Latest News

Theatre

12 Feb 2018

How big data is tackling human trafficking

Sarah Brown

Founded in 2006, STT works to identify global trends in human trafficking, identify hotspots, help people report trafficking when they see it and raise awareness of its existence.

The most remarkable aspect of this mission is not just the international nature of trafficking, the huge numbers involved, or even the horrific conditions in which people suffer, but the fact that it so often happens under our noses.

Hidden in plain sight in nail bars, car washes, building sites and many other common workplaces, victims of human trafficking and modern slavery are, sadly, all around us.

This presents a unique data challenge for the charity. A typical complaint made by businesses looking to become data-driven is the wealth of data available and the struggle to make sense of, and take insights from, that data. For Brown and the team, however, getting hold of the data in the first place is extremely difficult, given the nature of the business, as well as the fact that it is happening globally.

The charity collects information from any available source, with much of it coming from open source intelligence and data shared by partners.

The open source research requires a large amount of web and document scraping, text mining and linguistic processing.  A significant challenge is transforming information into a structured format so it can be processed and analysed.

Using data to spread awareness

A key aspect of STT’s work is social media campaigns. Once analytical techniques have been used to identify suspected human trafficking hotspots, the charity then creates geo-located Facebook posts that appear on the news feeds of users’ accounts in those specific locations.

There is a ‘Learn More’ button on the posts, which takes people to a more detailed narrative on the website. This provides more information on the situation in that particular location, links to details on how to spot the signs of modern slavery and lets people know how to report suspected human trafficking activity, or if something just doesn’t feel quite right.

By doing this, STT can create a platform for community engagement and mobilisation. Gathering intelligence from communities and the general public is crucial but is noted as being extremely difficult to collect.

By using social media, the charity can bridge that critical information gap – something that has proved very successful. Once it has collected this data, the team can then use data techniques to conduct quantitative analysis to measure the impact of the campaigns.

On average, its social media campaigns reach more 40% of the targeted population, and hit a click-through rate of at least 5%, compared to an average click-through rate of 0.9% for commercial marketing campaigns.

Above and beyond this, the charity conducts sentiment analysis, records shares and reactions, and pulls relevant data and intelligence from the comments. Any relevant intelligence is then shared with appropriate agencies and organisations. Statistical analysis is also extremely important for monitoring and evaluating the impact of these initiatives.

The right tools for the job

IBM has provided assistance to the cause, through an impact grant which provides cloud storage and i2 analysis tools. These tools from IBM enable the STT data team to easily identify networks and visualise their findings, while mapping software such as ArcGIS enables them to demonstrate hotspot analysis and active trafficking routes.

However, the focus of a lot of other existing data analysis tools is not towards discovering and extracting human trafficking data, and on the rare occasion they are, they tend to be focused on instances of sexual exploitation when labour exploitation is actually far more prevalent globally.

Similarly, many of the analytical resources are slightly misdirected. A lot of the software focusses on social networks and prosecution, whereas Brown and her team are more interested in prevention and identifying hotspots, trends and routes rather than looking at individuals’ connections and activities.

A collaborative approach

A big part of preventing human trafficking is cutting out points in the supply chain. STT developed a manual with the European Bankers Alliance six years ago which explains red flag indicators and how to recognise them.

Updated in May 2017, the manual contains transactional, behavioural and Know Your Client indicators, which help financial institutions to recognise suspicious activity that may be related to human trafficking.

Alongside the manual, the charity helps train frontline bank branch staff so they are more able to spot the tell-tale signs. It also runs awareness campaigns with Barclays and provides both specific and thematic data to multiple financial institutions.

It is these collaborative, multi-sector partnerships that Brown believes is key to disrupting global human trafficking. That means sharing information and coordinating initiatives and strategies, and avoiding working in silos, which she argues has never been a successful model.

Agencies and organisations are coming round to this idea, but there is more work to be done, and the momentum that has been gained, must be sustained.

View all Latest News
Loading

Latest News

2019 Sponsors

Diamond Sponsor

  • Huawei Technologies

Platinum Sponsors

  • Signify
  • TIBCO
  • Oracle

 

VIP Lounge Sponsor

  • Oracle

Theatre Sponsors

  • She Loves Data
  • SAP
  • Snowflake
  • Starhub
  • TIBCO

She Loves Data Live Sponsors

  • DBL
  • JetBrains
  • Yellowfin

Gold Sponsors

  • Confluent
  • BlueData - HPE
  • DBL

 

Gold Sponsors

  • Global Victoria
  • QUBOLE
  • Syniti

 

Gold Sponsors

  • Softserve
  • Starhub
  • Yellowfin

 

Silver Sponsors

  • Aerospike
  • Altair
  • Atscale
  • ABeam LightStream Analytics

Silver Sponsors

  • Attribute Data
  • Cloud Cover
  • Dataiku
  • Denodo

Silver Sponsors

  • Eaciit
  • H2O.ai
  • Informatica
  • Jetbrains

 

Silver Sponsors

  • Teradata
  • Transwarp
  • Zoho

Silver Sponsors

  • Kyligence
  • Linkfluence Asia
  • MongoDB

Silver Sponsors

  • Minerra
  • NCS
  • Spark Beyond
  • Talend

Bronze Sponsors

  • 6estates
  • AiSara
  • Appier
  • Datastax
  • M2M Connectivity
  • Plattar
  • Zetaris Pty Ltd

