IGF 2020 WS #57 E-Human Trafficking: Understanding,Challenges,Opportunities

Monday, 9th November, 2020 (11:00 UTC) - Monday, 9th November, 2020 (12:00 UTC)
Room 3

Organizer 1: Civil Society, African Group
Organizer 2: Civil Society, Western European and Others Group (WEOG)
Organizer 3: Government, African Group
Organizer 4: Civil Society, African Group

Speaker 1: MOHAMED FARAHAT, Civil Society, African Group
Speaker 2: lucia bird, Civil Society, Western European and Others Group (WEOG)
Speaker 3: Elizabeth Orembo, Civil Society, African Group
Speaker 4: Laine Munir, Civil Society, African Group
Speaker 5: Irene Routté , Civil Society, Western European and Others Group (WEOG)


Birds of a Feather - Auditorium - 90 Min

Online duration reset to 60 minutes.
Policy Question(s)

Our workshop presents the following policy questions for consideration: How can technology be developed, harmonized, and deployed to help combat all forms of human trafficking? What economic, political, social conditions would need to be met for this to occur? In particular, how can big data assist in stopping traffickers and hold them accountable? What are the challenges and concerns big data present in this realm? How can both national and international legal and institutional frameworks be improved to allow scalable replications of good practices?

In light of what mentioned above the proposed workshop seek to discuss in details and to achieve the following main goals : (1) Increase stakeholder understanding and knowledge, with experts and activists from across the globe, of ways that technology is misused to facilitate trafficking so that better responses can be built; (2) Analyze the existing research, legislation, and regulatory frameworks in place in order to explore the avenues through which trafficking crimes are perpetuated, e.g. immigration inefficiencies that are aiding cross-border organized crime. (3) Explore ways in which existing technology can be further developed, harmonized, and more easily deployed to help combat e-trafficking, with focus on big data analysis; explore potential new technologies that can be developed with further research; (4) Examine technology’s future potential to leverage sociopolitical and technological support for the protection of victims and break the vicious cycle of human trafficking in the coming decade, in line with gender goals outlined in The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.


GOAL 8: Decent Work and Economic Growth
GOAL 16: Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions


