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Root Causes For Human Trafficking – The Role Of Technology

Root Causes For Human Trafficking – The Role Of Technology


MICHEL VEUTHEY: Wel­come to the last of the three webi­na­rs on Demand as Root Cause for Human Traf­fick­ing. Today, we shall dis­cuss tech­nol­o­gy, the role of tech­nol­o­gy in human traf­fick­ing. On behalf of the Order of Mal­ta, I would like to thank Bri­an Iselin for his active par­tic­i­pa­tion in the orga­ni­za­tion of this webi­nar. As you know, Bri­an Iselin, founder and CEO of slave­free­trade, is a pio­neer in the demand-approach against human traf­fick­ing, and spe­cial­ist in the con­trol of sup­ply chains through tech­nol­o­gy, with 25 years of field expe­ri­ence against human traf­fick­ing. My thanks also to Sis­ter Mir­jam Beike for her help in the prepa­ra­tion of this and pre­vi­ous webi­na­rs. Tech­nol­o­gy, as we shall dis­cuss today, can be used to trap as well as to pro­tect vic­tims. We should speak or we could speak of the use and mis­use of tech­nol­o­gy in human traf­fick­ing. Today, we are very for­tu­nate to have four dis­tin­guished speak­ers. First, Bri­an Iselin, who will be the mod­er­a­tor and speak­er. For­mer Aus­tralian sol­dier and fed­er­al agent, founder of the NGO slave­free­trade, work­ing on elim­i­nat­ing mod­ern slav­ery on the work­place. Then, Andrea March­esani, Spe­cial Advi­sor of the Order of Mal­ta, and also Mem­ber of the Migrants & Refugee Sec­tion, of the Inte­gral Human Devel­op­ment Dicas­t­ery of the Holy See. The third speak­er is Don For­tu­na­to Di Noto, Catholic Sicil­ian priest, Pres­i­dent of the Meter Asso­ci­a­tion. In the dark and insid­i­ous part of the web, he is engaged in the fight against the crime of pedophil­ia and child pornog­ra­phy. And the fourth speak­er is Shawn Kohl, Direc­tor for Cen­tral and East­ern Europe for Inter­na­tion­al Jus­tice Mis­sion, IJM, a human rights agency that secures jus­tice for vic­tims of slav­ery, sex­u­al exploita­tion and oth­er forms of vio­lent oppres­sion. Doc­u­ments relat­ed to tech­nol­o­gy and human traf­fick­ing can be found and down­loaded in the “Hand­outs” next to the chat at the top right of your screen. A spe­cial thanks again to Bri­an Iselin, who is now tak­ing over as mod­er­a­tor. Bri­an, you have the floor.

