In this session, led by Business Social Responsibility (BSR) in collaboration with Stop Human Trafficking (SHUT), par- ticipants learnt how tech is being used to fight human trafficking. The session focused on how companies can leverage their technology, expertise, and resources to help combat the overarching issue of human trafficking and featured a demonstration of the Unseen app – an innovative platform which provides a simple guide to rec- ognising the signs of modern slavery and reporting con- cerns in confidence to free more victims of slavery. Partic- ipants discussed in groups on what tools/types of tech- nology would be useful based on their own needs and experienced working on issues related to anti-trafficking. The session closed with a minipanel featuring two ex- perts who shared their experiences and opinions on the subject of tech against trafficking, followed by a Q&A ses- sion.
BSR is a global non-profit organisation that works with a network of more than 265 member companies and other partners to build a just and sustainable world. They devel- op strategies and solutions through consulting research and cross-sector collaboration. Human rights is one of their four core areas that drive their desired outcomes of supply chain sustainability and sustainability manage- ment. One of its human rights collaborative initiatives include Building Responsibly which is a collaboration to promote the welfare of workers in the engineering and construction industry. This initiative aims to promote the rights and welfare of workers through adopting common principles and practices, developing tools, engaging work- ers and other stakeholders, and driving innovation and continuous improvement in workers’ welfare. Another initiative is the Global Business Coalition Against Human Trafficking (GBCAT) which is a cross-country initiative to harness global business to reduce the number of modern slavery victims.
There are currently at least 40.3 million trafficking victims globally. Tech companies can help fight trafficking. Infor- mation and Communications Technology (ICT) can serve as a powerful tool to disrupt and reduce modern slavery, prevent and identify crimes, and provide a remedy mech- anism for victims and support survivors. With this in mind, Technology Against Trafficking (TAT) was estab- lished in 2018. This initiative involves a coalition of tech- nology companies collaborating with global experts on human trafficking issues in order to combat human trafficking. TAT also works with civil society, law enforce- ment, academia and survivors to identify and support
technology solutions that disrupt and reduce human trafficking. TAT is launching an Accelerator Program to advance and scale the work of technology tools being used to combat human trafficking. TAT does a mapping of the landscape to find tools that combat human traffick- ing. Most tools help identify victims of human trafficking. It is important for developers and NGOs to work together at reaching out to victims as NGOs are they key tool us- ers. TAT identifies and selects tools with largest potential, and helps to accelerate the solution by providing support to accelerate the growth, scale of the tools and their im- pact.
BSR introduced examples of technological tools that help combat human trafficking. APPRISE App, created by Unit- ed Nations Institute on Computing and Society and The Mekong Club, is a tool for screening vulnerable popula- tions with the potential to unmask situations of forced labour and human trafficking. It is a social compliance audit tool that can auditors can use when they conduct their audit to check whether an interviewee is a potential- ly trafficked victim. The Unseen App, created by Unseen UK, provides a guide to understanding how people can be exploited and spotting the signs of modern slavery to help identify potential human trafficking victims and reporting concerns or suspicions to Unseen’s Modern Slavery Help- line. The CounterTrafficking Data Collaborative (CTDC) is the first global data hub on human trafficking, publishing harmonised data from countertrafficking organisations around the world.
A Hackathon group brainstorming session was conducted where participants worked in six groups to brainstorm a tool that they think would be ideal to help in their fight against human trafficking. They were required to look at the features of the tool (e.g. type of tool, methods of ap- plication and target users/beneficiaries) and what was the purpose of the tool. Group 1 targeted users in villages in remote areas which do not have access to technology. More traditional methods that are accessible to village- level migrant workers, such as radio messages or movies, would have to be used to reach those who want to go abroad but do not have access to smart technology or are not educated.
In this scenario, the awareness raising efforts need to be collaborative—NGOs need to work together with the government officials in the host country to reach out to such communities. One of the initiatives to reduce the likelihood of trafficking and exploitation is to eliminate sub-agents from the recruitment process.
Group 2 recommended developing an app which they named RAT App (Report Against Trafficking). This is based on the premise that many people use apps these days such as WeChat, Kaokao, Line, hence, using apps can reach a wide target audience. The RAT App facilitates the reporting of potential traffickers, and helps in the identifi- cation of both traffickers and victims. It also facilitates locating traffickers hotspots based on data collected from the reporting of cases.
Group 3 presented their idea of developing an app called Employ Me, which is an employment app for blue collar workers. Many blue collar workers are people seeking a better life abroad, and in the process, many are at risk of being trafficked. The Employ Me App’s main purpose is to enable strong authentication process for both users (those looking for work abroad) and employers. Users can upload their profile, which will then be authenticated through an authentication process. Users will be able to look at the jobs available in different countries within the app to seek employment. Each country would have their own policies and nature of employment, which will all be disclosed to provide clear information to the users. Em- ployers can also access the app to look for potential em- ployees, and upload information of their companies which will be authenticated through an authentication process.
Group 4 proposed the SOS App, which should be pre- installed in all handphones’ operating system. All users will have an ID which they can share with their families so that their whereabouts are known. The GPS is able to detect the migrant workers’ whereabouts after they leave their home countries. Users are also able to send their location information to emergency contacts and law en- forcement when help is required.
Group 5’s app, aptly named “SUARA”, is designed to give voice to the people who need it by simplifying the re- porting process. Generally, one would go to the police station to have the report written up. The app looks at removing that layer to have to see a desk police officer by allowing for the user to write the report using a pre-set template and submitting online to the police. There are five enforcement agencies that can handle trafficking in persons’ cases but the public generally do not know who they should forward the information they have to. This app can be used to forward such information to law en- forcement. Law enforcement agencies, especially front- liners, can use the app to identify victims of human trafficking. Group 6 proposed a worker empowerment app named “DURIAN” App (Duress Intelligence Application). It is aimed to be a onestop centre sharing platform for work- ers where they can access relevant data which can help to raise awareness about workers’ rights. They can also share information among themselves and report any har- assment or abuse. The app would be public-friendly using mobile platform with search engine features, where at a press of a button, they can access the database and also the law enforcement agencies and NGOs for assistance. In terms of security, it was essential to Know Your Customer and Know Your Data. Data can be open- sourced, close- sourced or classified. There should be proper encryption for software to protect data from hackers. Confidentiality is also a concern as the workers may get in trouble if em- ployers know they