Data Analytics for Humanity - Using Data to Counter Human Trafficking

Data Analytics for Humanity - Using Data to Counter Human Trafficking

What is human trafficking?

It is the act of recruitment, transportation, transfer, harboring, or receipt of persons, using threat or use of force, or other forms of coercion, abduction, fraud, deception, abuse of power, a position of vulnerability, or giving or receiving of payments or benefits to achieve the consent of a person having control over another person, for exploitation.

The ILO (International Labour Organisation) estimates that Human Trafficking (Modern Day Slavery) is the fastest-growing crime in the world making over US$ 150 billion annually for the traffickers. There are many types of trafficking; sexual, forced labor, domestic servitude, criminal exploitation, and organ harvesting.

There are more than 40.3 million victims of human trafficking worldwide with a high proportion being women and children.

Trafficking in persons: an invisible crime with a deep impression

Human Trafficking in the case of the Ukrainian war will prey on those who are vulnerable meaning that the outcome would likely be a life of misery for those who are caught up in the web of deceit from the traffickers. With offers of safe passage and/or work and a place to stay turning into sexual exploitation, forced labor, and even child abuse.

Emergencies, armed conflicts, displacement, and migration crises generally exacerbate vulnerability and, with it, the problem of human trafficking. You will see from the image that when the war broke out in Ukraine, STOP THE TRAFFIK actively launched a prevention campaign to make sure those women and children who were vulnerable as they were fleeing were not enticed by human traffickers.

We know how many women and children we reached via our campaign, but we simply can’t measure who didn’t see our advice and are now in an appalling situation.

How do you solve a problem if you cannot see it?

STOP THE TRAFFIK uses intelligence and insight-driven strategies out of our data warehouse (Traffik Analysis Hub) and our STOP APP to identify and target the most prevalent routes and dangerous hotspots.

We make it harder for traffickers to:

  • Recruit vulnerable people
  • Move the profits of crime through legitimate financial systems
  • Move and exploit people within legitimate businesses

In the case of the Ukrainian war, we used geo-targeted analytics to provide the focus where it was most needed.

Figure 1 - Ukrainian War Prevention Campaign  

How do we use data and analytics?

We use data and analytics to help us to predict exploitation hotspots and routes. These predictions allow us to look at how we can safeguard vulnerable communities. In addition, this allows us to work with others to understand supply chain transparency, drive through insight-led policy change initiatives within business and government and then increase identification and prosecution of traffickers ultimately confiscating the proceeds of crime.

The value of our data and analytics

Exploitation Analytics is STOP THE TRAFFIK Group’s (STTG) unique approach to providing actionable intelligence and insight to achieve our goal to highlight potential exposure to Modern Slavery Human Trafficking (MSHT).

Key Judgement Reports are the main feature of our Exploitation analytics borne out of a combination of the data and intelligence that we then apply. These are high-level strategic assessments produced by STTG Intelligence. In our context, intelligence is the combination of information from sources that offer an analysis sufficient to guide activity or inspire action - either by ourselves or an appropriate party to reduce vulnerability or deliver safeguarding opportunities.

We gather information and intelligence from many sources and our intelligence services team then turn this data into actionable insight. Where appropriate, STTG will be able to provide specific actions with Personally Identifiable Data* (i.e. mobile phone number or email address) enabling specific checks on individuals operating in your organization. This will be as per GDPR rules.

We utilize our Traffik Analysis HUB which has the largest global dataset of modern slavery and human trafficking, allowing not only ourselves to undertake analysis of large AI-generated data sets, but also providing a pool of data assets to create new insights into patterns and hotspots of trafficking incidents. This generates significantly enhanced value by way of a secure online platform for data and intelligence sharing, along with expert analysis and intelligence gathering. By sharing collaboratively, we can provide greater value than can be achieved in isolation.

We have also recently built an add-on product to our Traffik Analysis HUB called Infinitech. Specifically aimed at the financial services sector, it can help financial organizations and FinTech enterprises to democratize digital finance through highly personalized and trusted services leveraging cutting-edge BigData, AI, and blockchain technologies.

It helps lower the barriers to big data/AI-driven innovation, boost regulatory compliance, and provide broad coverage of use cases in the finance and insurance sectors. It also provides large-scale data integration and interoperability, real-time and incremental analytics, novel AI/ML models and algorithms for digital finance, and blockchain asset tokenization and graph analytics.

So our value delivery through enterprise data and analytics leads us to Data for Good. We want to build connections and only through telling survivor stories can we hope to disrupt Human Trafficking.

STOP THE TRAFFIK believes in a world where people are not bought or sold

Since 2006 we have developed a unique data and intelligence-led approach to combat human trafficking. We have been working internationally with law enforcement, businesses, and governments to eradicate modern slavery and human trafficking, protect victims and those at risk of being trafficked, and target the disruption of trafficking networks.

About the Author

Tina Salvage is the former Head of Data and Technology at STOP THE TRAFFIK, a non-profit charity using data to disrupt and dismantle human trafficking worldwide by way of intelligence, predominantly based on survivor stories.

Salvage is a proven data leader with over 30 years of experience in financial services with a background in change management focused on data within financial crime and customer due diligence.

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