An estimated 4 million women and children are trafficked around the world, forced into prostitution, labor and other exploitive activities, according the United Nations. A 2010 U.S. State Department ‘Trafficking in Persons” report cited that Russia is a “source, transit, and destination country for men, women and children subjected to trafficking in persons, specifically forced labor, and for women and children forced into prostitution.”
To combat such egregious acts against the innocent, NetHope has banded together with USAID and the Demi and Ashton Foundation (DNA) to launch a contest to inspire mobile development around human trafficking. The Stop Human Trafficking App Challenge (https://www.nethope.org/appchallenge
) asks technology developers in Russia, Eastern Europe and the Commonwealth of Independent States to design a scalable mobile app that prevents trafficking, raises awareness or provides services to victims.
The contest falls under the broader USAID/NetHope Global Broadband and Innovations Alliance (GBI) trafficking in persons (TIP) program, which intends to increase stakeholders’ capacity to provide services to survivors and prevent all forms of trafficking.
Contest entrants will upload videos of their applications by August 8 to the contest site, where Russian anti-trafficking organizations, international non-governmental organizations, technology companies and the public will then be invited to vote on their favorite entries. The top 10 videos will advance to the final round that will be judged by a panel selected by NetHope, USAID and the DNA foundation.
The Grand Prize winner will receive $15,000 and travel expenses to the 2011 Annual Meeting of the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) in New York, New York. First Prize winner will receive $10,000 and travel expenses to the meeting.
The winning Grand Prize application will be implemented by an organization in Russia that is working to combat human trafficking. If the pilot is successful, the application will be made available more broadly across the region.
Winners will be announced by early September 2011.
For more information, visit the Stop Human Trafficking App Challenge site at https://www.nethope.org/appchallenge
, and follow this conversation on Twitter by using the #stopHTapp hashtag.