Digital Technology and Anti-Trafficking Action in Crises: A Practice View on Opportunities and Challenges, Global Protection Forum 2021

Trafficking in Persons (TIP) is a crime and grave human rights violation of enormous scale and prevalent in peace as well as conflict and disaster areas . The GPC Anti-Trafficking Task Team (ATTT), with its partners, is supporting the integration of robust anti-trafficking responses at a strategic level in cluster operations and promotes knowledge exchange and partnerships at the operational level.

Since 2014, the development and use of technology tools to counter trafficking, facilitate cooperation, reach survivors and address their needs has grown exponentially . The intersection of digital technology and anti-trafficking work has received considerable interest by policy makers , the private sector and academia . Recently, the results of a stock-taking of the landscape of existing technology tools to counter trafficking have been published in the report Leveraging innovation to fight trafficking in human beings: A comprehensive analysis of tech tools (OSCE and Tech Against Trafficking, 2020). Most of the tools are found to be developed and used in the global north, while considerable vulnerabilities exist among internally displaced populations in humanitarian crises contexts in the global south. Transferring knowledge across contexts, raising awareness and communication between practitioners on the ground and experts have been included into recommendations across the publications. At an operational level, awareness of existing technologies in other contexts, related challenges, including the misuse of technology by traffickers, and opportunities will support stakeholders in the humanitarian field to leverage tech and push the boundaries to the advantage of persons in need. At the same time, expectations of tech ‘solutions’ need to be adjusted to reflect local contexts and needs and any form of data collection and sharing must appropriately align with safeguarding protocols.

In this event, we will bring together experts from the private sector, the UN and civil society and humanitarian practitioners, including local partners, to exchange knowledge on where we stand, discuss current challenges and possible opportunities and enhance understanding of the needs in the field.