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Innovative Practices to Combat Human Trafficking

​​human trafficking panel.jpgTwo hundred, thirty four thousand. That is the estimated number of laborers being trafficked in Texas alone. If you add those being sex trafficked, the number is 313,000.

Monday morning, ASIS held its first seminar on human trafficking, and how technology plays a role. As attendees entered the room, the Department of Homeland Security's excellent video on trafficking was showing (watch it at www.dhs.gov/bluecampaign.) Panelists talked about the use of social media and advertising relating to the victim and the purchaser. An example of technology usage included how the government is able to track travel documents, pointing out that the State Department has feet on the ground in every country in the world. Seeing movement of clusters of people can be used with other metrics to identify potential trafficking.

A shocking statistic? A recent study showed over 60% of younger victims have a cell phone and over 40% have internet access. They often have a fear of law enforcement, wanting help but not been able to get it.

The majority of the discussion was about sex trafficking, but there are also an alarming number who are kept as indentured servants in households, without being paid, or having access to their passport or any means to leave. This overall topic is one that entire seminars are held on, it is important that ASIS is working to shine light on this important topic in the security world.

Larissa Lindsay

Houston Chapter