“E-Human Trafficking: Understanding Challenges, Opportunities, and Best Practices to Ensure Trust and Safety Online” The proposed workshop designed to discuss the double role of Internet and technology in spreading and Combating E-human trafficking and the role of big in combat. The contrasting and complementary perspectives of IGF attendants will be vital to our problem-solution format, in which participants are encouraged to collaboratively construct possible technological, socioeconomic, and legal initiatives and policies to help end global sex trafficking online. The proposed 90-minute workshop will initially explore the problem of online human trafficking with didactic presentations from five expert panelists, and then open up the solutions-oriented segment to a collective discussion on the the paradoxical role of Internet as both the mechanism behind e-human trafficking while also presenting tools, including big data, to combat this exploitation. The Problem: Global technology and Human Trafficking in the 21st century Human trafficking has become one of the most pressing humanitarian issues of our time. It is a $100 billion a year industry that sexually exploits 4.8 million individuals worldwide. According to the International Labor Organization, 21% of these victims are children. The use of technology in human trafficking increases the complexity of this crime as traffickers use the Internet to identify and deceive victims from afar. To profit themselves, cyber criminals use violence, threats, lies, money, false promises, and other forms of coercion to compel their victims to sell sex. Victims may be romantically involved, family members, or future “employees” of those who prey upon them. Women comprise 96% of victims to this industry, suffering violations of their basic rights to bodily integrity, equality, dignity, health, security, and freedom from violence and torture. Cyber predators use technology to identify, recruit, and conduct surveillance on their victims and a key point our workshop will discuss is the role of both social media and the Deep Web in this industry. They search social media sites such as Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Tinder, and other sites and apps for posts which might indicate vulnerability in their geographic region. These vulnerabilities include poverty, substance abuse, runaway activity, and destabilized family relationships. Thereafter, traffickers use different techniques to attract victims such as expressing, love, admiration and online employment etc. to manipulate them further. The UK’s National Crime Agency (2014a) highlights the use of “online dating”, “social media sites”, and “advertising of jobs” as some of the manipulative ways the internet is used to recruit victims ignorant of trafficking–technology interface. Once they have contact, they can also manipulate their victims into non-consensual acts by using surveillance and recordings as a threat. Particular exploitative tactics to coerce victims include video recordings taken with mobile phones or video cameras which traffickers threaten to send to their families and friends. Perpetrators use the internet to advertise their victims on websites and then these website owners become third party profiteers of commercial sexual exploitation. The Internet has several segments, including Deep Web—the content that is not indexed and cannot be accessed through traditional search engines--and its subsegment, the Dark Web. Actors within Dark Web websites are anonymous and hidden so traffickers find it a safe place for their illicit activities, as they are only accessible through special software that allow anonymity. Child pornography and e-human trafficking can only occur with the help of the Dark Web, so this will be a pressing issue for our workshop. In these ways, the internet is increasingly used as a tool and medium for transnational organised crimes such as sexual exploitation. Human trafficking has been propelled by the global revolution in ICT and internet platforms, social media, and the dark web have become the new illigal markets for human trafficking. This phenomenon is an unintended and lamentable effect of international emphasis on increased accessibility to technology, and it presents cutting-edge questions of e-governance, international law, and even national sovereignty. However, stakeholders at the IGF 2020 have the potential to provide vital insights into how to improve current policy and present innovative ideas on batting e-human trafficking. Possible Solutions: Prevention and Prosecution through Technology The technology used by traffickers could also be part of the solution. Harnessing ICT as an anti-trafficking tool is the most promising approach to cut down on three stages of trafficking; acquisition, transportation and forcing of labor. In this way, technology provides primary, secondary and tertiary prevention interventions. Various technologies create greater transparency in order to prevent trafficking from happening. The ability for those who are the most vulnerable to be able to connect directly to employment, rather than through middle men, is also useful as a primary preventative measure. As a secondary measure, technology can also be used to identify, trace, and pursue traffickers through the tracing of their websites and applications. In addition, technology such as GIS offers ways to track movements of those believed to be trafficking victims and or traffickers in real time. Mapping and data that captures this information provides evidence to facilitate the prosecution of traffickers. We have seen technology utilized as evidence in other criminal acts and trafficking during investigations. Additionally, increased use of technology in combating trafficking allows for greater collection of quantitative data. This data can then be analyzed and distributed allowing for greater transparency and information around transnational supply chains and movement of people illegally. More data also speaks volumes in terms of mobilizing support, not only from governments and institutions, but also from consumers. With more public awareness around what goods may be connected to forced labor, pressure can be placed on companies and governments to intervene in regards to human trafficking. Finally, as a tertiary prevention step, access to technology can also be galvanized to identify and then rescue current victims, as well as proactively protect future victims from harm. Victims who do find themselves in positions of exploitation, and do have access to technology, are able to access avenues to escape. As we have seen with under the cuurent COVID-19 pandemic, greater numbers of individuals are accessing mental health care through online apps and services. It is worthwhile to think through how different technologies can offer trafficking victims access to therapeutic care. This could occur while in a trafficking situation or after they are able to move to a safe situation. Returning to the importance of locating and prosecuting perpetrators of trafficking, victims who are able to access continuous mental health services post-traumatic experience, are more likely to be able to provide testimony in cases brought against their abusers Workshop Focus: This workshop aims to clarify how traffickers use technology and how the same (or even more advanced) technology can be utilised to fight online human trafficking. In this digital revolution era, we see Big data playing a significant role in prediction, identification, and prevention of crime across the globe. Analysis of big data specifically human trafficking, its possible to collect data from mobile phones, extract information form various socail media pages including face book, twitter, instagram and other social media apps. Analysis of big data enables early detection and sends early alerts to the tracing of traffickers and gangs as well as tracing of victims; their geographical location, identities, connections etc. Data tracing requires a multifaceted approach and cooperation from a wide range of stakeholders, across borders and overseas. To combat e-human trafficking, policy makers and leaders need to set policies that tacle cyber crimes, convict cybre criminals and establish cyber security prevention mechanisms across nations, given that e-human trafficking is a transnational issue. Similarly, its necessary to put in place enforcement measures including sensitisation on laws, policies and strategies domestically, regionally and internationally. This could include enhancement and use advanced technologies for immigration such as setting up electronic readers or monitoring applications to identify and trace cross border victims.