BRIAN ISELIN: So thank you very much, Michel, and wel­come, every­body to this webi­nar on the role of tech­nol­o­gy in address­ing demand in human traf­fick­ing. I want to kick off this ses­sion with a plea for some clar­i­ty and use my time, I hope wise­ly, to address some­thing I’d noticed before, but which real­ly came into spe­cif­ic relief while research­ing for this webi­nar. While look­ing for evi­dence of impact, out­comes, and sus­tain­abil­i­ty data from the major tech against traf­fick­ing projects, I actu­al­ly found none, uni­ver­sal­ly. What I did find, how­ev­er, was how so many projects they claim to be con­tribut­ing to end­ing, elim­i­nat­ing or erad­i­cat­ing traf­fick­ing. Now the terms that are used to describe actions being tak­en for the most part are frankly a lit­tle bit hys­ter­i­cal. You find, “elim­i­nate”, “fight and erad­i­cate”, “tack­le”, “war against”. It’s all tough talk and I think it’s, very polit­i­cal. But what does it mean? A quick scan of ini­tia­tives, espe­cial­ly in the tech world at the terms used, just shows to me that there’s very lit­tle thought about the mean­ing and impact of those words beyond some kind of sen­sa­tion­al­ism. Now, my plea is that before using these terms to describe an ini­tia­tive, I would ask peo­ple to con­sid­er the real­is­tic impact a sin­gle ini­tia­tive can lay claim to. And is the claim accu­rate or hyper­bole? Now, if you’re work­ing to sup­port vic­tims of traf­fick­ing, you’re not end­ing, erad­i­cat­ing or elim­i­nat­ing mod­ern slav­ery. You’re help­ing vic­tims, you’re clean­ing up and you’re undoubt­ed­ly doing good, but you’re not end­ing, erad­i­cat­ing or elim­i­nat­ing. If you’re doing any­thing on the sup­ply side, in fact, like res­cues, iden­ti­fy­ing vic­tims, police or intel­li­gence oper­a­tions, pover­ty reduc­tion, you’re not end­ing or elim­i­nat­ing mod­ern slav­ery. You are at best address­ing vul­ner­a­bil­i­ties and clean­ing up. You may even be con­fronting it or attack­ing it if that lan­guage is excit­ing for you, but you aren’t end­ing it, erad­i­cat­ing or elim­i­nat­ing. If you’re work­ing on reduc­ing demand for a form of human traf­fick­ing, you may hon­est­ly say you are work­ing to end, or elim­i­nate, or erad­i­cate, but it’s only on the demand side. Which is why this webi­nar is so impor­tant. This series of webi­na­rs on demand is so impor­tant. Let me be clear. There is not a sin­gle sup­ply-side mea­sure that can ever hope to end, elim­i­nate or erad­i­cate. If you work on the sup­ply side, just stop using that lan­guage. It’s hyper­bole. The rea­son I raise it is actu­al­ly big­ger than the fact that it’s hyper­bole, the fact that it’s slop­py and sen­sa­tion­al­ist. It’s con­fus­ing to con­sumers. It’s con­fus­ing to donors. It’s con­fus­ing espe­cial­ly to pol­i­cy­mak­ers, and cru­cial­ly, what we end up with is funds that should be used to end­ing, elim­i­nat­ing or erad­i­cat­ing mod­ern slav­ery, being used to clean up or to address vul­ner­a­bil­i­ties. It’s behav­ior that dis­torts pol­i­cy and pri­or­i­ties. And over­all, I think it leads to a glob­al lack of impact. So now that I’ve got that off my chest, I’d like to be able to talk about one of the only demand-side tech projects out there. I don’t know whether you know the phrase, the Latin phrase, “Esse Quam Videri”. “To be, not to seem”. Now, this is the mot­to of slave­free­trade, a Swiss non­prof­it asso­ci­a­tion I formed at the end of 2018. The mean­ing of this mot­to is at the heart of the ini­tia­tive. I’ve been work­ing decades on slav­ery oper­a­tions in sup­ply chains, and large­ly I found that busi­ness­es are con­tent with seem­ing to be doing some­thing, not actu­al­ly doing some­thing. And by and large, stake­hold­ers, includ­ing con­sumers, pro­cure­ment agen­cies, share­hold­ers and investors are con­tent with the “seem­ing”. I’m hap­py to report, I think, that this has changed. The world is now kind of abuzz with ini­tia­tives in the busi­ness, UN, and non­prof­it world, to come to terms with an increas­ing­ly engaged, maybe we could even say some­times agi­tat­ed com­mu­ni­ty of stake­hold­ers inter­est­ed in human rights per­for­mance and risk in busi­ness. We’re see­ing share­hold­er revolts over ser­i­al sex­u­al harass­ment. We’re see­ing child labor scan­dals in major cloth­ing brands and the pro­mo­tion of sus­tain­abil­i­ty pro­fes­sion­als into key lead­er­ship roles in com­pa­nies. Human rights are sud­den­ly com­ing into focus a bit more. It would be going too far to say there is momen­tum, but per­haps we can agree that there is at least the move­ment. And this move­ment coin­cides with sig­nif­i­cant leg­isla­tive move­ment in that direc­tion from the Mod­ern Slav­ery Act slip­ping the Anglo­phone world, to human rights due dili­gence mod­els in the Fran­coph­o­ne and the Euro­pean world. Now tak­ing a step back to take in the view, the cor­po­rate world, which was for­mer­ly con­tent to use its blend of struc­tur­al, instru­men­tal, let’s say, dis­cur­sive pow­er to hold back the forces of change in their busi­ness mod­el, are find­ing that posi­tion less ten­able. Clever busi­ness­es, those with an eye on the emerg­ing world, are explor­ing what that wave of change means to them and what they need to do to ride it. How does a busi­ness be and not just seem to be inter­est­ed in human rights in work­places? The first step as Socrates said, to wis­dom, is to know thy­self. Now, if you’re inter­est­ed in human rights in work­places, it can’t be only about them and over there. That’s called oth­er­ing. And it’s the very core of the belief that we’re bet­ter than every­one else. And it also is the foun­da­tion that we think we are beyond reproach. If you gen­uine­ly care about human rights in work­places, start at home. Human rights issues don’t just hap­pen over there. Wit­ness the MeToo Move­ment, and the BLM Move­ment. So let’s start with some back­ground on the actu­al prob­lem we’re address­ing here. Uni­ver­sal­ly, we con­demn mod­ern slav­ery and we’ve talked about this in past webi­na­rs and we pro­hib­it it, and yet we all buy it. We touch mod­ern slav­ery every day more often than we actu­al­ly touch our faces. And thanks to Covid, we’ve become very aware of how much we touch our faces every day. Slav­ery, encom­pass­ing the ille­gal con­di­tions of child labor, human traf­fick­ing, forced labor, slav­ery and servi­tude, is now more preva­lent than at any time in his­to­ry and we’ve heard these num­bers over the past few weeks. 77% of UK busi­ness­es when giv­en anonymi­ty, admit mod­ern slav­ery exists in their busi­ness. His­tor­i­cal­ly, we are used to mod­ern slav­ery being addressed as a form of organ­ised crime. Well, his­tor­i­cal­ly, since the year 2000. But that con­cep­tu­al­iza­tion is far from actu­al­ly accu­rate. The vast major­i­ty of the world’s human rights issues in work­places, forced labor, child labor, slav­ery and servi­tude have lit­tle or noth­ing to do with orga­nized crime. And law enforce­ment, in fact, can nev­er solve mod­ern slav­ery any­way. So law enforce­ment or crime-focused approach is not the solu­tion. Mod­ern slav­ery is actu­al­ly best under­stood as that kind of bad, erod­ed end of a spec­trum of human rights in work­places. The spec­trum being from mod­ern slav­ery to decent work. Now, if you can objec­tive­ly prove a work­place is at the decent-work end of the spec­trum, mod­ern slav­ery will not be present. You can­not be at oppo­site ends of the same spec­trum at the same time. So if we can auto­mate and scale rig­or­ous real-time process­es to under­stand exact­ly what’s hap­pen­ing in a work­place, we can deter­mine whether they are at the decent work end or the mod­ern slav­ery end. So we can do this through assess­ing and mon­i­tor­ing con­di­tions in real-time. And what I pro­pose, what I am devel­op­ing, is a care­ful­ly select­ed set of 100 indi­ca­tors derived exclu­sive­ly from inter­na­tion­al human rights law. So for this exer­cise, pic­ture, a long row of 100 esca­la­tors in a mall run­ning off into the dis­tance. At the foot of these esca­la­tors is the murky swamp of mod­ern slav­ery. At the top of the esca­la­tors is this world of decent work. Now, what if I told you you could know at all times which step you are on for each of those 100 esca­la­tors, and whether you’re mov­ing up or down? Well, that’s the project slave­free­trade. So we’re a Swiss non­prof­it asso­ci­a­tion, and what we want to do is foment a new glob­al econ­o­my exclu­sive­ly for goods and ser­vices proved to have been made with­out harm­ing any­one, and we do that through har­ness­ing demand. We envi­sion a world in which an investor can scroll through the New York Stock Exchange Con­nect App, and see exact­ly which com­pa­nies are human rights friend­ly and risk-free. In that same world, a mil­len­ni­al look­ing at a job in Glas­door can read­i­ly iden­ti­fy a human rights-friend­ly employ­er. A shop­per look­ing at prawns or choco­late in a super­mar­ket can know which ones have not harmed any­one in the mak­ing. A pro­cure­ment agency, the Min­istry of Defense, eval­u­at­ing bids for army boots, can see at a glance the human rights per­for­mance of the mak­er. This is har­ness­ing demand. “Lib­er­tas”, it’s a rights-tech project of slavfree­trade. It’s the use of tech­nol­o­gy to extend, expand and pro­mote human rights. It’s an ini­tia­tive designed to pro­vide the scal­able tools for the mis­sion of that new econ­o­my. It’s a tech­ni­cal term. It’s a dis­trib­uted human rights intel­li­gence sys­tem. It’s designed specif­i­cal­ly to dri­ve demand for human rights-friend­ly work­places glob­al­ly. It har­ness­es the com­pelling pow­er of pri­ma­ry source data from work­places, that’s indi­vid­ual views and orga­ni­za­tion­al per­spec­tives alike. It ana­lyzes and dis­trib­utes the result­ing deci­sion intel­li­gence to those whose buy­ing and busi­ness deci­sions can be influ­enced by that data. Our approach is not to prove mod­ern slav­ery exists in work­places. That’s what I’ve been doing the last 20 years, and it’s com­plete­ly unscal­able. But actu­al­ly, our approach is to prove mod­ern slav­ery doesn’t exist in work­places. And that sounds like such an easy flip, right? But this is actu­al­ly a water­shed moment. This shift sig­nals a move from a treat­ment mod­el to a vac­ci­na­tion mod­el. Instead of treat­ing each case after it’s hap­pened, we prove and cre­ate a cul­ture of respect for human rights in a work­place, ush­er­ing in a world of work­places that are imper­vi­ous, vac­ci­nat­ed, against mod­ern slav­ery. So slave­free­trade is an ini­tia­tive designed with sys­tem seek­ing to over­come and avoid many of the prob­lem­at­ic issues and con­cerns around all exist­ing meth­ods. So up until now, human rights defied quan­tifi­ca­tion. So “Lib­er­tas” quan­ti­fies human rights, which means we’re able to mon­i­tor, assess and com­pare in a way that’s com­plete­ly agnos­tic to prod­uct, geog­ra­phy, indus­try, socioe­co­nom­ic con­di­tions. Exist­ing respons­es like res­cues and audits, and inves­ti­ga­tions like I’ve been doing, can­not scale. They’re labor-inten­sive, they’re expen­sive. So “Lib­er­tas” is designed to be scal­able, remote, cheap, glob­al cov­er­age, and takes out inter­me­di­aries from the sys­tem where fail­ure often comes. Cur­rent mod­els, most of you who know about audit will sup­port me on this, are eas­i­ly defeat­ed and defraud­ed. Fraud, false state­ments, coer­cion, col­lu­sion, green­wash­ing are com­mon­place, and the “Lib­er­tas” mod­el coun­ters all of those con­di­tions. I think most of you would also believe and under­stand that staff are large­ly ignored or voice­less in the major­i­ty of exist­ing ini­tia­tives. There is no com­pre­hen­sive can­vass­ing of views of work­ers in BCorp, Fair­trade, Glob­al Report­ing Ini­tia­tive, sus­tain­abil­i­ty ini­tia­tives like Eco­Vadis and Sus­tain­a­lyt­ics and so on, they can’t uni­ver­sal­ly can­vass work­places. And so the staff are ignored or voice­less. You’re pret­ty much cap­tur­ing only the cor­po­rate view. So “Lib­er­tas” ampli­fies the voic­es of those in work­places in sup­port of their own con­di­tions and in sup­port of the improve­ment of those con­di­tions. Now, up until now, pow­er and com­mod­i­ty chains has been very unbal­anced and very unfair. So “Lib­er­tas” has a democ­ra­tiz­ing effect. The staff work­ing in the glob­al val­ue and com­mod­i­ty chains are the over­whelm­ing major­i­ty of peo­ple in those chains. Their voic­es do mat­ter, but they’re not being can­vassed until now. Now, sup­ply chains are dis­ag­gre­gat­ed, com­plex, glob­al­ized, opaque. These are the sorts of words we tend to hear about sup­ply chains. So “Lib­er­tas” con­verts opaque chains, dis­ag­gre­gat­ed net­works, to col­lab­o­ra­tive net­works, by mak­ing each estab­lish­ment in a busi­ness net­work depen­dent on the human rights per­for­mance of the oth­ers. So sud­den­ly a three-tier sup­ply chain, each of the part­ners, each of the com­pa­nies in that chain become part­ners. they under­stand each other’s human rights con­di­tions. They are much more vis­i­ble and much more trans­par­ent than ever before, and they actu­al­ly start to become inter­est­ed in each other’s human rights inter­ests. So human rights have been treat­ed pre­vi­ous­ly as sep­a­rate from the nor­mal con­duct of busi­ness, and they’ve been put off in CSR, or ESG, or sus­tain­abil­i­ty ini­tia­tives. So “Lib­er­tas” embeds human rights into the bot­tom line. In-per­son audits or inves­ti­ga­tions, espe­cial­ly on sen­si­tive top­ics like human rights, don’t get the best answers. “Lib­er­tas” gen­er­ates trust because the entire sys­tem is built on anonymi­ty and con­fi­den­tial­i­ty. Impor­tant­ly for the demand side ini­tia­tives, stake­hold­ers like con­sumers, pro­cur­ers, investors, they have not had tan­gi­ble actions that express their val­ues through buy­ing deci­sions. So “Lib­er­tas” informs them with time­ly, action­able deci­sion intel­li­gence, includ­ing con­sumers at point of sale, pro­cur­ers at point of bid, and investors at point of invest­ment. Exist­ing mea­sures like res­cue, sur­veil­lance, audit, law enforce­ment inves­ti­ga­tions, as I’ve said before, these are labor-inten­sive and expen­sive and you can’t scale them. If we’re going to elim­i­nate 152 mil­lion chil­dren from child labor, if we’re going to address that prop­er­ly, we’ve got to have a solu­tion that can scale almost infi­nite­ly. Most mea­sures on social­ly sus­tain­able busi­ness are top-down. This makes it look and feel to work­ers like fun­da­men­tal human rights are actu­al­ly alien­able, not inalien­able, and some­thing that should be bestowed on them by the employ­er. And slave­free­trade, how­ev­er, is human-cen­tric and inclu­sive. It’s real­ly impor­tant that peo­ple in work­places real­ize their rights are not some­thing that the employ­er can take away from them. Putting the empha­sis on remote data col­lec­tion and analy­sis doesn’t elim­i­nate the need for human inter­ven­tion. But remote mon­i­tor­ing like this becomes the new, more com­pre­hen­sive and more effec­tive default. And so this change ush­ers in a scal­able default only lim­it­ed by two things actu­al­ly, good­will and data stor­age. Cer­ti­fi­ca­tion schemes are also very expen­sive for small busi­ness­es. Many small­hold­ers can’t join. The mem­ber­ship exceeds their abil­i­ty to pay. In the slave­free­trade mod­el, small­hold­ers are free. Imple­men­ta­tion costs are neg­li­gi­ble. There’s no hard­ware or set­up costs. “Lib­er­tas” runs in a sim­ple brows­er, mobile appli­ca­tion, or with API inte­gra­tions for dif­fer­ent audi­ences. If you could hypo­thet­i­cal­ly scale to the glob­al audit work force required, if we want­ed to make audit the real effec­tive default, the cost to match what we can do would eas­i­ly be many mil­lions and poten­tial­ly even bil­lions of dol­lars a year com­pared to in our sys­tem, a mere few thou­sand. So no exist­ing mod­el has had that lev­el of lack of expense let’s say, to make it pos­si­ble to do these things on a scale. And no exist­ing mod­el has a uni­ver­sal inter­na­tion­al human rights law frame­work. This makes it the first deploy­able def­i­n­i­tion for decent work. It’s agnos­tic to geog­ra­phy, good, ser­vice, prod­uct, juris­dic­tion, lan­guage, pow­er. I mean, it doesn’t mat­ter what Bangladesh says are liv­ing wages. We’re talk­ing about har­ness­ing the views of the peo­ple in the work­place about their lived expe­ri­ence. The first piece of our project to cap­ture con­sumer demand, and I’m wind­ing up here, and feed that through to busi­ness­es to join and become human rights com­pli­ant is what we call the Free­domer App. So this is a smart­phone appli­ca­tion which has two phas­es. We’ve cur­rent­ly designed and we are cur­rent­ly crowd­fund­ing the cod­ing of phase one. Now, phase one of this App is a demand aggre­ga­tor. So at the moment, busi­ness­es say their cus­tomers don’t care, which is actu­al­ly crap. The fact is con­sumers, let’s talk just you and I for a start, we care. What we don’t have is a reli­able way to tell them that we care, and we don’t have a way to join our voic­es with oth­ers to say that we all care. So the Free­domer App does this. A cam­paign­ing App, you put in prod­ucts that you want to be slave-free, like Levi’s 502’s, and oth­ers are then invit­ed to join your cam­paign. When we have suf­fi­cient sig­na­tures to make an appeal to a brand, we do it on behalf of the, let’s say, thou­sands of sig­na­to­ries in the App. The thing is that you care, I care, lots of peo­ple care, but our voic­es are not joined up. So the Free­domer App is the first time a tool has been devel­oped to do that. So I would ask before I move on to the oth­er pan­elists, help us bring the Free­domer App into your hands, and then we can all har­ness the pow­er of our own demands for a col­lec­tive good. So I ask you to go to and look for slavefreetrade’s crowd­fund. There’s just sev­en days to go, I think we’re on 79% or some­thing like that. So the point there is that you can be the dif­fer­ence, you can actu­al­ly take a part right now, as soon as we deliv­er it, you can take a part every day in pro­vid­ing a grow­ing demand for the end of traf­fick­ing and mod­ern slav­ery. So with­out any fur­ther ado, you’ve heard enough from me. We’re pleased to bring you a num­ber of great pan­elists tonight to talk about what they’re doing, what they’ve seen, and if I may be so bold to pre­dict what they see we need, or might even be things they know are com­ing down the pipeline. So with­out fur­ther ado, we launch straight to our first speak­er. Please wel­come Andrea March­esani, who’s inter­ven­tion tonight is in his capac­i­ty with the Order of Mal­ta as an advis­er to the For­eign Affairs Depart­ment of the Sov­er­eign Mil­i­tary Order of Mal­ta. Andrea over to you.

