32-hour hackathon marks World Day Against Trafficking in Persons


Credit: Solidarity Center

University students in Colombia are preparing for a 32-hour hackathon where they will create apps to tackle human trafficking in the country, Reuters reports:

The World Labour Organization estimates that 21 million people are trafficked globally, and according to the Global Report on Trafficking in Persons, 71 percent of victims are girls and women. In Colombia alone, there are over 130,000 trafficking victims, most of whom are women and girls sold into sex slavery.

In a statement released by the UN Office on Drugs and Crime, the agency emphasized that “human traffickers are misusing new technologies…to exploit and abuse young people, who represent some of our most connected and most engaged online citizens.”

Yem Ban, a rural villager from Cambodia, and six other men working for companies that supply U.S. supermarkets were trapped in forced labor after being trafficked to Thailand (above) by brokers who charged them exorbitant fees for their jobs and who lied to them about the wages they would be paid, writes Solidarity Center Executive Director of Shawna Bader-Blau:

Ensuring workers like Ban get justice is part of the Solidarity Center’s global support for migrant worker rights. In June, the Solidarity Center led a coalition of human rights groups to file an amicus brief in support of their case as it goes to the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. In Bangladesh, Morocco, Myanmar and elsewhere, we partner with unions and allies to create safe migration pathways and counter-trafficking strategies that emphasize prevention and protection.

“As we mark World Day Against Trafficking in Persons, the Solidarity Center—together with our partners—is putting workers and their rights at the forefront of solutions to building more equal economies and a better future for migrant workers like Ban,” she adds.

To mark World Day against Trafficking in Persons, the U.S. Department of State’s “DipNote” features Kari Johnstone, acting director of the State Department’s Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons, discussing the release of the State Department’s 2018 Trafficking in Persons (TIP) Report, which highlights “the challenges governments and societies face in fighting human trafficking [and] effective responses to hold perpetrators accountable, protect victims, and prevent others from enduring this devastating crime;” and highlights a human trafficking awareness video.

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