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Technology and Human Trafficking: 5 Ways Tech is Helping to Solve the Problem and How You Can Help

In part one of our Technology and Human Trafficking series, we detailed the reasons why people can fall victim to online predeators and some simple ways you can help protect and defend against unwanted contact. This post, part two of the series, will address the ways technology can help fight human trafficking.

While the changing nature of technology means that traffickers are increasingly present and harder 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 every day, making it easier for law enforcement, nonprofit organizations, and you to help fight human trafficking.

According to the United Nations issue brief, Trafficking and Technology: Trends, Challenges, and Opportunities, technology is providing a number of ways to fight human trafficking:

  1. Data aggregation and analysis. With the number of escort listings and illicit videos posted online every day, having technology that can aggregate and analyze data, like the Spotlight Tool developed by Thorn, is essential to being able to track and trace traffickers and greatly reduce the time it takes to conduct an investigation.

  2. Providing traceability and provenance through Blockchain. Several powerful tech ompanies have formed a collalition to create Tech Against Trafficking, the mission of which is to help eradicate human trafficking using technology. Blockchain is a big part of how companies track their global supply chains, identifying opportunities for exploitation. It also may be a solution for providing identification for the undocumented population across the world.

  3. Artificial Intelligence (AI). Artificial intelligence can help with age progressions needed to identify victims who may have been missing for years.

  4. Facial recognition. Running facial recognition software on postings and checking the data against missing persons reports allows authorities to identify victims of human trafficking.

  5. Technology for victims and survivors. Platforms for e-learning and apps for e-medicine allow professional support to meet survivors where they are and develop skills to reenter the workforce.

There are also technological tools that you can use to help provide data to law enforcement or easily report instances of human trafficking.

  • STOP APP - This app is the first global app available in multiple languages to report any suspicion or incident of human trafficking and modern slavery by STOP THE TRAFFIK, a global organisation working to prevent human trafficking and exploitation.

  • TraffickCam - Is an app you can use to take a photo of the next hotel room you stay in and submit it to a database available to law enforcement to help identify locations in photos or videos of trafficking victims.

  • Truckers Against Trafficking - is a mobile network of transportation professionals that assists law enforcement by recognizing and reporting traffickers.

Technology continues to provide powerful tools in the fight against human trafficking. Every year during our annual rescue mission at the Big Game, Rahab’s Daughters uses data gathering apps and mapping tools to aid in finding trafficking havens and each year the tools available become faster, more accurate and allow us to do more to fight human traffickers and support survivors.

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