ANDREA MARCHESANI: So as you said, what we see and what is hap­pen­ing and what is hap­pen­ing with the Covid cri­sis that exac­er­bat­ed all these huge world that is Inter­net and The Migrants and Refugees Sec­tion of the Holy See a few years ago pub­lished the Pas­toral Ori­en­ta­tions on Human Traf­fick­ing, after a process of lis­ten­ing to local Church­es and to Catholic orga­ni­za­tions and part­ners on this spe­cif­ic issue, and it would be my plea­sure tonight to trans­fer these Pas­toral Ori­en­ta­tions on gen­er­al human traf­fick­ing in the dig­i­tal world, and the role of tech­nol­o­gy. So I would like to start to quote the Pope in his last encycli­cal “Fratel­li Tut­ti” (3 Octo­ber 2020), at the point 24, he men­tioned clear­ly the using of mod­ern means of com­mu­ni­ca­tion to lure young men and women in the human traf­fick­ing net­works. And he calls for a glob­al effort to erad­i­cate human traf­fick­ing. So but after this inter­ven­tion in the Fratel­li Tut­ti in 2002, John Paul II indi­vid­u­at­ed three prob­lems com­ing up with the glob­al­iza­tion relat­ed to the trade in human beings. And we can see that the three arms of glob­al­iza­tion, mar­ket, media, and migra­tions, they form the per­fect macro con­text for human traf­fick­ing because human traf­fick­ing evolved in a dif­fer­ent way in these three chan­nels. So we can say, as we know, that the vir­tu­al ter­ri­to­ry is prob­lem­at­ic to be con­trolled by secu­ri­ty, by police, by the States, because it is a huge world. And we can see that Google only shows 1% of what can be found on Inter­net. So these are what Don For­tu­na­to called the dig­i­tal periph­eries, and for the Pope, these are the same periph­eries, the exis­ten­tial periph­eries that Pope Fran­cis invite the Church to live in and to save and to help peo­ple in. So pass­ing to the Pas­toral Ori­en­ta­tions, we divide in the work that the sec­tion, the Holy See Sec­tion for Migrants and Refugees pre­pare. The first chap­ters was about under­stand­ing the human traf­fick­ing caus­es and so the com­mod­i­fi­ca­tion and exploita­tion, the demand aspect. And so if in human traf­fick­ing gen­er­al­ly, we have a com­mod­i­fi­ca­tion and the per­son become a com­mod­i­ty, an object in human traf­fick­ing, in the dig­i­tal periph­eries we have a next-lev­el com­mod­i­fi­ca­tion. And the human per­son is not just an object, but becomes an amount of data, videos and pic­tures which are trans­fer­able, and the vir­tu­al abuse can be per­pe­trat­ed an expo­nen­tial num­ber of times in dif­fer­ent places on Earth. So not just once, but the dig­ni­ty of the human being is vio­lat­ed sev­er­al times. The same dig­ni­ty. And this was maybe what Mar­tin Hei­deg­ger defined the “essence of tech­nol­o­gy”, where all dis­tances in time and space are shrink­ing, and tech­nol­o­gy changes the bor­ders and allows the man to became an amount of data and to be manip­u­lat­ed many times. And we can link to this what the Pope called the “wide­spread of grow­ing dig­i­tal nar­cis­sism” in his mes­sage for the World Youth Day in 2020. So this is a next lev­el and exac­er­ba­tion of the real­i­ty of nature and things and per­sons, because tech­nolo­gies cre­ate the means and we are not even in con­trol of this. The sec­ond part of this first chap­ter of the Pas­toral Ori­en­ta­tion is the demand aspect. And the demand is not so far from us. It is in our hous­es, homes, in our fam­i­lies, because tech­nolo­gies are inva­sive. They enter in our lives and we see human traf­fick­ing with­out see­ing it. So acknowl­edg­ing human traf­fick­ing, there is like a blan­ket of fog hid­ing the phe­nom­e­non, but at the same time it is in plain sight, because every time that we enter on Inter­net and we go either on Insta­gram or oth­er social net­works, we can see human traf­fick­ing with­out see­ing it, because these are all chan­nels used to lure peo­ple. In Italy, in the last years, there were many cas­es of lur­ing on Face­book, on Insta­gram, on oth­er social net­works, and cyber traf­fick­ing tar­get main­ly peo­ple that are expe­ri­enc­ing dif­fi­cult times, or they are the most vul­ner­a­ble like chil­dren that are exclud­ed or neglect­ed or that don’t have any friends. And this use of Face­book and social net­works is used also in migra­tion issues. For instance, Scot­land Yard found 539 pages on Face­book offer­ing “safe”, not so safe routes to Europe with dis­counts for minors. And this is for migrants. So anoth­er strat­e­gy used on social net­works is that traf­fick­ers iden­ti­fy the vic­tims, add friends in com­mon, gain trust, and always they tar­get these most vul­ner­a­ble peo­ple. Anoth­er chap­ter that is very near, that is in our homes, that is around us, is the pornog­ra­phy. There is a nor­mal­iza­tion, a cul­tur­al nor­mal­iza­tion of pornog­ra­phy. But in pornog­ra­phy, the posi­tion of the Catholic Church is that it is already human traf­fick­ing, even with­out coer­cion because it dam­ages, it destroys the dig­ni­ty of the human being that becomes a mere object of plea­sure for oth­ers, for third par­ties, for many times. And also in this world, the most searched term on these pornog­ra­phy por­tals are usu­al­ly “youth” and “teens” cat­e­gories. And in that case, we have human traf­fick­ing as it is also stat­ed in inter­na­tion­al Pro­to­cols, not only for the Catholic Church. And many times, the bor­ders between pornog­ra­phy and coer­cion and pros­ti­tu­tion are very thin. There are many cas­es exposed of pornog­ra­phy indus­tries and pro­duc­ers that coerce the actors to be pros­ti­tutes as well. So the sex­u­al search­es on Inter­net, 4 mil­lions of these Web search­es look for “youth” cat­e­gories. Keep that in mind. But also adults can be lured into this world and it is very dif­fi­cult to escape this. So for the dynam­ics… I will not talk about “Dark web” and “Deep web” because they are very big worlds, and I think maybe Don For­tu­na­to lat­er will focus more on these. But this is a huge world of web­sites, of spaces and file-shar­ing plat­forms that are not con­trolled, checked, and they can not be super­vised by police force, maybe from stake­hold­ers, Web stake­hold­ers, yes, but it’s very dif­fi­cult. So about the dynam­ics, there is a prob­lem because this opens the sen­si­tive issue of Web and IT company’s respon­si­bil­i­ty, because the Inter­net world is of course, con­nect­ed to the Inter­net. But the busi­ness mea­sures on “lik­a­bil­i­ty” if I can use this word, on how many times peo­ple visu­al­ize and watch con­tent, and the prof­its bog­gles the mind, and the prof­it increase as more peo­ple watch some­thing. So there is no inter­est for providers to erad­i­cate. I don’t want to be sen­sa­tion­al­ist, to erad­i­cate and to elim­i­nate the con­tents oth­er­wise. And there is anoth­er thing, there is the trade­off between pri­va­cy and con­trol. And this is anoth­er con­tro­ver­sial issue. And we saw that algo­rithm many times bans lic­it activ­i­ties while search­ing for illic­it activ­i­ties. We can see that as well in the in the nor­mal life of social net­works. We can say that all the prof­its should be asked for account­abil­i­ty and for super­vi­sion of con­tents. I would like for a while to focus as well on migrants, on migrants and tech­nol­o­gy. Migrants enter human traf­fick­ing because there are offers of fake jobs, safe pas­sages on migra­to­ry routes, and the prob­lem is that it is very dif­fi­cult to track mon­ey cir­cu­la­tion because there are sys­tems of cir­cu­lat­ing mon­ey with­out any con­trol on Inter­net. But what we can do, because the last chap­ter of the Pas­toral Ori­en­ta­tions is respond­ing to human traf­fick­ing. And the first is edu­ca­tion and parental con­trol, I would say, and cul­ture against this self-serv­ing nar­cis­sism and this pri­ma­cy giv­en only to tech­nol­o­gy, to appear­ance and chase for image that we can see today on Inter­net. And the role in edu­ca­tion and parental con­trol of course is to par­ents. And I think that we have to raise aware­ness on the role and the dan­gers of tech­nolo­gies. Just for chil­dren hav­ing a smart­phone that a traf­fick­er could eas­i­ly enter in. Anoth­er, and on this I want to be sen­sa­tion­al­ist is the prob­lem of pornog­ra­phy, and as a Catholic, as a Spe­cial Advis­er of the Order of Mal­ta and of the Holy See, I would call to block pornog­ra­phy providers and web­sites. Because there is no con­trol and many times it was dis­cov­ered that peo­ple were dis­played on videos with­out their will­ing, and providers didn’t delete these con­tents. The first thing is to call for website’s respon­si­bil­i­ty and account­abil­i­ty. This is very dif­fi­cult, and I can­not go fur­ther in this issue because it goes very far. And anoth­er ini­tia­tive could be part­ner­ship plat­forms to track human traf­fick­ing, to use the same tech­nol­o­gy to track human traf­fick­ing. But here we can open up anoth­er prob­lem, anoth­er dilem­ma that is the nature of tech­nol­o­gy, of infor­ma­tion tech­nol­o­gy, if you have pow­er­ful means, and the traf­fick­ers have pow­er­ful means because what we are observ­ing, what we are mon­i­tor­ing is that traf­fick­ers and crim­i­nal net­work orga­ni­za­tions are becom­ing very skilled in the use of infor­ma­tion tech­nol­o­gy. To cre­ate plat­forms and part­ner­ship to track human traf­fick­ing could be hand up in cre­at­ing an open mar­ket that they can breach. An open mar­ket of vic­tims for retal­i­a­tion or for new abus­es, because what the gov­ern­ments around the world are expe­ri­enc­ing is a secu­ri­ty breach in their Inter­net secu­ri­ty net­works and archi­tec­tures struc­tures. So the Catholic Church, of course, will sup­port tech­no­log­i­cal and legal co-oper­a­tion. But, we have to be very care­ful and it is still a no man’s land, the cre­ation of tech­no­log­i­cal plat­forms to cre­ate data­bas­es and to use the infor­ma­tion you said before from satel­lites, because it is very dif­fi­cult to guar­an­tee the secu­ri­ty of these plat­forms and tech­nol­o­gy is evolv­ing. So I would like to artic­u­late final­ly on the atten­tion on three words, care, knowl­edge and cul­ture. So the care that we should have for the younger in help­ing them, in sup­port­ing them, in not leav­ing them alone in the tech­nol­o­gy world. The knowl­edge to under­stand how these tech­no­log­i­cal means are evolv­ing. And cul­tur­al, both in rais­ing aware­ness and both in the schools, or with the youngest to avoid and to help them to escape these dan­gers that are for every­one on the Web. Not to men­tion that the Pope remem­bers the eas­i­ness of being part of the sup­ply chain on Inter­net, because we could eas­i­ly be a part with­out even notic­ing. And last­ly, I would like to sug­gest that all these tech­nolo­gies or these new con­tents, pornog­ra­phy, social net­work, they have a pro­found impact on the think­ing and behav­ior of chil­dren. And those that I men­tion are the actions that should be a sup­port, even if it is very dif­fi­cult to do that. Thank you.

