SAARC Is Developing Mobile Technology That Tracks Missing Children & Combats Trafficking

SAARC or the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation, the organisation that works for the socio-economic development of its member countries, now has a body working on developing a digital system based on mobile and GPS technology that will help track missing children at the regional level and combat cross-border trafficking. SAIEVAC is a SAARC apex body which works to protect children in south Asia from all forms of violence, abuse, exploitation, neglect and discrimination.

"We are now seriously looking at how digital technology can be applied to control cross-border trafficking. Hopefully after 2015, we will have an integrated system based on mobile or GPS technologies which can be applied in all the eight SAARC countries," said Rinchen Chophel, director general for the South Asia Initiative to End Violence Against Children (SAIEVAC) secretariat. "With such a system, data will be shared at all levels between different governments so that when a child goes missing in one country, the government of all neighbouring countries get information on that. It would then be easier for them to locate the kids and rehabilitate them," he said.


SAIEVAC's focus, Dr Chophel said, is now on missing children. "Due to its geopolitical location, India is not only a destination country but also a source as well as a transit point for trafficking," he said. No information is yet shared on how this GPS-based technology will work. The numbers say that around 1.2 million children are trafficked worldwide every year for various reasons including prostitution and forced marriage. Many of them are used as cheap or unpaid labour and also for sport and organ harvesting besides being recruited into armed groups.

No information is yet shared on how this GPS-based mobile technology will work. We at CrazyEngineers would like to appeal all our readers to share your ideas and thoughts on development of such an app for smartphones. We look forward to reading your opinions in comments.


  • lovebox
    Its good to see technology being put to a social cause. Human trafficking is a serious impediment to development of Asia and particularly South Asia.
    A recent survey shows that India tops the list of countries where a large proportion of population lives a slave-like life. Worse still, the majority of the people forced to lead such a life are children and women. Human trafficking only aggravates this problem.
    While traffickers are increasingly using technology for all the wrong purposes, law-enforcement agencies and other organizations working to prevent human trafficking are lagging far behind. One reason is that presently there is no dedicated database for this purpose.
    Traffickers usually lure the victims with promises of a better future and, once trapped, the victims are made to travel to and stay in a foreign country under false identities. This makes it even more difficult to trace them.
    The rescue part is a domain of the law-enforcement agencies. It is a sad fact that while most of the traffickers are tech-savvy, the law-enforcers lack the proper training to counter this. There is a need for workshops to be organised for law-enforcers on this issue. A dedicated task force for this purpose would be excellent but that is a far-fetched idea in today's scenario.

    Education of the masses can be a good way to minimize the risks. For example:
    • Children belonging to the segments of the society more vulnerable to human trafficking can be educated about how to identify situations which might be risky for them.
    • Tell them how they can reach a toll-free helpline phone number.
    • Provide emergency access to telephone where children can easily reach, say at "Aangan wadi Kendras".
    But all this is easier said than done. The outcome of the efforts so far by the governments is not very encouraging.

    A lot of research is being carried out by various organizations including #-Link-Snipped-# .

    Take a look at this Prevent Human Trafficking - Report and Respond Project (source: #-Link-Snipped-#):

    Hope other CE members will come up with more ideas and finally we will able to create something worthwhile to further the noble cause.

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