ICMPD joins the call highlighting that the use of technology to fight TIP unquestionably requires attention on victims’ data protection and related ethical principles. The Joint Statement is derived from the need to respond to the challenges of digitalisation that provides new means for traffickers to change their modus operandi. They use online platforms ‘…to commit criminal activities, at every stage of the process, from recruiting, exploiting and controlling victims to transferring the profits of their criminal activities’.
However, besides being a challenge, digital technology proves to be an opportunity ‘…that States can leverage to effectively counter trafficking in persons’.
Therefore, ICAT members call upon all states to take 16 key actions to address and improve prevention, investigation and data collection. Among these actions are:
- Ensuring that national legislation is enhanced to address technology-facilitated trafficking in persons, and the collection and use of electronic evidence, including the application of artificial intelligence, in investigating and prosecuting trafficking in persons, complemented by appropriate regulations to foster online safety, with due regard for the protection of victims’ rights.
- Ensuring that data protection standards are respected and regularly assessing the ethical and rights implications of using technological solutions to fight trafficking in persons, including in relation to child sexual abuse and exploitation.
- Fostering cooperation with other States, especially considering the transnational nature of technology-facilitated trafficking cases by, among others, putting in place necessary bilateral agreements to swiftly exchange intelligence and electronic evidence in a timely manner.
The full text of the ICAT Joint Statement on the World Day against Trafficking in Persons, 30 July 2022 and all 16 key actions can be found on ICAT website.
ICAT is a policy forum mandated by the UN General Assembly to improve coordination among UN agencies and other relevant international organizations to facilitate a holistic and comprehensive approach to preventing and combating trafficking in persons, including protection and support for victims of trafficking. In 2022, ICMPD and UNODC co-chair the Group.