The first step towards tackling a problem is to understand it better. Yet, there is currently limited reliable, nationwide data on human trafficking. Most information about human trafficking is fragmented and anecdotal, and even this is rarely shared across organizations. Accordingly, it is difficult to paint a complete picture of the scope of trafficking in the United States, to fully understand the networks behind trafficking, and to identify the best ways to fight it.
The McCain Institute, working with Arizona State University researchers, is creating a dynamic, national-level information platform that aims to link databases and begins to give law enforcement, social services, and policy-makers the information they need to combat trafficking more effectively.
1. Launching a Pilot in Arizona
• Working with business partners with the appropriate software/hardware.
• Working with existing anti-trafficking organizations to access their databases.
• Developing a method for continuous scouring / downloading from the Internet.
2. Analyzing Data
• Running analytics on data to derive the meaning of:
• Geography, scope/frequency, related patterns, networks.
• Developing means of sharing analytical results with law enforcement and social service partners.
3. Demonstrating Use
• Working with Arizona authorities to demonstrate use and improve the model.
• Demonstrating use to other state / federal level interested parties.
• Convening stakeholders at a local level to share findings and discuss national potential.
4. Expanding the Efforts
• Refining a methodology and information sharing platform.
• Applying existing databases to the Mountain State region, then expanding nationally.
• Expanding partnerships, as needed.
• Accessing additional national-level data.
• Devising methods for acquiring additional, unique data.
• Convening stakeholders at a national level to share findings and discuss the way forward.
5. Sustaining the Efforts
• Stabilizing mechanics of platform operation.
• Making information updating self-perpetuating.