TraffickCam app working to stop human trafficking
Unfortunately, our world has some dark corners, sadly including the sex trafficking of children. According to UNICEF, at least 300,000 American children are sex trafficked each year. Two decades ago, as an offshoot of ECPAT-International, ECPAT-USA became the first American non-profit to work on the issue of commercial sexual exploitation of children.
Today, travelers can shine a light into the dark of this illegal universe with a new app called TraffickCam. This free app, easily downloaded to iPhones and Androids, enables people to combat sex trafficking by uploading photos of hotel rooms when they travel.
The sad reality is that traffickers post photographs of their victims posed in hotel rooms for online advertisements. That’s where TraffickCam comes in, by creating a database of hotel rooms across the United States. This database is designed to assist investigators in finding and prosecuting the human traffickers, to be able to prove where the photos were taken.
Once downloading the app, travelers can make a difference one hotel room at a time. Each time an individual stays at a hotel, they can enter the hotel name, town, and room number, along with four photos of the room. Once the pictures are uploaded, they are entered into the database for investigators to find these predators and put them to justice.
TraffickCam was developed in 2015 by the Exchange Initiative. The Exchange Initiative is committed to combating commercial sexual exploitation of children (CSEC). The Exchange Initiative was created by Nix Conference & Meeting Management to empower individuals and organizations with real resources to help end sex trafficking.
Customer reviews are glowing, as people want to assist with this cause, but are oftentimes overwhelmed as how to make a difference. One reviewer exclaimed “This is frankly brilliant! So many people have the desire to do what they can to fight this epidemic, but are overwhelmed when trying to find what they can do that will fit their busy schedules.”
Other people that have downloaded the app are discouraged that this type of activity is still happening, but want to share this tool with their fellow travelers to bring human trafficking to an end. “Love this idea. It's sick that we even have a need for it at all, but if there is a chance that I could have a part in rescuing a child by simply taking pictures of my hotel room, then this is worth the download. I have friends that travel a lot for work-I'm telling them to download this.”
Downloading the app is easy, anonymous and free. Any images that include people are rejected from the database, so it is secure for all travelers. And now helping stop the complex issue of human trafficking is at your fingertips every time you stay in a hotel. Join ECPAT-USA in protecting children from sexual exploitation, by using this app when traveling for business or pleasure, and informing fellow travelers to grow the database.