Sunday, September 05, 2004

The Asia Foundation: Utilizing ICT to Address Human Trafficking

Human trafficking seems to be the "political correct" modern day bureaucratic terminology to refer to slavery. If you refer to slavery, it's likely that people will think you're talking about something that ended a long time ago, so perhaps it's best to call it human trafficking. There are actually many forms of modern slavery, and human trafficking has been getting an increasing amount of attention from development agencies in the past few years.

The Asia Foundation started a program to look at how ICTs can be used to address human trafficking. The answers are not simple and there are numerous challenges and opportunities to explore.

1. Low levels of ICT capacity among groups fighting human trafficking. Many NGOs in developing countries are getting connected and increasing their IT capabilities. There is no reason for those addressing human trafficking to be left behind.

2. Sensitive nature of transfer of information over insecure channels
That is indeed a serious issue, but there are many human rights organizations that have been dealing with other sensitive issues and they may have important lessons to share about how to handle communications and sensitive data.

3. Lack of accurate data to convince policy makers of the nature and scope of the problem. Databases built on rigorous methodologies for capturing the nature and scope of the problem in specific countries would be quite helpful.

See also the Anti-Trafficking in Person In Asia Web Portal at

No comments: