The developers behind an app called TraffickCam are trying to make it difficult for human traffickers to operate. The app allows users to take a picture of a hotel room and input the room’s information and location. That all finds its way to a database of hotel room photos from around the world.
Here’s where things get cool.
Once the information is in the database, law enforcement can use it to identify and locate trafficking victims based on sex trafficing adds that are placed online. The app will analyze the victim’s image and compare it to the ones in the database to determine the hotel’s location.
The app was just launched this year but its accuracy is increasing rapidly as people upload more and more photos.
Keep reading to see TraffickCam in action.
Human Trafficking – A Major Problem
According to StopTheTraffik.org, between 600,000 and 800,000 men, women and children are trafficked globally each year. It’s not just a third world problem; according to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, human trafficking occurs in every single country on the planet.
The National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, for example, estimates that 1 in 6 runaways reported to them are likely victims of sex trafficking. Yup, 1 in 6 in America – a country where between 1.6 and 2.6 million kids run away each year.
People attending a sporting event – or traveling for any other reason – are common targets for human traffickers.
The demand for commercial sex services (which is the most common reason humans are trafficked) rises significantly in and around events like the Super Bowl, NBA and NHL playoffs as well as college tournaments.
Just last year, the Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Office found at least 40 victims of human trafficking before the Super Bowl.
According to PolarisProject.org, human traffickers typically move their victims from hotel to hotel. This is the reasoning behind TraffickCam. With an ever increasing database of hotel rooms to compare traffiking ads to, it will be easier for police and other organizations to find victums and take them to safely.
Now, the app is currently only available in certain cities, but they hope to expand nationally and globally very soon. This could be exactly what law enforcement needs to stop this terrible practice and all it takes is a quick picture that you send to law enforcement. This could really save a life.
Want to see TraffickCam in action? Check out the video below!
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