Digital technology is at the core of the current global policy agenda. In July 2018, the UN Secretary General announced the creation of a High-level Panel on digital cooperation to launch a worldwide consultation about the trends, potential and impact of digitalisation1. Switzerland is part of this initi-ative, with the Swiss Federal Councillor Doris Leuthard being one of the 20 experts sitting on the panel. Whilst digitalisation is not one of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), it plays a major role in the implementation of the 2030 Agenda.
When it comes to Trafficking in Human Beings (THB), the dual use of technology lies at the heart of the debate. Digital technology, through mobile phones, social media platforms or internet recruit-ment portals, can be a means of facilitating human trafficking. At the same time, digitalisation can provide powerful tools to prevent THB and uphold human rights, for instance, through the creation of hotlines and digital reporting Apps to facilitate early identification.
Modern technological tools are also needed to leverage data to combat human trafficking. Data on this hidden, transnational crime is scarce and too often isolated in silos, leading to fragmented knowledge. Increased access to reliable, high quality data is essential to develop evidence-based pol-icy responses and strengthen counter-trafficking institutions worldwide.
This is why today more than ever, interactions between private technology companies and counter-trafficking stakeholders are key to ensure the positive use of ICT and the maximisation of their po-tential to prevent trafficking in human beings.
Recent initiatives have tried to tackle the relevance of ICT for trafficking in persons. For instance, a coalition of global technology companies, the International Organization for Migration (IOM), and civil society organisations have come together to launch “Tech Against Trafficking” (TAT), a collabo-rative effort to support the eradication of human trafficking and forced labour. TAT founding mem-bers British Telecommunications, Microsoft, and Nokia are now advancing a conversation initiated at a Wilton Park event in June 2017 to understand how technology facilitates THB, as well as to brain-storm potential technological solutions to disrupt trafficking networks, prevent migrants from be-coming victims, and provide support to survivors.
For this specific event, the aim is to narrow down the debate to one area of counter-trafficking: prevention. Practical tools specifically designed to raise awareness, report suspicions and improve the gathering, use and sharing of data will be presented. The main goal is to highlight the potential of ICT in helping to prevent human trafficking, as well as to set up a platform for multidisciplinary exchange and networking between key counter-trafficking stakeholders and private technology com-panies based in Switzerland or in other countries.
The presentations and discussions will be held in English and French with simultaneous translation.
To register, please send an email including your name, job title and company/ institution to Ms. Emilie Ballestraz (+41 (0)31 350 82 22), who is also available to answer any questions. Registrations are on a first-come, first-served basis and must be received no later than 5th October 2018.
18th October 2018, 8:30 am to 2:30 pm
Maison de la Paix Meeting Centre
2E chemin Eugène-Rigot, 1202 Genève