December 9, 2013

How text messages help the Polaris Project zero in on human trafficking

Screen Shot 2013-12-09 at 8.15.50 AM.png A few months ago, a worker monitoring a hotline for the Polaris Project, a nonprofit group dedicated to combating human trafficking, received a text message from an 18-year-old woman in distress. The Washington Post reports.

quotemarksright.jpgThe woman, a sex-trade worker, was trapped in a motel room with her pimp and she secretly used his cellphone to send a text seeking help. The Washington-based group moved quickly to alert authorities, who ultimately arrested the pimp.

For Polaris’s chief executive Brad Myles, the episode demonstrated how text messaging might offer a new channel to help victims. In the process, Polaris learned those texts are data, and collectively they can be analyzed to identify patterns in human trafficking so the group might better craft policy and awareness programs.quotesmarksleft.jpg

Read full article.

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