Queen Elizabeth’s granddaughter, Great Britain’s Princess Eugenie of York, has been speaking out against human trafficking, indicating that blockchain could have a major part to play in stemming the rising numbers of cases of forced labor.
At a recent conference in Vienna, hosted by the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), she was joined by the United States anti-human trafficking Ambassador John Richmond in pointing out that increased internet use had increased the levels of exploitation of those vulnerable to human slavery.
Princess Eugenie, the founder of Britain’s Anti-Slavery Collective, said that new technology was needed to fight the scourge of forced labor, and pointed to blockchain as one solution. She commented:
“I have learned about how blockchain is having a huge impact on supply chain management, and how an app in Britain can help the public report modern slavery at car washes.”
The US initiative, the Safe Car Wash App, is a brainchild of Coca Cola and the US Department of State, which allows users to highlight where they think examples of exploitation are occurring, by observing the general demeanor of workers and if the establishment only accepts cash.
The Church of England and the Catholic Church in England and Wales launched the UK version of the app last June. With public support, 1,000 cases of forced labor at carwash businesses have been reported in the UK to date. Reuters highlights the extent of the problem citing Walk Free Foundation’s Global Slavery Index which claims that there are 136,000 slave laborers in the UK, 10 times higher than 2013 figures.
Ambassador Richmond pointed out that new tech can’t in itself put an end to human trafficking, “But there are tech tools that can help people to do their job better. This is the slow, grinding, day-in, day-out work that can help make a difference.”
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