Every year, thousands of men, women, and children become victims of human trafficking.This unconscionable crime is modern day slavery. And horrible people take advantage of immigrants and poor people who have nowhere else to turn. These victims are kidnapped and sold to other people for labor, slavery, and often sexual exploitation.
Because human trafficking is a growing problem around the globe – and even in many neighborhoods in America – law enforcement is asking you for help. Although they’ve been fighting this terrible epidemic for decades, there is something easy we can all do that might help put an end to human trafficking for good. Here’s what you need to know…
In order to get the highest price from their buyers, human traffickers snap photos of their victims for advertising purposes. This is crime is most often committed in hotel rooms.
Because law enforcement knows that human trafficking occurs in hotel rooms, they are asking the citizens of the world for small clues. Sometimes a glimpse of a picture in a hotel bathroom or the way the furniture is set up in the living area can alert law enforcement to a crime in progress.
This is where you as the concerned public can assist law enforcement in stopping human trafficking. And you could become a hero…
Now just simply taking a photo of your hotel room with your cellphone can mean the difference of freedom or slavery for a victim of human trafficking. A smartphone app called Traffick Cam is available for download and helps alert law enforcement to potential rooms being used to sell human lives to the highest bidder.
Next time you rent a hotel room, simply snap four pictures of your hotel room, list the hotel you’re staying at, and the room number. These images will be saved in a database that might help law enforcement locate a human or sex trafficker at a later date when they uploaded one of their ‘ads’.
Download Traffick Cam before you check in to your next hotel room. Follow the instructions on the app and upload the images to help law enforcement and you could become a hero.
Not only can this simple app help save lives, it can help put an end to human trafficking.
The developer of the app is Washington State University researcher Abby Stylianou. She told Fox 2 Now St. Louis, “Right now there are pictures posted every day. Hundreds of pictures, in every city around the United States, posted online, that show victims of trafficking, in hotel rooms posed on beds.”
Abby partnered with the non-profit organization called Exchange Initiative to generate the idea for the app. Molly Hackett, a representative behind the non-profit, told the news channel that hotel photos like these ones on the app helped law enforcement find a victim:
“It was a photo that they had from the internet. One of the girls in our office knew exactly what it was.”