What we know is that according to the Department of Justice, 40 percent of all human trafficking incidents opened for investigation between January 2008 and June 2010 in the United States were for sexual trafficking of a child and most of these children are girls between the ages of 12 and 14. Eighty-three percent of victims in confirmed sex trafficking incidents were identified as U.S. citizens and almost all of these girls have smart phones.
What can technology do? Last month, Microsoft hosted groups of girls from four universities to spend a weekend figuring out how the technology often used to traffic girls can be used to help girls.
The result of the conference was that the attendees are now more aware if the human trafficking issue and the power they have to help. One girl developed an idea for a smart phone app that is disguised as a typical app that a teenage girl would use- with fashion and celebrity news, but in reality is a way for them to reach out for help.
This is just one piece of a new trend to use technology to help with human rights. In recent years, technology has been used for agriculture, maternal health and to help law enforcement. Large companies are starting to take notice as well.