Bronze Sponsors

  • Erwin Inc
  • Fanruan Software
  • Focus HQ PTY LTD
  • Wiredhands
  • Gramener
  • Mo Works
  • Optimove

Bronze Sponsor

  • Mileu Insight
  • Strint
  • The Centre of Applied Data Science
  • KeyOptions
  • 4Zero Technologies Pty Ltd
  • Nexright

Bronze Sponsors

  • Leash It
  • XOPA
  • Zepl
  • Business Intelligence Technologies
  • Meiro
  • Vault Intelligence Ltd
  • Search Guard

Bronze Sponsors

  • Clever Tap
  • Crayon Data
  • Elixir Technology
  • Office of Planetary Observations
  • Future Grid
  • Wilson A.I Pty Ltd
  • Lotame

Bronze Sponsors

  • KeyReply
  • Keysight Technologies
  • PI Exchange
  • GapMaps
  • Xrosswork Pty Ltd
  • Kx Systems
  • Audacix

2019 Partners

Knowledge Partner

  • BISCI
  • BICSI

News Distribution Partner

  • ACN Newswire

Associate Content Partner

  • Uptime Institute

Strategic SEO Partner

  • AdVantage

Training and Education Partner

  • DBL

Strategic Event Partner

  • ISC2

She Loves Data Live! Partners

  • She Loves Data Live
  • Coding girls
  • Codette Project
  • DBL

She Loves Data Live! Partners

  • DBS
  • Female Fouders
  • Facebook
  • General Assembly

She Loves Data Live! Partners

  • Grab
  • JetBrains
  • Girls in Tech
  • Meiro

She Loves Data Live! Partners

  • Minerra
  • Oracle
  • Tech Ladies
  • Yellowfin
  • VISA

Event Partners

  • AiSP
  • ARC Advisory
  • Asia Cloud Computing Association (ACCA)
  • Asosiasi Cloud Computing Indonesia
  • Singapore Chamber of E-Commerce
  • Fintech Association of Hong Kong
  • Accelerating Asia

Event Partners

  • Best Practice of eCommerce
  • BigDataX
  • CMO Council
  • CSCIS
  • European Data Centre Association
  • Co Creation Lab
  • GS1

Event Partners

  • Practical DevSecOps
  • Digital Advertising Association Thailand (DAAT)
  • DevOps Institute
  • Forrester
  • Michael Page
  • ISACA
  • CHIME

Event Partners

  • IASA
  • IPI Singapore
  • itSMF
  • IFMA Singapore
  • Open Connectivity Foundation
  • La French Tech

Event Partners

  • KinerjaBisa
  • Logistics & Supply Chain Management Society
  • NexChange
  • SG Tech
  • DBS
  • Plug And Play

Event Partners

  • Singapore Cyber Security Consortium (SGCSC)
  • Structure Research
  • General Assembly
  • VISA
  • Smart Asia India
  • ASME

Media Partners

  • APSM ASEAN
  • Asia Blockchain Review
  • Australian Cybersecurity Magazine
  • Australian Security Magazine
  • Asia Research News
  • Cybersec Asia

Media Partners

  • BizClik Media
  • Chief IT
  • CIO Advisor APAC
  • Cross Border Magazine
  • Disruptive Tech Asean
  • Digicon Asia

Media Partners

  • CryptoNewsZ
  • Computer Weekly
  • Cyber Security ASEAN
  • Data Storage ASEAN
  • European Data Centre Association
  • Frontier Enterprise

Media Partners

  • e27
  • Fintech Finance
  • Gigabit
  • Jumpstart Media
  • AI Time Journal
  • GovTech SEA

Media Partners

  • My Security Media
  • Retail CIO Outlook
  • Supply Chain Brain
  • Supply Chain Digital
  • Asia Content News
  • Enterprise Security Magazine

Media Partners

  • Tech Wire Asia
  • TechTarget
  • Telecom Era
  • Wire 19
  • CMO Asia
  • FutureCFO

Media Partners

  • 万瑞布线网
  • FutureIoT
  • Marketing Ops
  • Payment & Cards Network
  • APAC CIO Outlook
  • FutureCIO

Official Partner Hotel

  • Marina Bay Sands

Testimonials

  • "We are impressed with the sheer volume of crowd visiting our booth. We’ve had very good interactions with the delegates and alliance partners."
    Marketing Director, TIBCO Software
  • "We’ve met a good mix of new prospects and existing customers over the two days. There were many relevant questions posed by the delegates, attesting to the immense interest the show has generated for us leading up to the show."
    Marketing – South East Asia and India, Splunk
  • "The conversations in the big data community around machine learning is a lot more mature here. Not only the delegates are interested in big data, they are also keen to learn more about data science, artificial intelligence and internet of things."
    Regional Sales Director, Qubole Inc.
  • "I’m amazed with the diversity of vendors from data centre, big data, data integrators and cloud solution providers. There’s something here for almost anybody from the technology world. The most valuable takeaway for me is the opportunity to meet with our technology partners, alliance partners as well as our prospect and existing customers.!
    Head of Cloud Sales, Talend