The anti-trafficking technological innovation competition format created by Pasos Libres was successfully implemented in the first nation-wide technological innovation competition to combat human trafficking in Canada: the DataJam Against Exploitation.
The competition funded by the Government of Canada and organized by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, Fundación Pasos Libres, IBM, and the International Centre for the Prevention of Crime (ICPC), brought together 16 teams and 75 participants from Toronto, Vancouver, Victoria, Ottawa, Oshawa, Montreal, Hamilton, and Thunder Bay. The event, which took place online from May 7 to May 17 of 2021, aimed to increase public awareness of human trafficking and enhance collaboration among interdisciplinary sectors in Canada.
The participants assumed the challenge to design solutions to protect vulnerable communities from human trafficking; identity, prevent and prosecute youth and child exploitation online; and explore the relationship between human trafficking and socioeconomic factors. During the 11 day datajam and with the support of 49 mentors and experts, the participants developed 15 innovative solutions that can be rapidly deployed to fight this crime. Judges from Pasos Libres, IBM, Traffik Analysis Hub, ICPC, and UNODC selected 3 winning and 3 outstanding teams based on their solution’s potential to tackle the datajam’s challenges and positively impact the counter-trafficking field.