BRIAN ISELIN: Our tech­nol­o­gy is keep­ing up. Many thanks, Andrea. You’re absolute­ly right. The repli­ca­tion of abuse, using tech­nol­o­gy to dou­ble down on the abuse of minors and oth­ers in vul­ner­a­ble sit­u­a­tions is a clear and present dan­ger to us all. On a relat­ed theme about the use of tech­nol­o­gy by traf­fick­ers, we will now, I under­stand Michel, we will now cross to a video from Don Fortunato.

DON FORTUNATO: I cor­dial­ly greet all par­tic­i­pants in this impor­tant ses­sion which deals with one of the thorni­est, most impor­tant top­ic that lead us to the pro­tec­tion of chil­dren, in a world tru­ly torn apart by such seri­ous sit­u­a­tions involv­ing chil­dren, their traf­fick­ing and espe­cial­ly their exploita­tion, includ­ing through the Inter­net. The theme I’ve been giv­en is a very par­tic­u­lar one, espe­cial­ly in terms of the crim­i­no­log­i­cal actions of pedophiles online. Obvi­ous­ly, we need to estab­lish some fun­da­men­tal points of this crime that occurs against human­i­ty, and which seems mere­ly vir­tu­al. We must always con­sid­er the vir­tu­al as if it exists, because the vir­tu­al is the real life of men. And there­fore, even through the Inter­net, crim­i­nal pedophiles and child pornog­ra­phers, who have a per­ver­sion for per­son­al enjoy­ment in the exploita­tion of inno­cence, they’ve obvi­ous­ly set up actu­al orga­ni­za­tions who bring into being a well-defined strat­e­gy, and above all a strat­e­gy that has as its pur­pose the anni­hi­la­tion, the abuse, the sale and the traf­fick­ing of chil­dren. And we’re not talk­ing about a few hun­dred chil­dren, even if of course just one case is a very seri­ous mat­ter that hap­pens before our eyes and that requires knowl­edge on the one hand, but on the oth­er hand also leg­isla­tive inter­ven­tions, inves­tiga­tive inter­ven­tions, but above all for­ma­tive and infor­ma­tive inter­ven­tions, where soci­ety must, and the Church too, must answer for the pro­tec­tion of the inno­cent, the chil­dren of the world. There­fore, let us estab­lish a fact. Child pornog­ra­phy and pae­dophil­ia are crimes on a glob­al scale. We must under­stand that more and more there are no geo­graph­i­cal bound­aries, and the Inter­net con­tin­ues to be a no man’s land, an indef­i­nite “land­scape” with­out lim­its in which crim­i­nal­i­ty can act almost undis­turbed. Very often, from the links ana­lyzed by Meter, it appears that the exten­sion of the domain, although belong­ing geo­graph­i­cal­ly to a Nation, it con­tains ser­vices pro­vid­ed by servers locat­ed in oth­er parts of the world. So imag­ine, cur­rent­ly our 2020 Report shows that Amer­i­ca and Europe are the pri­ma­ry loca­tions of the servers that han­dle the traf­fic of infor­ma­tion, and espe­cial­ly the traf­fic of minors, with regard to the whole crim­i­nal sys­tem that has been implant­ed, which was built for exploit­ing inno­cence, and on the oth­er hand for pro­vid­ing a range of finan­cial sys­tems who bring a crim­i­nal busi­ness on the backs of chil­dren. There­fore, who uses the Inter­net? We have seen that it is a glob­al sys­tem, world­wide, some­times free of charge; it is pro­vid­ed by serv­er providers, and there is the pos­si­bil­i­ty to iden­ti­fy “par­a­disi­ac” areas where there is not enough leg­is­la­tion, or some­times weak, or some­times even absent. And so, the pos­si­bil­i­ty of being able to take advan­tage of “free file host­ing”, the pos­si­bil­i­ty of free file host­ing ser­vices, this allows, in a mas­sive and very intense way, for pedophiles and child pornog­ra­phers, the use and traf­fick­ing of chil­dren and human beings. But who is the pedophile? The cyber pedophile is an indi­vid­ual who finds on the Inter­net the pos­si­bil­i­ty to sat­is­fy their own sex­u­al fan­tasies, con­tra­ven­ing the moral rules that the soci­ety in which he lives impos­es on him. He also man­ages to sat­is­fy, in a vir­tu­al way, his own impuls­es. All this pro­duces noth­ing but greater deviance and above all an estrange­ment from real real­i­ty, and there­fore from real life. Also not to be under­es­ti­mat­ed is the refined abil­i­ty of cyber pedophiles to make the best use of tech­nol­o­gy to achieve their goals. There are there­fore dif­fer­ent types of pedophiles who use the Web. For every type of pedophiles we can very well give a pro­file. The first is the “Clos­et Col­lec­tor”: he jeal­ous­ly guards his entire child pornog­ra­phy col­lec­tion, and is nev­er per­son­al­ly involved in child abuse. Then we have the “Iso­lat­ed Col­lec­tor”: and he is a pedophile who col­lects child pornog­ra­phy by choos­ing a cat­e­go­ry in par­tic­u­lar, and is involved direct­ly in child abuse. The iso­lat­ed col­lec­tor is some­one who has whole archives, with for exam­ple abused infants, or he prefers only white girls, and maybe with par­tic­u­lar somat­ic char­ac­ter­is­tics, or blond hair or dark hair, or only male chil­dren of well defined age, and with spe­cial char­ac­ter­is­tics. The iso­lat­ed col­lec­tor tru­ly has this abil­i­ty to be able to have real mega archives, we’re talk­ing here some­times in inves­ti­ga­tions, in iden­ti­fy­ing these sub­jects, tens of mil­lions of images can be found that cor­re­spond to tens of mil­lions of chil­dren already involved and already abused. Then we have the so-called “Com­mer­cial Col­lec­tor” who is per­son­al­ly involved in the sex­u­al exploita­tion of chil­dren, and who pro­duces, copies and sells child pornog­ra­phy mate­r­i­al. Here is the actu­al struc­ture of orga­ni­za­tions, or covens or groups no longer iso­lat­ed, who have implant­ed a real trade that is also linked to the actu­al exploita­tion of chil­dren; it emerges very clear­ly that amongst the com­mer­cial pedophiles who sells the mate­r­i­al, as much as 40–50 % of them are indi­vid­u­als who have direct­ly abused chil­dren, and have then pho­tographed, filmed and sold it. On the oth­er side then, there is the real orga­ni­za­tion­al struc­ture of pedocrime, which is com­plex and hier­ar­chi­cal, that, with forced parental con­sent, some­times take lit­tle vic­tims to make them avail­able for the mere pur­pose of sex­u­al assault in order to gain eco­nom­ic prof­it through real and vir­tu­al meet­ings. There­fore you under­stand that the cyber pedophile needs to have the child: he seeks the child, he makes mate­r­i­al with the child and sells the mate­r­i­al with the child who has already been abused. And this is real­ly one of the ele­ments that per­haps we should deep­en to under­stand that it’s not just a seri­ous, a very seri­ous, sex­u­al deviance and of pref­er­ence for chil­dren; we’re talk­ing here about kids that have been trapped in an actu­al busi­ness of human traf­fick­ing and of sex­u­al exploita­tion, and where there are actu­al orga­ni­za­tions. In this regard, I believe it is nec­es­sary to estab­lish the clas­si­fi­ca­tion itself of pedophiles. There is the “seduc­tive pedophile”: he’s very affec­tion­ate, gives many gifts to the child and, with his manip­u­la­tive skills, gets the child’s com­plic­i­ty, guar­an­tee­ing silence for him­self. We also have anoth­er cat­e­go­ry that has been stud­ied, and Meter has made much con­tri­bu­tion not only to these cat­e­gories but also to oth­er devel­op­ments that led to an iden­ti­fi­ca­tion of more refined elab­o­ra­tions of the pedophile pro­file; imag­ine for exam­ple the pedophile moms, for whom we have found a thread, the so-called “pedo­ma­ma”, where the moth­ers them­selves abuse their babies, and sells the prod­uct of the abuse, per­pe­trat­ed by the moth­ers them­selves. How­ev­er, there’s also the “intro­vert­ed pedophile”: he hard­ly uses seduc­tive approach­es, and he com­mu­ni­cates very lit­tle with chil­dren. Anoth­er cat­e­go­ry, anoth­er pro­file is the “sadis­tic pedophile”, and we can say that he’s the most dan­ger­ous: he takes plea­sure in see­ing the phys­i­cal and psy­cho­log­i­cal suf­fer­ing of the child, sets traps and uses force to car­ry out kid­nap­pings, with the extreme result of killing the vic­tim. Then the “cyber-pedophile”, which we men­tioned, but he doesn’t actu­al­ly abuse the chil­dren, but uses the mate­r­i­al of child pornog­ra­phy, that involves obvi­ous­ly the abuse of real chil­dren, and the pro­duc­tion of increas­ing­ly advanced and struc­tured mate­r­i­al, we’ve con­firmed it in the things that already I told you. He finds on the Inter­net or through the under­ground trade, think about the Deep web or the Dark web, it’s a chap­ter which in my hum­ble opin­ion should be much more stud­ied and we should find a way to over­come the con­cept of total online free­dom and thus the pro­tec­tion of pri­va­cy, and espe­cial­ly the pri­va­cy of pedophiles. How­ev­er, even though he doesn’t pro­duce mate­r­i­al, he’s using it. The cyber-pedophile clear­ly increas­es demand on the glob­al mar­ket of pro­duc­tion of images, and there­fore of child abuse. Then you under­stand that in the col­lec­tive imag­i­nary the pedophile is a mon­ster, a rec­og­niz­able indi­vid­ual among many. In real­i­ty, he’s just an ordi­nary per­son, very ordi­nary, well-groomed and often with a good social stand­ing, unsus­pect­ed and usu­al­ly very close to chil­dren, which can range from the fig­ures of the father, the moth­er or a close rel­a­tive, but also and above all it can be a sub­ject that has sub­dued, maybe kid­napped, the issue of miss­ing chil­dren can also be linked, and why not, we’ve had reports of chil­dren being abduct­ed and sub­ju­gat­ed, enslaved for years and years, and then maybe after so many years iden­ti­fied. The prob­lem with child pornog­ra­phy, you have to under­stand, is evi­dent­ly linked to the fig­ure of the pedophile, that we are try­ing as far as we can, to analyse objec­tive­ly, and that is moral­ly speak­ing dis­turb­ing and that needs more effec­tive action at the glob­al lev­el. So I will con­clude by say­ing that the pedophile, evi­dent­ly here, is most­ly a male, this aspect is pre­dom­i­nant, and feels a strong sex­u­al attrac­tion to pre­pu­bes­cent chil­dren. Pre­pu­bes­cent means chil­dren under the age of 12–13 years, that is to say that have not yet the sex­u­al matu­ri­ty, and there­fore we can sort of, from the point of view of gen­der, yes male and female, but also indis­tinct in the aspect of sex­u­al matu­ri­ty. Often the pedophile has a greater pref­er­ence for female chil­dren, and even in these con­texts, in these years there is an increase in the pro­duc­tion of child pornog­ra­phy with male chil­dren, always pre­pu­bes­cent. It’s real­ly a very sub­merged mar­ket, but it’s a mar­ket that now has emerged, because of the numer­ous, the thou­sands of reports and com­plaints, but also the com­mit­ment of law enforce­ment agen­cies around the world, of the police forces who do their best to com­bat this phe­nom­e­non. But much more needs to be done, and I can tell you that the 30 years of expe­ri­ence that we have at Meter, allows us to get a pro­file of the pedophile, how he oper­ates. But most impor­tant­ly the great tragedy of the com­mer­cial­iza­tion of chil­dren, because they are con­sid­ered waste, but it is a waste that yields prof­it for orga­nized crime. I’ll stop here. Thank you for lis­ten­ing. The lim­it­ed time has allowed me to syn­the­size the theme that was offered to me as far as con­cerns the fig­ure of the pedophile in the world of the Web and in the field of pedophile crime, with­out for­get­ting, how­ev­er, that the preva­lence that emerges is that the pedophile, the child pornog­ra­ph­er or those who com­mer­cial­izes and exploits chil­dren harms the chil­dren, the future of our human­i­ty. Thank you very much and have a good continuation.

