Modern Tools to Fight Modern Slavery
Salesforce.org is pleased to be able to partner with Polaris to bring awareness to National Slavery and Human Trafficking month, January 2016.
By: Sara Crowe, Data Coordinator, Data Analysis Program, Polaris
A form of modern slavery, human trafficking is a multi-billion dollar criminal industry that denies freedom to 20.9 million people around the world, including here in the U.S. Whether it’s the girl forced into prostitution at a truck stop, or the man discovered in a restaurant kitchen, stripped of his passport and held against his will — no matter where you live, chances are it’s happening nearby.
Human trafficking is a thriving enterprise that is hard to identify and combat. Traffickers rely on deception, concealment, and obfuscation to conduct their operations at low risk while reaping high profits. What’s more is that information and resources in the anti-trafficking field are scattered, uncoordinated, and under-developed, impeding efforts to prevent trafficking. It is estimated that less than 1% of human trafficking victims are identified and helped every year.
The fight against this industry requires modern tools to help understand the scope, size, and systems of modern slavery. That’s why Polaris, a leader in the global fight to eradicate modern slavery, is working with Salesforce to bridge the gap in information and systematically disrupt the human trafficking networks that rob human beings of their lives and their freedom.
Salesforce is essential to Polaris’s success and powers much of its work, from the National Human Trafficking Resource Center hotline to the service of human trafficking victims in Polaris’s local DC Client Services Office. Polaris has customized Salesforce’s CRM to create a case tracking system that collects information from both survivors and service providers, ensuring that no case falls through the cracks. Because the system captures any and all interactions and can be shared across the organization, survivors who contact the hotline multiple times do not need to experience the trauma of retelling their stories. Their information can be easily found and reviewed by any call specialist who answers the phone, connecting them to the services they need quickly.
Not only is Polaris serving individual survivors, its Salesforce case tracking system constitutes one of the most robust and informative human trafficking datasets in existence. With the ability to identify patterns, methods of control, and vulnerabilities of victims through data collection and analysis, Polaris can identify weaknesses in the human trafficking networks and make strategic interventions. Using the enhanced dataset, it’s able to find out where and how traffickers operate so that it can put them out of business, keep them from harming more people, and help survivors find the services they need.
With support from Salesforce.org and a Force for Change grant, Polaris was able to offer this custom-built system to other human trafficking-related helplines and social services programs around the world. Currently, this system, named “Freedom Force,” has been deployed to hotlines in Greece, the Czech Republic and Bulgaria. As Freedom Force is adopted by more organizations, the quantity and quality of information about human trafficking grows exponentially. As a result, we can all come together to turn these insights into action and work towards a world where all people are free.
Learn more about Polaris’s work to eradicate human trafficking at www.polarisproject.org.
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