WASHINGTON, D.C. – Polaris Project announced the launch of the Global Human Trafficking Hotline Network today, a new alliance of anti-trafficking hotlines that will build a broader safety net for survivors of modern-day slavery and develop a more coordinated global response for victims of this transnational crime. The alliance will also create a data-driven approach that identifies human trafficking trends and informs eradication, prevention, and victim protection strategies.
With the support of a $3 million Global Impact Award from Google, Polaris Project has joined with two launch partners, Liberty Asia and La Strada International, who both have deep expertise and experience in fighting human trafficking in Southeast Asia and Europe. Global Impact Awards support entrepreneurial nonprofits using technology to change the world. Additional members of the Global Human Trafficking Hotline Network will be added throughout 2013 and beyond.
“Google’s Global Impact Award is making it possible for us to connect with diverse anti-trafficking organizations around the world so that the fight against human trafficking is a more collective and data-driven effort,” said Bradley Myles, Polaris Project’s CEO. “Through the Global Human Trafficking Hotline Network, we want to make it as easy as possible for the millions of people held in slavery to reach out to a hotline and access help. We are thrilled that Google Ideas’ summit against illicit networks helped catalyze this hotline network, and we look forward to partnering with Liberty Asia, La Strada International, and future members to make this vision a reality.”
Polaris Project’s global work builds on its experience operating the National Human Trafficking Resource Center (NHTRC) hotline for the United States. Since December 2007, the hotline has taken 72,000 calls, connected 8,300 survivors to services and support, and reported 3,000 cases of human trafficking to law enforcement. The U.S. national hotline operates 24/7, and partners with thousands of service providers and community-based organizations across the country to respond to survivors’ needs. The NHTRC is funded in part by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
“Hotlines are a crucial part of an effective anti-trafficking response in any country,” said Sarah Jakiel, Polaris Project’s Deputy Director. “By leveraging new technologies that enable information sharing, and by incorporating new modes of communication like text messaging, hotlines can reach more survivors, support safe migration, and offer better resources to vulnerable communities. Individual hotlines also provide strategic insights about how and where trafficking is occurring and can have a transformative impact on the anti-trafficking field.”
The Global Human Trafficking Hotline Network builds on Polaris Project’s global programming, which began in 2012 with funding from the U.S. Department of State and individual donors, as well as essential in-kind support from Palantir Technologies and Salesforce.com. Overall, Polaris Project’s Global Hotlines Program also aims to:
• Map and identify existing anti-trafficking hotlines worldwide;
• Connect with individual hotlines to foster mutual peer-to-peer learning and share best practices; and,
• Offer training and technical assistance to support the creation and expansion of anti-trafficking hotlines in target countries.
Human trafficking is a fast growing criminal industry, with traffickers making billions in profits by using force, fraud, or coercion to rob victims of their freedom. The International Labor Organization (ILO) estimates that there are nearly 21 million victims of human trafficking worldwide who are forced to provide commercial sex acts or labor or services against their will.
To report a tip, connect with anti-trafficking services in your area, or request information, call The National Human Trafficking Resource Center at: 1-888-373-7888, or send a text to BeFree (233733).
About Polaris Project
Polaris Project is a leading organization in the global fight against human trafficking and modern-day slavery. Named after the North Star “Polaris” that guided slaves to freedom along the Underground Railroad, Polaris Project is transforming the way that individuals and communities respond to human trafficking, in the U.S. and globally. By successfully advocating for stronger federal and state laws, operating the National Human Trafficking Resource Center hotline (1-888-3737-888), conducting trainings, and providing vital services to victims of trafficking, Polaris Project creates long-term solutions that move our society closer to a world without slavery. Learn more at www.polarisproject.org.