Expected Outcomes

The workshop will collect contributions from the panelists, audience, and the remote participation that will inform the report, as well as a list of policy recommendations that will be outcomes of the workshop. We hope that the workshop will help make the IGF a more welcoming place for the marginalized in society. Organizers will use the information and output of discussion and information collected during the session to develop a research paper. Discussion and comments will be part of research work The notes recorded by TSI during this discussion segment will be the later basis of our white paper report, “Problems and Solutions to Human Trafficking Online in the Coming Decade”, that TSI plans to publish in early 2021. It endeavors to outline, details, and implement the outcomes of our workshop. It will include a list of clear policy recommendations that are feasible based on technological advancement, budgeting, and sociopolitical realities. This report also represents our collective ideas from a diverse set of stakeholders, ensuring our workshop helps make the IGF a welcoming place for the most marginalized in society. In tandem, the virtual youth participants from Rwanda and the United States plan on spearheading a public education event in their school and an additional community location in early 2021 that addresses the issue of online human trafficking. Both groups are eager to hold local panel sessions modeled on ours, publish accessible literature on the problem for other young people, and use this experience to undergird their increased online activism. In sum, our workshop presents the opportunity to bring together experts, activists, and other IG stakeholders to create a collaborative and engaging discussion that will expand knowledge and understanding, help develop technological tools, compare top-down and bottom-up IG policy frameworks, and interrogate the role of law and individual states in keeping the internet safe for vulnerable populations. It endeavors to increase the quantity of research, public awareness, meaningful laws, and online tools to end e-human trafficking in the coming decade.

Facilitation of Discussion for In-Person and Virtual Participants: The purpose of the session is to be very interactive yet informative. The duration of the session will be 90mins panel broken down in the following: After the expert panel presentations, the open discussion with questions, answers, comments, and suggestions will elaborate on the content presented and aim to formulate concrete suggestions for ending online human trafficking. The moderator will channel the discussion into three themes--technological, legal, and political initiatives--and record notes on the dialogue. Importantly, both in-person audience members and those participating via live feed and Twitter will have their comments combined on our large screen, so as to compare and contrast their relative while also unifying their ideas. The moderator will alternate between in-person and virtual participants so as to give equal weight to their voices. Session Agenda The 90-minute session agenda is designed to ensure optimal interactions among panelists, audience members, and online participants from afar. To achieve this end, the agenda will be as follows: Opening remarks by the moderator (3 minutes) An originally-produced video presentation featuring anti-trafficking activists (10 minutes) Introduction of panelists by the moderator (2 minutes) Presentations by 5 expert panelists (50 minutes) Q + A/comments session with the in-person audience and online virtual participants (20 minutes) Summary of proposed solutions/recommendations by panelists (3 minutes) Closing remarks and comments on ways forward (2 minutes) There will be a dedicated answer and question period, where during this time, participants and panel speakers are free to talk about the content of the session in length. More time will be given to open floor.

Relevance to Internet Governance: The proposed workshop is addressing one of most debatable topics on context of public policy , academia and internet governance and bring globally attention of international and national actors and different stakeholders ( international , national organization , civil society , academia and governments . The misusing of internet and its technologies lead to increase and spread the victim of human trafficking (VOTs) in the world. The internet has transformed human trafficking, creating entirely new models and means of global exploitation. Technology allows cyber predators to induce commercial sex acts by means of force, fraud, or coercion through e-recruitment, advertising, and webcam voyerism. , women and children in developing countries remain the most vulnerable to this industry. There has never before has been greater supply and demand for online sex trafficking due to border closures, world economic depressions, and increased unstructured internet use during the COVID-19 pandemic. The impacts of social distancing measures and sex trafficking practices will continue to reveal themselves in the coming years. The E-trafficking in persons is consider unique topic for IG discussion since 2006 until IGF2019 the topic of E- Human trafficking never been addressed.2020meeting could be an excellent opportunity to highlighted the problem and share views with multi-stakeholders as it encompasses the wide and interdisciplinary knowledge bases of the diverse stakeholders who will attend.

Relevance to Theme: The proposed workshop on e-human trafficking and the theme of “trust” is a cross-cutting topic. It links pressing IG challenges, such as cybercrimes and security, big data, digital rights and legal issues, with a number of the UN’s SDGs--including those on gender equality, poverty, health, education, and decent work. E-trafficking poses a unique topic for IG discussion, as it has never before been addressed by the IG Forum and also encompasses the wide and interdisciplinary knowledge bases of the diverse stakeholders who will attend.

Online Participation


Usage of IGF Official Tool. Additional Tools proposed: Online attendees will be encouraged and able to participate in the discussion. They will have a separate queue and microphone, which will rotate equally with the mics in the room to ensure that online attendees will have equally opportunities to engage in the discussion. The workshop will take comments submitted via phone, chat and social media platforms. The session moderator the online moderator, who will have been IGF trained, will work closely together to make sure that the workshop is open and inclusive. Twitter will be used and the online modrator will pose the twits with question and comments.