New app aims to curb human trafficking

Source: WAFB
Source: WAFB
Source: WAFB
Source: WAFB

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - It's usually police that crack down on those who participate in human trafficking, but thanks to a new app called TraffickCam, residents can now be on the front lines in the fight against the problem right from the palm of their hands.

"It's so encouraging that people now have a way to take action themselves to help fight sex trafficking," said Kimberly Ritter, spokeswoman for the company behind the app, Exchange Initiative.

Ritter says the idea is really catching on. "We have over 2.7 million photographs in the database right now and we have almost 150,000 people using the app everyday," Ritter added.

The way the app works is people who stay in a hotel can take three to four pictures of their room. Once they upload them to the app, those pictures can then be checked against photos of human trafficking victims.

With so many of the ads for young girls online, the information from the app allows law enforcement to pinpoint exactly what rooms and which hotels are likely being used as hubs for human trafficking.

"We've created something that not only will help law enforcement, but also will give people a reason to talk about this," said Ritter.

While the app may not be the silver bullet answer to end the problem, Ritter says it's certainly a big step forward in the fight against sex trafficking.

"Anything we can do in the meantime to address this issue, anything we can do in the meantime to educate parents and teach them to educate their children is a step in the right direction," said Ritter.

The app is free in the app store on all mobile devices. It has done so well in the United States that representatives with the app say they are considering making it available internationally.

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