Use and abuse of technology
This year’s theme focuses on the role of technology as a tool that can both enable and impede human trafficking.
With the global expansion in the use of technology – intensified by the COVID-19 pandemic and the shift of our everyday life to online platforms — the crime of human trafficking has conquered cyber space. The internet and digital platforms offer traffickers numerous tools to recruit, exploit, and control victims; organize their transport and accommodation; advertise victims and reach out to potential clients; communicate among perpetrators; and hide criminal proceeds – and all that with greater speed, cost-effectiveness and anonymity.
However, in the use of technology also lies great opportunity. Future success in eradicating human trafficking will depend on how law enforcement, the criminal justice systems and others can leverage technology in their responses, including by aiding investigations to shed light on the modus operandi of trafficking networks; enhancing prosecutions through digital evidence to alleviate the situation of victims in criminal proceedings; and providing support services to survivors. Prevention and awareness-raising activities on the safe use of the internet and social media could help mitigate the risk of people falling victim to trafficking online. Cooperation with the private sector is important to harness innovation and expertise for the development of sustainable, technology-based solutions to support the prevention and combatting of human trafficking. #EndHumanTrafficking
Did you know?
- In 2018 about 50,000 human trafficking victims were detected and reported by 148 countries.
- 50 per cent of detected victims were trafficked for sexual exploitation, 38 per cent were exploited for forced labour.
- Female victims continue to be the primary targets. Women make up 46% and girls 19% of all victims of trafficking.
- Globally, one in every three victims detected is a child.
- The share of children among detected trafficking victims has tripled, while the share of boys has increased five times over the past 15 years