With Unicef estimating that up to 21 million people in the world have been the victims of human trafficking, making an illegal market that’s worth $32 billion, it’s clear that tackling any part of it would feel like an uphill struggle for authorities or charities.
The Exchange Initiative, however, has released an app for iOS and Android devices that lets you help in combating this global problem. Those figures aren’t historic either – it’s estimated that more than a million people are trafficked each year.
The TraffickCam app aims to try and help curb this by making it easier for investigators to identify the locations of hotel rooms shown in photographs posted online – a common way for people trafficked for sex work to be ‘advertised’.
“The purpose of TraffickCam is to create a database of hotel room images that an investigator can efficiently search, in order to find other images that were taken in the same location as an image that is part of an investigation,” the organisation says.
In essence, all you need to do to help is install the app and take a picture of the inside of your hotel room next time you check in. You’ll need to have GPS enabled (you can register an image via the Web too, but will again need to allow location access) so the site can verify that you are indeed where you say you are.
Right now, there are 1.5 million photos from nearly 150,000 hotels in the US.
Given the global problem, the only downside of this app is that it focuses squarely on US soil, but it’s still a potentially useful too. And anything that can help can only be a good thing ultimately.
Plus you get to feel good about playing your small part in it.