BRIAN ISELIN: Okay. Michel, I have to say it’s always seri­ous­ly shock­ing to explore this world of child sex­u­al abuse and pedophil­ia. And thanks to Don For­tu­na­to for tak­ing us through that. It reminds me just recent­ly there was a poll at the end of last year in France. This is not iso­lat­ed, 1 in 10 chil­dren in France abused by fam­i­ly mem­bers only. So if we think about the total num­bers, we’re real­ly look­ing at a shock­ing, shock­ing sit­u­a­tion. So please wel­come our next pan­elist. Shawn Kohl is an attor­ney from the US work­ing on child rights and traf­fick­ing cas­es the last 16 years. He’s been with Inter­na­tion­al Jus­tice Mis­sion for 11 years, liv­ing and work­ing in South­east Asia, East Africa, and East­ern Europe. So Shawn, over to you.

SHAWN KOHL: Great thanks to you, Bri­an, and thanks to Michel and Andrea, and Father as well. It’s a plea­sure and a priv­i­lege to be able to con­tribute some­thing small this evening. Tech­nol­o­gy is like the apple. It can be turned for bad and it can also be some­thing very, very good. And so it’s some­thing that has two sides of it. And I hope to explore a lit­tle bit about that this evening, because there are things that we can do. There are things in civ­il soci­ety, as indi­vid­u­als, as law enforce­ment, both sup­ply and demand side that we can work on. I’m going to share some slides, if we could pull up the pre­sen­ta­tion? Great. If we could go to num­ber one, we’re giv­ing peo­ple a sneak peek there. So here we go. So this is just to give you a lit­tle bit of back­ground about who we are. Inter­na­tion­al Jus­tice Mis­sion (IJM) is a glob­al orga­ni­za­tion that pro­tects the vul­ner­a­ble from vio­lence by res­cu­ing vic­tims, help­ing to bring crim­i­nals to jus­tice, restor­ing sur­vivors to safe­ty and strength and help­ing law enforce­ment build a safe future that lasts. IJM uti­lizes a col­lab­o­ra­tive case work approach, work­ing with gov­ern­ment part­ners, employ­ing mul­ti­dis­ci­pli­nary teams of inves­ti­ga­tors, lawyers, social work­ers, in cas­es of exploita­tion. IJM’s case work, we actu­al­ly use that as a diag­nos­tic tool to inform our pro­grams, to inform advo­ca­cy and capac­i­ty build­ing with gov­ern­ment and civ­il soci­ety part­ners. And I would like to stress the impor­tance of a holis­tic approach. That we must begin to look at traf­fick­ing through the lens of per­pe­tra­tors. Deter­mine what moti­vates their actions, and con­cen­trate our efforts to elim­i­nate the ben­e­fits of traf­fick­ing. Both crim­i­nal account­abil­i­ty and finan­cial dis­in­cen­tive. Both sup­ply and demand. That will be the most effec­tive way to address traf­fick­ing in human beings. We must also have agili­ty and think out­side the box. We must be smarter and adapt to meet emerg­ing trends and new crim­i­nal­i­ties that have moved to adopt tech­nol­o­gy for its ben­e­fit and use. We must also do the exact same thing and uti­lize tech­nol­o­gy to com­bat human traf­fick­ing. I would like to talk to you a lit­tle bit and share with you some of the ways that tech­nol­o­gy that we have seen around the world at IJM in cas­es of human traf­fick­ing and exploita­tion. One sig­nif­i­cant and emerg­ing trend is the use of tech­nol­o­gy to livestream the sex­u­al exploita­tion of chil­dren. Father just men­tioned a lit­tle bit about this. We often see that offend­ers con­nect using social media net­works, and then uti­lize text com­mu­ni­ca­tion, many times encrypt­ed, then send mon­ey from the demand side, typ­i­cal­ly West­ern coun­tries, but this can be from any­where in the world, to sup­ply side coun­tries. After mon­ey has been exchanged, live stream­ing of sex­u­al exploita­tion occurs many times at the live direc­tion of the per­pe­tra­tors in demand-side coun­tries. This is a sig­nif­i­cant prob­lem today, and it is an emerg­ing and grow­ing phe­nom­e­non. Just since the Covid epi­dem­ic, we’ve seen a 31% increase in the child sex­u­al exploita­tion mate­r­i­al reports received by the Nation­al Cen­ter for Miss­ing and Exploit­ed Chil­dren in the Unit­ed States. Why is the Unit­ed States rel­e­vant? Because that is an agency that receives reports and tips from around the world that uti­lize US based plat­forms and oth­ers that traf­fick­ers often uti­lize, which you and I actu­al­ly have many of those net­works and plat­forms on our cell phone tonight. If you were to open up your phone right now, I almost guar­an­tee you would have those plat­forms on there. In 2020 alone, we saw 21 mil­lion reports received by the Nation­al Cen­ter for Miss­ing and Exploit­ed Chil­dren, com­pared to 16 mil­lion in 2019. So near­ly a five mil­lion increase in one year. We also know that the Philip­pines was an epi­cen­ter of this phe­nom­e­non. The Philip­pine Inter­a­gency Coun­cil Against Traf­fick­ing, report­ed an increase of 300% in reports from 2019 to 2020. So what can be done? Well, there are inno­va­tions in tools that are being devel­oped around the world that will require our advo­ca­cy. So I saw some com­ments there. What can we actu­al­ly do? There are some things that we can do. There are advo­ca­cy around ensur­ing that they are imple­ment­ed. The lat­est arti­fi­cial intel­li­gence, inno­va­tion and tools, can be uti­lized to proac­tive­ly detect and block images of live stream­ing sex­u­al exploita­tion. Sim­i­lar to large plat­forms that are cur­rent­ly remov­ing and tak­ing down images or even state­ments because of mis­use, a sim­i­lar approach could be uti­lized through arti­fi­cial intel­li­gence. Addi­tion­al­ly, there must be require­ments for indi­vid­u­als and cor­po­ra­tions to report such abuse to law enforce­ment. These mea­sures are crit­i­cal because it helps with account­abil­i­ty, and data mea­sure­ment to deter­mine the preva­lence of live stream­ing. We must know and under­stand this phe­nom­e­non before we can ade­quate­ly address it. This helps gov­ern­ments to bet­ter under­stand vic­ti­mol­o­gy and crim­i­nol­o­gy, ascer­tain loca­tions and lev­els of exploita­tion, which all sup­port an evi­dence-based and tar­get­ed approach to pre­ven­tion and time­ly res­cue through law enforce­ment. These types of crimes often take place in the pri­va­cy of the home where there is no abil­i­ty for vic­tims to reach out to oth­ers, par­tic­u­lar­ly when they are chil­dren. That’s why we need the actu­al providers and deliv­er­ers of the con­tent to work respon­si­bly, to iden­ti­fy and help stop the behav­ior. Gov­ern­ments play a key role in com­bat­ing the live sex­u­al exploita­tion of chil­dren through pol­i­cy and reg­u­la­tion, but we’ve actu­al­ly seen a very slow under­stand­ing on the part of leg­is­la­tors and pol­i­cy experts to take informed action. We need the devel­op­ment of very clear guide­lines and account­abil­i­ty mech­a­nisms for tech com­pa­nies, and equal­ly impor­tant, if not more impor­tant, finan­cial insti­tu­tions. Unless there is some form of account­abil­i­ty for both demand and sup­ply side, and I appre­ci­ate that that has been high­light­ed through­out this series, both demand and sup­ply side for the com­pa­nies that are inter­me­di­aries for video and finan­cial exchange, we will not see the decrease or any deter­rent for this type of behav­ior. This prob­lem is not going to go away with­out dis­rup­tion of the behav­ior through crim­i­nal and finan­cial account­abil­i­ty. It is our job to fig­ure out how to do that. But we have seen some suc­cess­es when law enforce­ment, NGOs and oth­ers work togeth­er. From 2011 to 2019, Inter­na­tion­al Jus­tice Mis­sion and the sup­port of the gov­ern­ment in the Philip­pines, were able to secure the res­cue of 527 vic­tims, and con­vict 70 indi­vid­u­als, that may have nev­er been caught oth­er­wise, who could still be offend­ing today. It is pos­si­ble for NGOs to work with law enforce­ment to build bet­ter and smarter capa­bil­i­ties to con­front this crime. We also need greater reg­u­la­tion of the finan­cial inter­me­di­aries and insti­tu­tions to under­stand the phe­nom­e­non and take a proac­tive role in thwart­ing their use and ser­vices by crim­i­nals. Com­pa­nies must under­stand how their insti­tu­tions are being uti­lized by crim­i­nal enter­pris­es and take action to sys­tem­i­cal­ly report sus­pi­cious behav­ior and pat­terns, rather than hid­ing it or turn­ing a blind eye. We need to devel­op bet­ter poli­cies and man­dat­ed report­ing mech­a­nisms. There are sev­er­al oth­er ways in which tech­nol­o­gy is used in oth­er forms of human traf­fick­ing. Social net­work­ing has been men­tioned this evening, and it’s used all the time by recruiters to tar­get vul­ner­a­ble pop­u­la­tions and recruit them for exploita­tion with promise of jobs or fic­ti­tious rela­tion­ships. Mobile com­mu­ni­ca­tion often occurs between traf­fick­ers, recruiters and vic­tims. We are work­ing on a labor traf­fick­ing case cur­rent­ly where all of the com­mu­ni­ca­tions and trans­ports were arranged through social media from the UK, to recruit vul­ner­a­ble peo­ple in rur­al Roma­nia. We also see online adver­tis­ing cou­pled with pri­vate mes­sag­ing. I know that we’ve dis­cussed today, this evening ear­li­er with Father, the emer­gence of the Dark web over the last sev­er­al years, which is true and it is hor­rif­ic. But we have actu­al­ly seen in the major­i­ty of our live stream­ing cas­es that we’ve worked on in the Philip­pines, that ser­vice Web based appli­ca­tions are uti­lized in most cas­es. Sur­face Web appli­ca­tions are easy to use and they’re famil­iar to us all. In fact, that’s their appeal to traf­fick­ers. In fact, if you open your phone right now, you will find all of the appli­ca­tions a crim­i­nal might need to do any of the exploitive prac­tices we have already dis­cussed. We’re not talk­ing about high-tech sophis­ti­ca­tion, and that is one rea­son why it has become so pro­lif­ic. These are just basic Apps that are on your thumb and my phone. It is impor­tant to note that all the good things that can be used for can also be used for bad. Research of par­tic­u­lar­ly vul­ner­a­ble groups, facil­i­ta­tion of trav­el, mov­ing mon­ey covert­ly, obscur­ing iden­ti­ty, sur­veil­lance and phone track­ing. Crim­i­nals have all these tools read­i­ly avail­able. All these inno­va­tions were devel­oped for good, but unfor­tu­nate­ly can also be used for bad. Think of a traf­fic-track­ing App. For me, I like to use that for my loved ones. It helps me know where they are, if they’re late, if there’s an acci­dent