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The Power of Technology to Fight Human Trafficking | Thomson Reuters Regulatory Information and Compliance Learning

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In honor of World Day Against Trafficking in Persons on July 30, we take a look at how technology can help fight this global scourge.

Several years ago, police in New Delhi, India, used facial recognition technology in a program trial to identify 3,000 missing children in four days. The results – identifying children vulnerable to trafficking and child labor – demonstrate the power of technology to combat human trafficking.

Technology will not be the primary solution to stopping human trafficking completely or rescuing victims, due to sensitive issues around trust and other factors, but it will help law enforcement and human rights activists It is certainly possible to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of prevention and rescue efforts.

Expansion of new technology trials

According to, between 15,000 and 50,000 women and children are sexually enslaved in the United States each year. The US Department of Health and Human Services estimates the total number of victims at 240,000 to 325,000.

After learning that facial recognition was being used to identify missing children in India above, Moms in Security decided to help rescue children and young people who may have been trafficked. A non-profit organization dedicated to the development of new technologies and products that has seen opportunities. and services to make rescue missions easier. Co-founder, child safety advocate and physical security technology expert Elisa Mula solicited donations from makers and developers of tools and technology, including software her license and small surveillance tools. . A justice advocate who was doing human trafficking rescue operations.

Working within the law enforcement procurement process can be highly bureaucratic, Mula said, noting that when she first started working, rescue investigation needs were changing and old technology was being used. It added that newer and better technologies appeared on the market before the was approved. Occurred. It was a very frustrating process.

But Moolah’s determination to seek workarounds has led to partnerships with lawyers, experts in navigating the procurement bureaucracy, and the establishment of public-private partnerships that make these donations possible.

Moms in Security uses its scale and expertise to increase access to education and highlight warning signs for at-risk youth who may fall prey to traffickers . For example, Mula is leveraging its digital expertise to create online courses and outreach based on in-person training it completed years ago. Her intention is to make these courses accessible to all her K-12 and higher education institutions and school community professionals, including teachers and parents.

Moms in Security also partners with student groups. Student groups act as intermediaries between law enforcement and students at risk, providing confidentiality and advising potential victims on where to obtain legal assistance and resources. increase.

Use blockchain to track goods and services

Blockchain is another technology that is being increasingly used to combat human trafficking. As part of a company’s environmental, social and governance (ESG) strategy, organizations that manufacture goods across borders should ensure that the vendors they use as part of their supply chain avoid human rights violations, including human trafficking. I want to These he ESG requirements for third-party vendors include providing good working conditions for employees, avoiding the use of child labor, and compensating workers at fair market prices. .

Providing a shared, transparent digital ledger of transactions, blockchain technology enables the tracking of goods from their original source to their final destination and can also be used to identify human trafficking risks. In fact, with global companies having thousands of suppliers across continents, tracking supply he chain is not an easy task.

In fact, many people and organizations are still unaware that the problem of human trafficking is prevalent every day in every region and region of the United States, from urban centers to middle-class suburbs. But even with awareness of the problem, many outsiders still understand the nuances and strenuous effort required to establish the fragile trust with the victim that is necessary to save them from this horrific situation. I have not. In many cases, it is the family’s devotion to engaging law enforcement and assembling the right mix of guidance and support to rescue victims and help them address issues where access to justice is critical. advocacy and tireless efforts.

One of the key challenges in using technology is the collection and security of personally identifiable information. Maya Markovich, co-founder of the Justice Technology Association, said it is very important that the information collected remains under the control of trafficking victims, reducing the risk of it falling into the wrong hands. said. Again, technology can help by ensuring state-of-the-art security ensures that victim information is only used to prevent, rescue, or prosecute human traffickers.

Fortunately, we are working hard to disrupt human trafficking networks, arrest and prosecute traffickers, and keep current victims and at-risk individuals from falling into human hands. We have dedicated nonprofits, advocates, and law enforcement professionals as part of our global human trafficking assistance ecosystem. Human traffickers in the first place.

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