficking at every level. Government agencies, multi-national corporations, and individual app designers are providing new technologies, making it easier for law enforcement, non-profit organisations, and you to help fight human trafficking.

In order to combat this crisis a non-profit organisation took inspiration from the Indian Police, which used facial recognition technology to identify 3,000 missing children in a four-day period a few years ago. After learning about the power of technology in identification children who were vulnerable to human trafficking and child labor, the non-profit organisation ‘Moms in Security’ sought donations of tools and technology from manufacturers and developers that included software licenses and small surveillance tools to use this technology while conducting human trafficking rescue missions. 

Though technology is not the first and most readily available solution in human trafficking incidents, it is a particularly useful tool that should not be overlooked. In particular, Blockchain is a technology that is being increasingly used to combat human trafficking. 

  • Blockchain technology, which provides a shared, transparent, digital ledger of transactions, enables the tracking of goods from their original source to their final destination and can also be used to identify human trafficking risks. 
  • Artificial Intelligence (AI) can help with age progressions needed to identify victims who may have been missing for years.
  • Running facial recognition software on postings and checking the data against missing persons reports allows authorities to identify victims of human trafficking. 
  • Platforms for e-learning and apps for e-medicine allow professional support to meet survivors where they are and develop skills to find employment.
  • With global companies having thousands of suppliers across continents, tracking supply chains is currently not an easy task that Blockchain be applied to.

Even when it comes to privacy, technology can help by having state of the art security to make sure victims’ information is used for the exclusive purpose of human trafficking disruption, rescues, and prosecution.

US State Dept:     Equal Times:    I-HLS:     Psychology Today:     Rahabs Daughters:    BSR:     JDSupra

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