or not. But it can also be used to coerce and main­tain con­trol over vic­tims that might be work­ing on the streets with­out the phys­i­cal pres­ence of a han­dler. In many of our cas­es of traf­fick­ing, where there’s cas­es of han­dlers of vic­tims that may no longer need to be nec­es­sary if a vic­tim must stay on a street and have their phone and app and their loca­tion read­i­ly avail­able for the traf­fick­er, which might be in a build­ing close by. So let’s take a deep breath. That’s a lot of bad news and between the last two pre­sen­ta­tions and this one, we all just might need to take a deep breath and relax for a moment. But there are ways and there are things that we could do. So here’s a lit­tle bit of hope. There are very con­crete and prac­ti­cal ways that you and I can join the effort to com­bat traf­fick­ing with tech­nol­o­gy. We don’t have to be hope­less. We can make a dif­fer­ence. And I can sug­gest some ways that IJM and its part­ners have found to make a dif­fer­ence. Tech­nol­o­gy can be used to block, map and iden­ti­fy web­sites that pro­mote harm­ful prac­tices or hide exploita­tion that offer escort, mas­sage, pros­ti­tu­tion or false employ­ment oppor­tu­ni­ties. Tech­nol­o­gy can be uti­lized in tar­get­ed ways to reach vic­tims through the same social media Apps that we know vul­ner­a­ble groups are using. So why not use those same smart mes­sages that are pushed to indi­vid­u­als that will fall with­in the most preva­lent, vul­ner­a­ble groups. Just as busi­ness­es tar­get audi­ences, why shouldn’t we also uti­lize this research, mar­ket-based approach in order to reach per­sons trav­el­ing from coun­tries of ori­gin to des­ti­na­tion with mes­sages in their feeds? I don’t know if you had this expe­ri­ence, but some­how I land if I’m trav­el­ing in Europe, and I trav­el from the Nether­lands to Rome, the com­pa­ny is right there. And they’re the first ones to greet me and wel­come me to Italy. Because there’s a new ser­vice provider, because they’re going to make some mon­ey, and they know that I’ve actu­al­ly land­ed. So why can’t we uti­lize that same exact tech­nol­o­gy to tell indi­vid­u­als that we know through our map­ping exer­cis­es where the most vul­ner­a­ble routes are? What lan­guage set­tings are the most vul­ner­a­ble groups? So that we can also push out mes­sages, if you have need, do you need any help? These are the emer­gency num­bers. Why aren’t we using that same type of tech­nol­o­gy, rather than just using tech­nol­o­gy for mon­ey? Why don’t we actu­al­ly use it to help share infor­ma­tion? IJM is using some of these tech­niques about push­ing mes­sages already in South­east Asia, and we will be pilot­ing them in our cross-bor­der pro­gram in Europe soon. We have also includ­ed sur­vivor voice in order to help us cre­ate rel­e­vant mes­sages. And so hav­ing the lead­er­ship of a sur­vivor that has actu­al­ly gone through an exploitive con­di­tion, to actu­al­ly for­mu­late those mes­sages. So we’re send­ing rel­e­vant mes­sages to indi­vid­u­als that we know are in vul­ner­a­ble areas. Addi­tion­al­ly, if per­pe­tra­tors use tech­nol­o­gy to reach out, try and recruit indi­vid­u­als, we can also use those same plat­forms. Dig a lit­tle deep­er, find out who is behind some of these adver­tise­ments and plat­forms in order to deter­mine if they are legit­i­mate or not or pose risks to vul­ner­a­ble groups. These recruit­ment plat­forms must be vis­i­ble, oth­er­wise they would not be effec­tive. We can uti­lize that fact and con­duct inves­ti­ga­tions and analy­sis online to find and deter­mine if some of those oppor­tu­ni­ties are real­ly rus­es to exploit peo­ple. Par­tic­u­lar­ly when we have reports from vic­tims of abuse about some of these agen­cies or plat­forms. Now, I’d like to share a few ways in which we can present data to help us be more strate­gic in our efforts. We can use tech­nol­o­gy to help us bet­ter under­stand the traf­fick­ing phe­nom­e­non in order to strate­gi­cal­ly inform our invest­ments to com­bat human traf­fick­ing. We need smarter, more rel­e­vant inter­ven­tions formed by data. We can use tech­nol­o­gy to help us under­stand traf­fick­ing routes, forms of exploita­tion, trav­el cor­ri­dors and recruit­ment method­olo­gies. This infor­ma­tion is vital to help us become smarter and use all of our resources more effec­tive­ly. Heat map­ping, for exam­ple, when we have enough data, can help us deter­mine where the crimes are occur­ring and what time and sea­son they are most preva­lent. This is an exam­ple of a heat map to help iden­ti­fy when, where and how fre­quent­ly crimes are occur­ring. Again, this is impor­tant to inform our strate­gies for effec­tive and effi­cient pre­ven­tion and res­cue. I saw this tech­nol­o­gy actu­al­ly uti­lized by the World Bank in Nairo­bi, Kenya, in an area that had a lot of crimes, for them to actu­al­ly map the reports also via tech­nol­o­gy, reports of crimes so that they could actu­al­ly enhance light­ing, they could increase patrols, they can move indi­vid­u­als around in that area. This is an exam­ple of tak­ing infor­ma­tion from vic­tims and cross-ref­er­enc­ing that human intel­li­gence from sur­vivors with satel­lite imagery to under­stand bor­der cross­ing routes. Our teams worked with part­ners to map all cross­ing routes acces­si­ble by vehi­cles from Cam­bo­dia to Thai­land. We cross-ref­er­enced this infor­ma­tion with vic­tim state­ments in actu­al real cas­es that we were work­ing on, to begin to map the bor­der cross­ings most used by traf­fick­ers. This infor­ma­tion, gov­ern­ment actors and NGOs can bet­ter focus with this infor­ma­tion. We can all bet­ter focus our aware­ness, pre­ven­tion and inspec­tion efforts. This slide shows the most preva­lent routes for the trav­el­ing of Roma­ni­ans in Europe. This can also shape resource allo­ca­tion for tar­get­ed aware­ness and res­cue efforts. And so as indi­vid­u­als, if they’re tak­ing cer­tain plane trips and they are a cer­tain nation­al­i­ty, and they’re going to a cer­tain air­port, then you can tar­get those indi­vid­u­als very specif­i­cal­ly and pro­vide them with the infor­ma­tion that they need so they don’t fall into forms of exploita­tion. This data shows a com­par­a­tive break­down of labor ver­sus sex­u­al exploita­tion that require dis­tinct approach­es to cre­ate aware­ness cam­paigns, devel­op tar­get­ed mes­sag­ing and inter­ven­tion strate­gies. This is using data to help tell a sto­ry. An inno­v­a­tive strat­e­gy that a part­ner of ours in Roma­nia, eLib­er­are. They devel­oped a web­site that attract­ed per­sons with the ruse of easy mon­ey. Their staff and vol­un­teers attend­ed fes­ti­vals across Roma­nia and gave out fly­ers and took pho­tos with their pic­tures in euros and dol­lar bills. Through this, they were able to under­stand anonymised data of indi­vid­u­als who lat­er vis­it­ed the web­site. The age group that most fre­quent­ly vis­it­ed the site were between 14 and 16 year old girls. They were also able to iden­ti­fy key geo­graph­i­cal mark­ers. This infor­ma­tion helps informed approach towards aware­ness rais­ing. Once the vis­i­tor to the site pen­e­trat­ed a cer­tain lev­el, then a warn­ing mes­sage was giv­en that these types of unre­al­is­tic, lucra­tive offers can be dan­ger­ous, and how to report a crime. If per­pe­tra­tors are using tech­nol­o­gy for nefar­i­ous pur­pos­es, why can’t we use it for good? We can and should devel­op and uti­lize tech­nol­o­gy to find prac­ti­cal ways of using trau­ma-informed strate­gies in indi­vid­ual cas­es. One such way that we uti­lize this is to take best evi­dence through video record­ing of wit­ness state­ments that can be used lat­er at court through sup­port­ing law enforce­ment. This decreas­es pos­si­ble re-trau­ma­ti­sa­tion of vic­tims, and could allow vic­tims that have been repa­tri­at­ed to their home coun­try to still give tes­ti­mo­ny in des­ti­na­tion coun­tries where they were exploit­ed, with­out the need to trav­el there. Many times vic­tims can be trau­ma­tised to return to those coun­tries, and it can be a very scary and intim­i­dat­ing process. The thought of see­ing the per­pe­tra­tor again in per­son, may keep the sur­vivor from engag­ing with a crim­i­nal pro­ceed­ings, allow­ing the per­pe­tra­tor to go free to abuse oth­ers. Thus, if their evi­dence-in-chief is tak­en by record­ing, then the vic­tim may give their cross-exam­i­na­tion tes­ti­mo­ny by remote link. This use of tech­nol­o­gy is gain­ing ground and is effec­tive dur­ing Covid, and dur­ing cas­es where vic­tims have already been repa­tri­at­ed. IJM has sup­port­ed the live stream­ing of vic­tim tes­ti­mo­ny from a rur­al town in Kenya, to a court­room in the UK. We should advo­cate for this type of pro­ce­dures in each legal sys­tem. Anoth­er use of video record­ing includes vic­tim impact state­ments. NGOs can and should advo­cate for this in each case where you’re able to. There is a grow­ing trend to video record vic­tim impact state­ments so that a court can under­stand the full impact that the exploita­tion had on vic­tims and their fam­i­lies Record­ed impact state­ments are used in some juris­dic­tions by the court to con­sid­er sen­tenc­ing or com­pen­sa­tion. Video record­ed vic­tim impact state­ments may require addi­tion­al work on the part of law enforce­ment and NGOs, but it can be very pow­er­ful. We have a case where indi­vid­u­als were recruit­ed and exploit­ed for labor in the con­struc­tion indus­try in the UK. With just these facts alone, if heard by a judge in the UK, may not be that com­pelling. How­ev­er, see­ing a per­son, hear­ing their sto­ry, and that they took from their mea­ger life sav­ings, to pay for the job oppor­tu­ni­ty, and actu­al­ly took out loans that they and their fam­i­ly are still pay­ing back. Show­ing phys­i­cal­ly where they cur­rent­ly live in a one room house for a fam­i­ly of eight, can give a judge a lit­tle bit bet­ter under­stand­ing of the depth of the impact on real people’s lives. And that’s a sto­ry that deserves and should be told. This allows a sur­vivor to share their real and per­son­al sto­ry, giv­ing them voice that they may oth­er­wise not have had. This is impor­tant for the sen­tence and poten­tial repa­ra­tion or com­pen­sato­ry rul­ing depend­ing on the juris­dic­tion. So the mes­sage is one of urgent need, but also of hope. Tech­nol­o­gy in and of itself is not bad and it is here to stay, but we must adapt and uti­lize it for good. Thank you so much for listening.

