Stopping Human Trafficking Using Technology

There are few times I go like “Why didn’t I think of that?”, when I see a new mobile app. I got one of those moments when I saw “TraffickCam” mobile app which is available for both iOS and Android. The app uses crowdsourcing to stop the human trafficking.

What is human trafficking? It’s a modern day slavery.

Source: Unicef
Source: UNICEF

There it is, from UNICEF.

I wrote a non-fiction for the parents who are not technically-savvy to deal with many issues seriously worsened by the Internet. Human trafficking is one of those issues. The criminals use the Internet to kidnap and sell the children who have to go through unimaginable torture. More than 300,000 American children and about 1.2 million children worldwide are trafficked each year. Most of these children are aged between 12 and 14. “TraffickCam” app will help to catch the criminals if all of us work together.

Traffickers regularly post the pictures of their victims posed in hotel rooms for online advertisements. Yes, that’s happening more often than you think. There are websites right here in the United States that do it. “TraffickCam” app asks all the users to take the pictures of hotel rooms they stay in when they travel. When many travelers do this, that essentially creates a huge database of the images of various hotel rooms across U.S. and also the globe. This database can be used by law enforcement investigators to track the hotel room in which the children are locked up by the perpetrators. The app helps the investigators by analyzing the patterns of the carpet, furniture, lighting, windows, walls, etc., in the hotel rooms’ images and compare it with the images posted by the traffickers in the underground websites.

The app is free. Please download it and take the picture of hotel rooms when you travel next time.

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