Human trafficking and the power of technology

Technology is increasingly playing its role in human lives, so in human trafficking. Human growth taking a whole new meaning in light of massive technological changes, which were never seen before in the society. It has penetrated every aspect of our lives, how we work and learn, and even how we shop. Technology is not only affecting positive side of the society, it has also contributed the negative use of it.

Human trafficking and the power of technology

Technology is gradually playing a role in the practices and processes surrounding human trafficking: the illegal trade of people for commercial sexual exploitation, forced labor, and other forms of modern-day slavery. Human trafficking has many facets to it and technology’s role varies as a result.

Smart phones or large data analytics; technology can be a useful tool to combat human trafficking. Provision of smart phone can enable victim to call friends, family, or a hotline to seek help. Data things authorize us to learn trafficking patterns and discover ways to fight trafficking in human beings (THB).

On the other side of the picture technology itself can be the part of the trafficking because traffickers are very quick to adopt technology trends as well as social media in the recruitment of their victims. It’s up to us to use bright side of the technology or bad.

Steps of human trafficking

Human trafficking can be done in different ways having same steps including acquisition, the transportation, and as the final step of forced labor, but the good thing is technology can help in each phase.

Technology can play its vital part to avoid THB in the first place. Technology can build direct connection between worker and safe job, eliminating the need of trader who may exploit the worker. What if workers could locate honest labor recruiters directly with technology? Human trafficking chain would diminish.

Internet allows workers to share their working experience in the respective country. It can also accept reviews by text messages and telephones. In that case workers can warn other workers about the risks they had experience so, labor abuse is not continued and new migrant workers do not put themselves naively in a situation to be trafficked.

Role of technology

To disrupt the marketing of trafficking and to increase transparency, technology can be used for uncovering traffickers attempts to transport victims. Forensic evidence, photographs, and identification of trafficking routes can help to detect traffickers.

The satellite imagery can also be very supportive to identify trafficker’s vessels. An American Company named DigitalGlobe that provides high-resolution images of the earth which is able to detect slave ship in the sea. With the help of powerful satellites unruled seas can now be policed and can locate the major industries where trafficking exists.

In the age of digitization there is a record of anything that happens online. Continues rise of mobile money makes transactions and payments easier to locate. Financial data is very important because it is very often where detectives find the first signs of trafficking and it would be completely transparent with records of all exchanges, which allow investigation of suspicious payments. But financial trails can be hide with the help of ‘dark web’.

In last form of trafficking—forced labor, technology can lead to a way out. But regretfully, most of the migrant workers do not have access to technology and they are isolated both geographically and technologically. There is need to trace the crime in these situations.

By increasing quantitative data and analysis trafficking can be avoiding because THB flourishes in the environment without data. Complex supply chains allow forced labor to remain hidden. Increased data collection and analysis can support to prepare and plan actions to stop forced labor.

Dark side of technology

Besides the positive use of technology, there is a dark side of technology which help culprits to ease their job. The most difficult part of THB is the transactions and transfer of data, which is supported by help of the ‘Dark Web’.
The Dark Web or Deep Web is the portion of internet which is used by people who intentionally want to hide their identity. At the Dark Web they use special software to communicate each other without showing their ID or their

Internet Protocol (IP) address

The Dark Web, made human trafficking easier to circulate with anonymity. Web advertisement is using to attract prospective victims and assist those victims for sex trafficking. The Dark Web conceal the information on illicit forums discussing sex trafficking and services. Since these sites are not including in indexing, it is hard for law enforcement agencies to identify the illegal activities on the Dark Web.

Key aspects of human trafficking

There are fifteen important aspects to better understand the ecosystem of the human trafficking which technology have reshaped. These aspects can or play an important role where technology can assist to curb human trafficking.

  1. Prevention and education
  2. Recruitment and abduction of victims
  3. Transit, housing, and everyday control of victims by culprits
  4. Retention of victims by culprits
  5. Advertising and selling of victims
  6. Searching for and purchasing victims
  7. Money exchange, money laundering
  8. Underground partnerships and organized crime syndicates
  9. Identification and reporting of victims and perpetrators
  10. Investigation of illegal activities
  11. Rehabilitation and recovery for survivors
  12. Prosecution of perpetrators
  13. Rehabilitation for and control of perpetrators
  14. Political and policy activities
  15. Anti-trafficking partnerships


While using info communication technologies (ICTs) we can develop system applications for the consumer awareness which shares information about child labor, forced labor and trafficking in human beings all over the world. It can allow the user to browse the countries to review about forced labor, review rules and regulations in the countries. These kinds of applications will be very helpful for conscious consumers to be aware of social impacts of their purchase.

In short with the use of power of technology in fight against THB will bring new, exciting, and unprecedented results and amazed us just like modern technology can amaze every day with innovation of things we never imagined could possible.