BRIAN ISELIN: Thank you very much, Shawn. The simul­ta­ne­ous attrac­tion and dan­ger of the apple of the tech­nol­o­gy tree, and smarter use of data is a great clar­i­on call. Thanks also for the good news in your pre­sen­ta­tion, that was very much need­ed to be frank. So let’s have a look at some of the ques­tions. So we had a ques­tion from Yvette Stevens: “I heard that young boys are being lured for human traf­fick­ers to become inter­na­tion­al foot­ballers. Inter­na­tion­al foot­ball is being seen as a way to rise to fame and traf­fick­ers are tak­ing advan­tage of this.” I saw Shawn post­ed a short reply to that, as I did already. Does any­body want to say any­thing more about that one?

SHAWN KOHL: I’ll just add that there are some real­ly good NGOs that are focused on this, par­tic­u­lar­ly ones look­ing from Africa to Europe, and those are phe­nom­e­nal NGOs. I would encour­age you to seek them out, to find them to see how you can sup­port them. And that is an actu­al ruse. And I think I would agree whole­heart­ed­ly with what Bri­an said, there’s very dif­fer­ent, many dif­fer­ent sto­ries. But it is some­thing that tries to take on hope, hope of a bet­ter life, of a bet­ter con­di­tion, of “grass is green­er on the oth­er side”. Any way that that sto­ry can be manip­u­lat­ed and told, it will be told. So it’s real­ly trick­ing some­one. So that is a def­i­nite­ly a ruse out there and there are NGOs work­ing on it, which is very important.

BRIAN ISELIN: So true. It always struck me that there was this lev­el of sad­ness around the cas­es of traf­fick­ing when you looked at a vil­lage, for exam­ple, and you looked at who was traf­ficked and who wasn’t, it tend­ed to be the dream­ers who were most at risk. So these are the bright­est in many ways, the bright­est in a com­mu­ni­ty that say “I’ve got a dream”, the Gold­en Road, open up a shop in Bangkok, or what­ev­er. They’ve got this dream and it’s that dream that’s tak­en advan­tage of. And it’s one of the very sad­dest fea­tures, I think, of human traf­fick­ing glob­al­ly is the abuse of this dream, the killing of the dream. So with­out more ado, anoth­er audi­tor asks: “Prob­lems in the use of tech­nol­o­gy is the need for fund­ing. It’s easy for the syn­di­cates to use it since they have finan­cial resources. So how can we use tech­nol­o­gy with­out need­ing more finan­cial resources?” Who would like to have a go at that thorny ques­tion? Andrea’s got a smile. I think he wants to do

ANDREA MARCHESANI: No. Just to say that this is a prob­lem that we are expe­ri­enc­ing. I think our role, what we can do is advo­ca­cy to States, because States can inter­vene. States can have the instru­ments, can have the mech­a­nisms and have the fund­ing. They can decide to use the funds to work on this because you can cre­ate plat­forms, you can use in a small scale your tech­nol­o­gy. But to to give a sub­stan­tial response to the phe­nom­e­non, only the nation­al States can do that I think. BRIAN ISELIN: Michel.

MICHEL VEUTHEY: I like very much what Shawn said, but also the answer by Andrea. Def­i­nite­ly, States should under­stand that human traf­fick­ing is not a side crime. It is a threat to nation­al and inter­na­tion­al secu­ri­ty. So if they take this as a threat to nation­al and inter­na­tion­al secu­ri­ty, they will find the need­ed resources to deal with it. And indeed, it is not nec­es­sar­i­ly NGOs nor the Order of Mal­ta nor pos­si­bly UN agen­cies, but most def­i­nite­ly the States alone or bet­ter even in coop­er­a­tion, region­al coop­er­a­tion, or uni­ver­sal coop­er­a­tion, could actu­al­ly find the resources, find all sorts of human resources, the tech­no­log­i­cal resources to deal with those issues.

BRIAN ISELIN: Yes, it’s not real­ly about lack of mon­ey, if you look at how much mon­ey is spent glob­al­ly on counter traf­fick­ing. It’s real­ly about the allo­ca­tion of those resources with­in the buck­et and the will to tack­le things. So Yvette Stevens has asked: “We’ve heard about what NGOs are doing now. What about what gov­ern­ments are doing in affect­ed coun­tries?” Any­body? Shawn? SHAWN KOHL: Well we can offer our part­ner­ship in the Philip­pines. I mean, the Philip­pines was the epi­cen­ter glob­al­ly, and rec­og­nized of live stream­ing. And they actu­al­ly sat down indi­vid­u­als with­in the Philip­pines Gov­ern­ment, sat down with key NGO lead­ers and plot­ted a course for­ward. And were able to open up and authen­ti­cal­ly share infor­ma­tion, to be hon­est and gen­uine about data or the lack of their abil­i­ty to get data. And then they were able to work close­ly with experts and from a vul­ner­a­ble posi­tion, say­ing “we would like some assis­tance”, whether that’s through oth­er law enforce­ment around the world. So I think kind of hid­ing behind “I’m law enforce­ment or I am gov­ern­ment, we don’t need any help”, which we encounter some­times in the var­i­ous dif­fer­ent coun­tries. We need to break that glass and just say, “no it’s going to take absolute­ly every­body at the table to work on this and nobody can pop up and say, I’ve got all the answers”. We need to address sup­ply, we need to address demand, and we need to share data and be authen­tic about it. So real­ly, part­ner­ships, fund­ing allo­ca­tion in the right areas could be very, very help­ful. Pass­ing poli­cies that will hold com­pa­nies and finan­cial insti­tu­tions account­able. You can’t just turn a blind eye when all of the mon­ey is com­ing through cer­tain finan­cial insti­tu­tions. You have a proac­tive duty to come up with ideas around what are the indi­ca­tors? What are the mark­ers? Okay, they can fig­ure those out. We were able to part­ner with the Philip­pines Gov­ern­ment, Aus­tralian Fed­er­al Police, US and oth­ers, Nordic Police. There’s a study that looks at live stream­ing, the preva­lence there­of, and they come up with mark­ers. They came up with coun­tries that those mark­ers are most rel­e­vant to. We have to begin to get to data and infor­ma­tion and shar­ing, and we can’t keep that hid­den any­more. And we have to hold indi­vid­ual plat­forms and also finan­cial insti­tu­tions account­able. Then they will start, then they will start changing.

BRIAN ISELIN: We have anoth­er ques­tion. We can take anoth­er ques­tion, Michel, yes? So this is from…

MICHEL VEUTHEY: In answer to what Shawn said, because I think we need plat­forms, we need net­works and net­works of gov­ern­ments and also civ­il soci­ety. One exam­ple is the San­ta Mar­ta Group. The San­ta Mar­ta Group was estab­lished by Pope Fran­cis, and you have there Catholic bish­ops work­ing with law enforce­ment author­i­ties from var­i­ous gov­ern­ments, and now it’s open­ing up to oth­er reli­gions. So I think it’s very impor­tant. Also we have RENATE (Reli­gious in Europe Net­work­ing Against Traf­fick­ing and Exploita­tion), and we have a per­son from RENATE in atten­dance. You have also Tal­itha Kum. So you have net­works also of reli­gious con­gre­ga­tions. And we had for exam­ple in a pre­vi­ous webi­nar, we had Mrs. Cristi­na Duran­ti from the Good Shep­herd Inter­na­tion­al Foun­da­tion (Bon Pas­teur Kol­wezi), and Mrs. Cristi­na Duran­ti was an excel­lent speak­er. And you see that, some of those reli­gious con­gre­ga­tions have man­aged at least part of tech­nol­o­gy. And we should actu­al­ly encour­age this and we should pos­si­bly try to team up with them.

BRIAN ISELIN: Thank you, Michel. So, Mary Patri­cia Mul­hall has asked a ques­tion direct­ed at Shawn, very infor­ma­tive: “How do you get across the mes­sage to 13 to 16 year olds in the UK who will see this as out there and this would nev­er hap­pen to me?”

