Select Page

Root Causes For Human Trafficking – The Role Of Technology

Root Causes For Human Trafficking – The Role Of Technology
Advertisement

TEXT OF THE MAY 5 WEBINAR: — “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 wemakeit.com 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 (www.ijm.org) 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 www.christusliberat.org 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 INTEGRAL ECOLOGY FORUM WEBINARS

You access our webi­na­rs videos on: https://adlaudatosi.org/#course

 

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

OUR MISSION:

THE PURPOSE IS TO SHARE BEST PRACTICES AND PROMOTE ACTIONS AGAINST HUMAN TRAFFICKING.

WE MAKE AVAILABLE TO YOU GUIDES AND RESEARCH ON TRAFFICKING IN HUMAN BEINGS FROM THE MOST RECOGNISED LEGAL AND OPERATIONAL ACTORS.

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

FRANCE — BLOG DU COLLECTIF “CONTRE LA TRAITE DES ÊTRES HUMAINS”

Church on the frontlines in fight against human trafficking

Holy See — PUBLICATION OF PASTORAL ORIENTATIONS ON HUMAN TRAFFICKING 2019

RIGHT TO LIFE AND HUMAN DIGNITY GUIDEBOOK

Catholic social teaching

Doctrine sociale de l’Église catholique

Register to our series of webinars adlaudatosi on Human Trafficking

 
 

You have successfully registered !