STOP THE TRAFFIK and Edelman tie-up to combat human trafficking in SEA

Global anti-trafficking non-profit organisation STOP THE TRAFFIK (STT) has partnered public relations and marketing consultancy Edelman to drive awareness on the issue of human trafficking in Southeast Asia. Both parties aim to launch an awareness campaign and empower individuals, organisations and agencies to seek help and advice in order to encourage appropriate response and reporting.

The partnership will kick off with a series of activities, beginning with the campaign launch in Bali. Local NGO groups in Indonesia such as DarkBali, Project Karma, and Gerasa, have joined STT in educating the Balinese public on the signs and dangers of human trafficking, as well as support the vulnerable.

According to Edelman, approximately 40 million people are the victims of human trafficking originating in Southeast Asia. Harnessing the power of data, Edelman’s in-house data specialists, known as the Edelman Predictive Intelligence Centre (EPIC), looks to deploy machine learning techniques to generate real-time hotspot maps as well as predictive models identifying trafficking routes and behaviours across the region.

Both EPIC and STT aim to aggregate intel through building partnerships, driving data sharing with partners and creating awareness campaigns. In a statement to Marketing, an Edelman spokesperson said the potential of AI and data to tackle human trafficking is still largely untapped, and the agency aims to build increasingly sophisticated data and AI approaches that can be used to bolster intelligence gathering in banking, transport and logistics industries to highlight the true nature of an issue.

Edelman uses data-driven approach to identify the patterns and signs of trafficking, while also collecting data from STT's STOP app to understand, track and disrupt trafficking patterns. According to Edelman, the marketing and advertising industry can help raise awareness through exposing the US$150 billion dollar human trafficking issue by educating vulnerable communities, and rallying stakeholders to build "more resilient" communities. Currently, Edelman uses social media and apps to educate and raise awareness, sharing data with media to report on the issue, deploying data by data sharing and arming key stakeholders who can disrupt trafficking with intel.

Ruth Dearnley, CEO of STOP THE TRAFFIK said across Southeast Asia, communities are exploited to feed profit within the region, but also exporting people to other parts of the world. By building a predictive model, it will allow the organisation to extract meaningful data to build campaigns that shape resilience within vulnerable communities.

"STOP THE TRAFFIK believes the power for real change sits in the hands of every stakeholder equipped with the best information to make a choice. This is the only way to disrupt and undermine the economic viability of the growing global trafficking business,” she added.

Meanwhile, Jonathan Hargreaves, global vice chair of technology, Edelman, said EPIC will be harnessing the power of data and artificial intelligence to identify and cut off the source areas and routes for human trafficking in order to protect the lives of these vulnerable people across the region.

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