SHAWN KOHL: Yes great ques­tion. And that was actu­al­ly one of the efforts of our part­ner eLib­er­are in Roma­nia. They actu­al­ly devel­oped this web­site, it was an easy mon­ey. And many young peo­ple think they are invin­ci­ble. This isn’t going to hap­pen to me. And this mes­sage kind of slap them right in the face and said, “You actu­al­ly took the bait. You actu­al­ly went down this path.” And by also iden­ti­fy­ing the 13 to 16 year old chil­dren and the geog­ra­phy, then you can actu­al­ly tar­get pre­ven­tion and edu­ca­tion strate­gies rather than hav­ing kind of a broad strat­e­gy all over the coun­try that spends tons of mon­ey, you can have tar­get­ed inter­ven­tions. And so also hav­ing sur­vivor informed, and this webi­nar series did a fan­tas­tic job, Michel and Bri­an, I believe it was two sem­i­nars ago (13 April 2021) that had the forced pros­ti­tu­tion high­light­ed and what that was and hav­ing those sur­vivors speak into pre­ven­tion strate­gies of talk­ing to peo­ple, they should be lead­ing and high­light­ed and put on plat­forms such as these. Speak­ing into this, “this is how it hap­pened to me, this is what hap­pened to me”. And they are very vul­ner­a­ble to come and to share their sto­ry. But that sto­ry is pow­er­ful and it’s real. And for a 13 to 16 year old per­son to hear that or to meet one of those indi­vid­u­als, I think they would pause, I know at least those in my fam­i­ly would pause and would lis­ten to that indi­vid­ual. There is some­thing that they have, that they have gone through that they can share and they’re shar­ing of a place of vul­ner­a­bil­i­ty, which is real­ly a tremen­dous gift to each one of us. And so hav­ing more plat­forms for indi­vid­u­als like that, not in a poor­ly designed way, but real­ly in an empow­er­ing way, some­one that has come out of a sit­u­a­tion of exploita­tion and is empow­ered through it, and can speak with an empow­ered voice. Have those indi­vid­u­als lead­ing this effort, that is pow­er­ful, and that will make a change. And so I would encour­age any oppor­tu­ni­ty to find indi­vid­u­als like that, that they can tell their sto­ry, not from a sad, not the end of the sem­i­nar or the indi­vid­ual webi­nar, but real­ly lead­ing that process. That’s what we need. And that can have great impact with indi­vid­u­als in that age group, I believe.

BRIAN ISELIN: Next ques­tion. Per­haps this one I’ll give Andrea. Yvette asks, “What steps are social media plat­forms to iden­ti­fy and ban traf­fick­ers from their sites? Are they doing enough? And if not, how can we get these social media folks to inten­si­fy their efforts in this direc­tion?” Is this a ques­tion for you Andrea perhaps?

ANDREA MARCHESANI: It’s a very good ques­tion, and I would like to know the answer. No, am jok­ing. You know, there are sev­er­al cas­es where par­ents and civ­il soci­ety try to make pres­sure, to push, to advo­cate, for sev­er­al cas­es where they found the chil­dren have prob­lems, or peo­ple were lured. And we test­ed a few times, sev­er­al times. There are cas­es where the social net­works providers respond and help, and oth­ers don’t. So we can­not count on “we hope this time is going be okay, or they are going to do some­thing”. We should advo­cate to have the nation­al States, who have the respon­si­bil­i­ty for secu­ri­ty of their cit­i­zens, because you can be around the world on the Web, but you are still a cit­i­zen from your coun­try. They should present new legal instru­ments with social net­works and to pro­tect their cit­i­zens. So there are, but are they suf­fi­cient? I don’t know. Because we see that there are cas­es where they do some­thing, oth­er cas­es where noth­ing is done. And if I can, I also have to think about how social net­works providers con­trol polit­i­cal infor­ma­tion, cov­er infor­ma­tion, they are very prompt, they are very punc­tu­al, they own fake news on news or polit­i­cal prob­lem­at­ic con­tent. Why can’t they rein­force the com­mit­ment on these kind of sit­u­a­tions? Thank you.

BRIAN ISELIN: Good. Thank you very much, Andrea. So we have anoth­er ques­tion. So this one is about finan­cial insti­tu­tions. “They are very close-mouthed, about shar­ing how they address mon­ey laun­der­ing relat­ed to human traf­fick­ing, which would help those work­ing in finance devel­op greater aware­ness. How can we get finan­cial insti­tu­tions to be more open to shar­ing infor­ma­tion in the anti traf­fick­ing effort?” Well, that’s a rich ques­tion. I’m going to give that one to Shawn again, because I think that he’s prob­a­bly been work­ing with some finan­cial insti­tu­tions in what he’s been doing. And I would also just indi­cate that there are projects relat­ed to this, and I’ll put a note there in the col­umn for the FAST-ini­tia­tive, Finan­cial Insti­tu­tions Against Slav­ery and Traf­fick­ing. It was one of the ones I men­tioned right at the begin­ning of my inter­ven­tion, where data about impact and out­comes are real­ly, real­ly hard to get. They do seem to be col­lab­o­rat­ing. They have in the Nether­lands, for exam­ple, passed infor­ma­tion on iden­ti­fied cas­es. My under­stand­ing is it hasn’t led to very much in glob­al terms with regard to pros­e­cu­tions. But there are some ini­tia­tives and the FAST Ini­tia­tive maybe is the best exam­ple of that. So Shawn, over to you if you have any­thing more you want to say about this.

SHAWN KOHL: Very rich ques­tion. Thanks, Bri­an, for the refer­ral. Fan­tas­tic ques­tion. I think there’s dif­fer­ent ways that we can address that. One is to demand that through your leg­is­la­tors, those that rep­re­sent you, that we actu­al­ly require this, that this is an impor­tant issue and that we require a proac­tive approach: manda­to­ry report­ing, devel­op­ment of tools to iden­ti­fy these mark­ers. There’s a study on IJM web­site ( if you go to the web­site, you can look at the study done joint­ly with the Philip­pines (Online Sex­u­al Exploita­tion of Chil­dren in the Philip­pines), and actu­al­ly they were able to iden­ti­fy mark­ers, coun­tries, amounts of mon­ey, how fre­quent, like for exam­ple is it every Sat­ur­day night? All these dif­fer­ent mark­ers that com­pa­nies and finan­cial insti­tu­tions can actu­al­ly come up with and utilise and devel­op algo­rithms. They can devel­op algo­rithms and infor­ma­tion to make a lot of mon­ey. They can also do sim­i­lar algo­rithms to actu­al­ly begin to iden­ti­fy and uncov­er pat­terns of traf­fick­ing. So there are some of these things around the world that are devel­op­ing, so we can require that of our finan­cial insti­tu­tions, of social media plat­forms, but also through our leg­is­la­tors and our gov­ern­ments. Then we say that this is an issue. Make it one of your pol­i­cy issues. Make it an advo­ca­cy issue. Bring it to light. Peo­ple do not know very much about this or how can we actu­al­ly address it. Begin to talk to your leg­is­la­tors so they feel uncom­fort­able when you ask them that ques­tion. They don’t have any answers for you. They will have their aides or they will have their assis­tants go and find out that infor­ma­tion. That’s what starts to move things. That’s what cre­ates aware­ness. So those are some of the ways. Bet­ter reg­u­la­tion of the finan­cial insti­tu­tions with­in the EU, with­in Aus­tralia, with­in the US, are some oth­er mech­a­nisms that could require them to share infor­ma­tion. BRIAN ISELIN: Wrap­ping up now. Michel, nod your head. Yes, thanks. So thanks very much to Andrea, Don For­tu­na­to and Shawn for your inputs tonight, for being on the pan­el. So just in wrap­ping up, the vast major­i­ty of mea­sures, includ­ing in the tech field, remain focused on the sup­ply side of human traf­fick­ing. And I would argue, and I hope you agree, that’s 99% of mea­sures being on the sup­ply side is rather insuf­fi­cient bal­ance. Let’s work to find a bet­ter blend of mea­sures that togeth­er, and only togeth­er, can reduce the actu­al inci­dence of traf­fick­ing. And just one last point. If we can fly a drone on Mars, which we did last week, there’s noth­ing but focus and will stop­ping us from bet­ter har­ness­ing tech­nol­o­gy to iden­ti­fy and pros­e­cute cas­es of traf­fick­ing. Let me on that point cross to Michel for his closing.

MICHEL VEUTHEY: Thank you. Thank you very much Bri­an, Shawn and Andrea, and a trib­ute also to Don For­tu­na­to. Indeed at the end of this webi­nar I would like also to thank not only the organ­is­ers, but also our web mas­ter Yves Reichen­bach and my assis­tant Clara Isep­pi. My grat­i­tude for all speak­ers for their clear and pow­er­ful state­ments and wit­ness­es, and you can find also in the “Hand­outs” doc­u­ments which will be help­ful for you to com­ple­ment the inter­ven­tions tonight. Since Octo­ber 2020, we have record­ed and sub­ti­tled in Eng­lish and French, 10 webi­na­rs deal­ing with the role of reli­gious orders in fight­ing human traf­fick­ing, advo­ca­cy in fight­ing human traf­fick­ing, impact of human traf­fick­ing on health, heal­ing and help­ing vic­tims along the road to recov­ery, inter­na­tion­al pros­e­cu­tion of human traf­fick­ing, demand as root cause for human traf­fick­ing, sex traf­fick­ing and pros­ti­tu­tion, and the impor­tance of mon­i­tor­ing sup­ply chain con­trol and the role of con­sumers. I encour­age you to vis­it web­site where you will find the videos of these 10 webi­na­rs, and a trea­sure chest of best prac­tices, as well as access to a free online course on human traf­fick­ing for helpers. And actu­al­ly those videos are sub­ti­tled in Eng­lish, French and Span­ish. And we shall con­tin­ue our webi­na­rs, first with two webi­na­rs in French with Eng­lish sub­ti­tles on the 11th and 18th of May. So the next two Tues­days. And for French speak­ing peo­ple, I would like to stress that those two webi­na­rs will be first deal­ing with legal issues, and the sec­ond with assis­tance to human traf­fick­ing. So thank you very much to every­one and I hope to see you soon, as soon as next Tues­day. Have a good evening or a good day, and good­bye now. Thank you.

BRIAN ISELIN: Good­by everybody. 







Adlaudatosi Webinars Videos VIMEO

Videos of the speakers’ interventions adlaudatosi VIMEO

Adlaudatosi Webinars Videos YOUTUBE

Religious Helping Trafficking Victims along the Road of Recovery (ON-DEMAND VIDEO WEBINAR)

Religious Working In International Advocacy Against Human Trafficking (ON-DEMAND VIDEO WEBINAR)

Impact Of Human Trafficking On Health: Trauma (ON-DEMAND VIDEO WEBINAR)

Impact Of Human Trafficking On Health: Healing (ON-DEMAND VIDEO WEBINAR)

International Prosecution Of Human Trafficking — Where Are We Now? (ON-DEMAND VIDEO WEBINAR)

International Prosecution Of Human Trafficking — What can be done? (ON-DEMAND VIDEO WEBINAR)

International Prosecution Of Human Trafficking — Best Practices (ON-DEMAND VIDEO WEBINAR)

Demand As Root Cause For Human Trafficking – Sex Trafficking & Prostitution

Human Trafficking — Interview with Prof. Michel Veuthey, Order of Malta — 44th UN Human Right Council 2020

POPE’S PAYER INTENTION FOR FEBRUARY 2020: Hear the cries of migrants victims of human trafficking


Church on the frontlines in fight against human trafficking



Catholic social teaching

Doctrine sociale de l’Église catholique

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