TraffickCam is an app developed with the idea of impeding the work of human traffickers. It allows users to take and upload photos of hotel rooms, and give certain information about the rooms, including their location. The pictures will then become part of the database of worldwide hotel room photos.
Then, the information from the database can be used by the law enforcement to identify and locate victims of human trafficking, based on online sex trafficking adds. The TraffickCam app will analyze the image of the victim, and compare it to those in the database to find the location of the hotel.
Though rather new, the accuracy of the app increases every day as people upload more and more photos.
Human Trafficking – A Major Problem
StopTheTraffik.org reports that every year, there are between 600,000 and 800,000 children and women trafficked on a global level. This huge problem doesn’t concern only the third world countries, as it happens in every single country in the world, as reported by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime.
Every year, there are between 1.6 and 2.6 million kids who run away, only in U.S. This is a rather concerning fact as the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children reports that one in six kids who run away from their homes have probably become a sex trafficking victim.
People who are travelling or attending a sporting event are common targets for human traffickers, whose most common reason is commercial sex services. The demand for these services increases significantly in and around events such as NHL playoffs, Super Bowl, NBA, and college tournaments.
The Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Office succeeded to find at least 40 trafficking victims before the Super Bowl, and this was only the last year.
The main reason why TraffickCam was developed was the fact that human traffickers usually move their victims from hotel to hotel. The app, providing an increasing database of worldwide hotel rooms enables comparison with traffiking ads, which will ease the job of various organizations and police to locate and save the victims.
Currently, the app is only available in several cities, but the creators hope to soon expand it not only nationally, but also globally. Taking and uploading a photo from the hotel you are in, could save a life. This might be just what law enforcement needs to stop or at least reduce human trafficking.