Human Trafficking: IOM Unveils 1st Dataset Linking Victims and Perpetrators

The first set of public data linking victims and perpetrators in terms of human trafficking was published this Thursday by the International Organization for Migration (IOM), while protecting the anonymity and privacy of victims through to a new technique.

In partnership with Microsoft, IOM has been able to develop state-of-the-art technology that helps provide first-hand information on the relationship between victims and perpetrators, making it possible to collect data and make it available in an open and safe manner. As a result, the two partners now aim to share this technique with international humanitarian actors and activists with the aim of “improve the production of privacy-preserving data”.

They have worked together since 2019 in order to be able to develop and refine the approach that generates synthetic data from the center’s sensitive victim files.

The organization emphasizes that the nature of the relationship between victims and perpetrators “represents a valuable source of information to better assist survivors and prosecute perpetrators”. This cutting-edge technology will thus enable the acceleration of evidence-based policy-making in the fight against human trafficking worldwide.

Data on over 17,000 victims and survivors

For Monica Goracci, Director of Program Support and Migration Management at IOM, making data on human trafficking widely accessible to stakeholders while protecting the security and privacy of victims in a sustainable way is crucial to developing evidence-based responses “.

According to IOM, the device is available on the Anti-Trafficking Center Data Hub, the world’s leading portal for human trafficking data. It reveals that the data relates to more than 17,000 victims and survivors of trafficking from 123 countries and territories. It should be noted that the accounts exceed the 37,000 authors involved in the trafficking process between 2005 and 2022.

The technology used and the synthetic case records accurately preserve the statistical properties of the original victim data without representing the actual victims, thereby preserving their anonymity.

A third of victims pass through official border checkpoints

The solution developed by IOM and Microsoft and the approach based on “differential confidentiality”, is available in the form of free software but also in the form of a free web application allowing the creation of synthetic data sets of interactively in the web browser.

Darren Edge, director at Microsoft Research and responsible for the project, explains in the sense that ” youeveryone can benefit from collaborating around open data to make better decisions and tackle some of the world’s most pressing societal challenges “.

Airports or land border checkpoints, IOM data revealed that 80% of international human trafficking journeys pass through official border points, noting that around a third of victims are not exploited during this type travel and are unaware that they are victims of trafficking.

More than 27 million people victims of forced labor in the world

In 2021, more than 49 million people experienced what the International Labor Organization (ILO) describes as modern slavery. According to data from this organization, more than 27 million people are slaves to forced labor and 22 million to forced marriage. Of these 27 million people in forced labour, more than 17 million are exploited in the private sector. It should be added that more than 6 million are in a situation of forced commercial sexual exploitation and nearly 4 million are compelled to forced labor imposed by the State.

According to IOM data, women and girls represent almost 5 million people in situations of forced commercial sexual exploitation, and 6 million people in situations of forced labor in other economic sectors. It should be noted that children are in particular among the victims of commercial sexual exploitation since at least 12% of people in situations of forced labor are children.

The same source indicates that the Asia-Pacific region has the highest number of people in situations of forced labor (15.1 million) and the Arab States the highest prevalence (5.3 per thousand people).

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