Google is launching a human trafficking hotline and network in an attempt to prevent the enslaving of up to 21 million people worldwide.
Google hopes that the global network and hotline will facilitate reporting and reduction of human trafficking worldwide. Statistically, 56 percent of human trafficking occurs in Asia, with most of the victims being under the age of 24. While some of the enslaved are forced into labor, the majority are used as sex slaves.
As reported by WIRED, the announcement was made during a Google Ideas session in Washington. Google Ideas is a summit that encourages ideas and projects that make a positive impact worldwide..
Focusing on the increasingly devastation issue, Google has contributed Global Impact Awards, worth millions, toward organizations that work to prevent and reduce cases of human trafficking.
In 2011, Google contributed over $11 million in grants to organizations dedicated to the reduction of human trafficking. This year, in addition to increasing the contribution, Google is helping to build a program that will help facilitate global awareness.
Google has offered additional grants of $3 million to Polaris Project, Liberty Asia, and La Strada International. The grand total of over $14 million will be used to implement the hotline and network project throughout Europe, Asia, and the US.
The US Polaris Project has received close to 72,000 call to their hotline. This has been beneficial to anti-trafficking efforts in the US. However, the data collected through the US hotline has not been coordinated with the data collected in Europe and Asia.
As discussed on Google’s Official Blog, by facilitating the coordination and sharing of data, they hope to reveal patterns of human trafficking activity. By studying those patterns, it is hoped that those involved can be more easily identified. The current system makes it difficult to identify similar cases occurring worldwide.
The project is also expected to provide more help to survivors, increase preventative campaigns, and offer a way out for those enslaved.
As Google launches the human trafficking hotline and network, they hope to reduce crime networks that have had a devastating impact on the lives of millions worldwide.