Sex Trafficking is Getting Worse – Can Blockchain Help?

So you want to know how blockchain will put an end to sex trafficking?

To illustrate: The unbanked population has no identification document making them vulnerable and easily exploited by traffickers. Hence, with a hope to cross borders and start a better life, they can fall into the crosshairs of traffickers disguised as ‘agents’ for creating IDs.

However, a ‘virtual identity’ of a person can be created on a private blockchain using unique biometric information such as a fingerprint or iris scan. The information saved on the blockchain is immutable and cannot be forged, so, traffickers transporting victims across borders cannot tamper with this information or change the victim’s identity.

The individuals are then able to prove their identities using the information on the blockchain that is secure and unchangeable. The use of physical documentation that can be easily modified is eliminated. Every individual has control over their identity and life. Moreover, as blockchain is a borderless technology, identification documentation and tracking can happen anywhere in the world. The following initiatives taken by various organizations prove that future without crime is gradually becoming a reality.

Ending child and sex trafficking through blockchain

The United Nations (UN) has partnered with World Identity Network (WIN) to develop a blockchain identity pilot aimed to help curb child trafficking. In detail, the pilot involves collaborations from the United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS) and the United Nations Office of Information and Communications Technology (UN-OICT) to combat human trafficking.

Battling to gain an identity for herself during her early years, Dr. Mariana Dahan, co-founder, and CEO of WIN believes that securing data on an immutable ledger will make trafficking attempts trackable. Blockchain will address this global issue and potentially save millions of children.

Implement blockchain to resolve trafficking

Since Moldova became independent from the Soviet Union in the early 1990s, the widespread poverty and disappointing standards of living have led to the rise in child-trafficking. Hundreds of children have been trafficked to Russia and the Middle Eastern countries to work as sex slaves.

In fact, the Government of Moldova decided to collaborate with U.S. based Company, ConsenSys to tackle this menace. The collaboration aims to provide a digital identity to the citizens by using the blockchain. The digital network aims to store the identity of every individual in the distributed ledger of a blockchain, along with the information of their relatives. The aim of the scheme is to maintain a digital database for children, which cannot be tampered with or hacked. The blockchain is the most adept platform for storing such information.

The practical application of blockchain in combatting social vices like human and child trafficking is feasible and sustainable. However, blockchain initiatives require the cooperation of numerous parties in order to achieve meaningful success. It requires dedicated efforts and integrity from every participant to resolve these ailing issues. With due diligence, blockchain technology has considerable potential to curb child trafficking and modern-day slavery.

Last modified: October 16, 2019