Technology and Trafficking in Persons (TIP) Research Team Travels to Mekong Sub-Region

research_team.jpgFrom August 6 – 15, 2010, USC Annenberg Center on Communication Leadership & Policy Research Director Mark Latonero and Research Associate Erin Kamler will visit Thailand and Cambodia to conduct initial research for CCLP’s Technology and Trafficking In Persons (TIP) initiative. This trip developed out of the enthusiasm garnered at the June 3rd meeting in Washington, D.C., in which CCLP convened members of the State Department, the NGO community, academics and leaders in the technology field to brainstorm finding innovative technological solutions to combat this global problem.

“The trip by the CCLP team to the Mekong region is important in confirming our commitment to finding concrete ways to apply technology to the problem of Trafficking in Persons,” said Jeremy Curtin, senior fellow at CCLP and former coordinator of the Bureau of International Information Programs at the Department of State. “As we move to the operational level, this survey of conditions and technologies on the ground will allow us to do that. We are coordinating the trip, like the project as a whole, with the Department of State. Alec Ross, Secretary Clinton’s Senior Adviser for Innovation, suggested Human Trafficking as our primary focus.”

TIP is the first in a series of projects that CCLP is coordinating with the US State Department on how technology can be utilized in foreign policy and global affairs.

mekong-map.gifThe Mekong Sub-Region is an area which comprises Cambodia, Laos, Thailand, Vietnam, Yunnan China and Burma and has high levels of TIP and modern day slavery. Within the region, the team will focus research on Thailand and Cambodia.

The main goal of this trip is to begin the preliminary development and design of a TIP Information Sharing Platform (ISP), a mobile and web-based system to help NGOs, social service providers, and victims of trafficking connect and share information about available resources. This system could link databases of information that already exist in the region and connect with the Coordinated Mekong Ministerial Initiative Against Trafficking (COMMIT) Process.

The trip includes meetings in Bangkok and Phnom Penh, as well as a visit to the Thai/Cambodia border area. The team will meet organizations such as the UN Inter-Agency Project on Human Trafficking (UNIAP), World Vision Regional Offices, End Child Prostitution, Child Pornography and Trafficking of Children for Sexual Purposes (ECPAT) International, International Justice Mission, the International Labor Organization, Human Rights Watch, the Healthcare Center for Children, and the International Organization for Migration, among others.


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For more information about TiP, download a copy of the State Department’s Trafficking in Persons Report PDF

Release of the 2010 Trafficking in Persons Report by the US State Department