The statistics around human trafficking and child exploitation are not new; however, the gravity of the issue has only made significant headlines recently. Current statistics show that there are 20-40 million human slaves globally. 1 in 4 slaves are children with 150 billion dollars generated every year. Human trafficking calls have soared 259% since 2008. The problem is continuing to grow at enormous levels. In the first 48 hours, the majority of missing children are approached and recruited by a trafficker. 1 in 4 children are sexually abused globally, which creates a higher risk for these children to be trafficking victims.
The US is one of the top 3 nations in the world for the national origin of human trafficking, next to the Philippines and Mexico. Calls to the human trafficking hotline doubled during the COVID lockdown, in addition to the emergency hotline. There was also a 98% increase in online enticement reports in the year 2020. We can see the huge impact COVID is having on children, especially because they are not in school.
With the help of Irex’s robust facial detection technology, we can find and track missing children to reunite them with their families. With over 500,000 children missing each year, this technology will allow for instant identification and real-time alerts to law enforcement in an effort to combat this growing problem.
At a recent event, Irex, in partnership with Intel, highlights the power of AI in combatting human trafficking in an effort to create safer cities across America.
With this partnership, Irex will increase actionable intelligence across numerous data platforms to help identify and track missing and exploited children. This technology will also help law enforcement communities to disrupt trafficking networks, bringing justice to today’s criminal traffickers and complicit facilitators.
The event, hosted by Irex co-founder Derek Distenfield, featured an overview of the state of human trafficking, a speech by Intelligence Analyst for Homeland Security Amy Storer, followed by a roundtable discussion with Irex co-founder and CEO Gary Fowler, Q&A, and the announcement of Irex partnerships.
“The most important thing about Amy is that she is an incredible advocate for human trafficking as well as the mission of Irex to provide wide-scale solutions to this growing problem,” said Derek Distenfield, Irex co-founder.
Amy Storer previously worked at Washington D.C Headquarters with collective experience at the National Targeting Center, the Tactical Intelligence Cell, the National Intelligence Watch, and the Office of the White House Liaison. Amy is also a professor and researcher speaking from the heart on a topic that she believes is the greatest crisis in world history.
The round-table discussion panel was led by Gary Fowler, co-founder and CEO of Irex with 25+ years in the field of AI, who was named top ten AI executives and started iconic tech organizations such as Yva.ai and ClickSoftware.
Other panelists joining the discussion were Kevin Metcalf, a former federal agent turned prosecutor and founder of the National Child Protection Taskforce, which brings together experts, training, and resources that are underfunded in most law enforcement agencies. Kevin Branzetti is the current Deputy Chief of Intelligence at the Manhattan District Attorney’s office over criminal, financial, terrorism, and cyber-intelligence, among others. David Luna completes the panel as a former US diplomat and National Security Official as well as a globally recognized strategic thought leader on transnational threats, international affairs, geopolitical risks, illicit trade, threat finance, and global illicit economies. Amy Storer also joined the panel.
In this powerful discussion, they covered how each of their operations is developing real-world solutions to human trafficking; however with limited resources, they need all the help they can get. To the naked eye, it becomes increasingly difficult to profile missing children and their traffickers by photograph or current video surveillance. These solutions would expand in accuracy and speed with the use of AI and Irex facial recognition technology.
There is, however, a fine line between justice and privacy when it comes to facial recognition technology within the public sector. Using this type of technology and raising funds within the private sector could ultimately alleviate the issue of privacy concerns so that we can make the protection and safety of missing, exploited, and trafficked children our number one priority.
“We must prioritize artificial intelligence for the mission of protecting our most precious resource; our children”, says Irex CEO Gary Fowler
Learn more about Irex at www.irex.ai.