Human trafficking is one of the most common problems in the Philippines today. Sex tourism, sex slavery, and child prostitution are more often than not controlled by closed, organized crime syndicates, with around 100,000 children in the Philippines involved in prostitution rings today.
Now, there’s an unlikely hero to fight against human trafficking, not just in the Philippines, but also in Cambodia. According to Manila Bulletin, ride-hailing company Grab has teamed up with anti-trafficking group Liberty Shared to create an app that will train its drivers to spot victims of human trafficking.
“They (drivers) can be our eyes and ears on the ground,” said Grab spokeswoman Teresa Tan in a phone call with the Thomson Reuters Foundation. “Taxi and ride-hailing drivers often unwittingly become the first point of contact for traffickers or victims, at airports or bus terminals. We want to make sure if that happens, they can detect and report these instances to authorities.”
It helps that ride-sharing has become one of the most popular modes of transportation in Southeast Asia.
According to Archana Kotecha, regional director at Liberty Shared: “Ride-sharing methods have by far become the most popular in this region and that’s why we felt it would be a good idea.”
“Asia has a lot of catch-up to play, given that we have some of the world’s highest number of victims and this is where a lot of the world’s supply chains are located,” Kotecha added.
According to the United Nations, Africa has the most number of modern slavery cases in the world followed by Asia.