Trafficking in Persons

US Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken has released the 2024 Trafficking in Persons Report (TIP Report) with Cindy Dyer, Ambassador-at-Large to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons. The report includes narratives for 188 countries and highlights several emerging global trends including the continual growth of forced labor in online scam operations.

One focus of the 2024 report is Exploring the Role and Impacts of Digital Technology on Human Trafficking.

Even as this resource covers long-standing forms and methods of trafficking, it also examines the growing role of technology in both facilitating exploitation and countering it.

Digital tools have amplified the reach, scale, and speed of trafficking. Perpetrators use dating apps and online ads to recruit victims.  They use online platforms to sell illicit sexual content.  They leverage encrypted messaging and digital currencies to evade detection.

At the same time, technology is also one of our most powerful tools to combat this enduring scourge.  Mobile phones, social media platforms, and artificial intelligence make it possible for advocates and law enforcement to raise greater awareness about the rights of workers and migrants, locate victims and perpetrators of online sexual exploitation, and analyze large amounts of data to detect emerging human trafficking trends.

Secretary Blinken, Message from the Secretary of State, 2024 Trafficking in Persons Report

In commenting of Australia’s efforts to eliminate human trafficking the report acknowledges increased funding to extend the length and reach of victim services, to address exploitation of migrant workers and to establish its first federal Anti-Slavery Commissioner. Recommendations included the need to increase the availability and quality of protection services, to proactively identify trafficking victims by screening for trafficking indicators among vulnerable populations, to vigorously investigate and prosecute trafficking crimes, including those involving complicit officials, and to seek adequate penalties for convicted traffickers, which should involve significant prison terms.

Access the 2024 Trafficking in Persons Report here.

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