Today is the International Day against human trafficking. In India, an average of 1827 women are trafficked every hour. 40% of them are adolescents and children, some as young as 9 years old. These are some of the most innovative campaign against human trafficking:
Operation Smile of Ghaziabad Police
In 2014, The Ghaziabad police launched Operation Smile that consolidated all the complaints of missing children into one list. It then published a brochure of all missing children and circulated it to NGOS, Centres and commissions relating to child rights across India. Dedicated teams were deputed solely to trace and rescue children. They used Facebook, Whatsapp to speedily trace the child and reunite them with their families. In one month, they were able to trace 80 children missing from Ghaziabad and 147 from other states. This inspired the ‘Operation Muskan’ in other states.
MIT Lincoln Lab
Can Machine Learning and artificial Intelligence be used to fight human Trafficking? The Lincoln Lab of MIT is developing a machine learning algorithms that automatically analyze thousands of online commercial sex ads to reveal whether they are likely associated with human trafficking a activities and if they belong to the same organization.
Missing Game on MPL
Raising awareness among the public has been recognsed by the UN as one of the most important weapons in the fight against human trafficking. The skill gaming platform Mobile Premier League (MPL) teamed up with an NGO Missing Link Trust, to launch the Missing Game on MPL. The game, available in Marathi, Bengali, Malayalam, Kannada, Punjabi, Telugu, Gujarati, Maithili and Tamil, allow players to experience the dark world of human trafficking and raises awareness about it. Players assume the role of the missing person, making choices and assessing risks for themselves to find their way to the illusive freedom. The game proved to be hugely popular among the 90 million gamers on MPL, ranking in the top half of all the games on the platform.
Blue Heart Campaign
In 2009, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, created a ‘blue heart’ logo as symbol against human trafficking. It became the singular device for awareness raising activities among individuals, NGOS, government and the private sector. People wore the blue heart on their social media display pictures during campaigns.. Websites put the blue heart logo on their home pages. Organisations across the world also wear the blue heart in their physical events.
Swayang Siddha campaign in West Bengal
Between 2010 and 2016, West Bengal accounted for 25% of India’s trafficking cases. The Swayang Siddha campaign was launched in the worst-affected South 24 Parganas district of West Bengal. The campaign which means self-reliant in Bengali was an awareness campaign-cum-community policing programme. It involved all the stakeholders- the police, students, teachers, village panchayats, administrative officers, child protection committees, and NGOs. The programme was later extended to other districts and resulted in a substantial reduction in trafficking cases in the state. By 2017, Bengal’s share in trafficking cases reduced to 16.1%