If you want to stop child sex trafficking, you should always take pictures of your hotel room when you're traveling. That’s because law enforcement can use the images to help locate missing children in the future.
The free TraffickCam app is designed for people to upload pics of hotel rooms, and the images are sent a database that is used by law enforcement to identify where trafficked children are located.
"You just enter your hotel room, and your room number. You take four pictures, and you submit them to the website," notes TraffickCam developer Abby Stylianou.
"And then those become part of the pipeline that law enforcement can use to track down where the victims are being trafficked," she continued.
The idea for TraffickCam came to Stylianou almost five years ago when the police asked for the assistance of the non-profit Exchange Initiative to help fight sex trafficking. Police wanted to identify a hotel where children have been trafficked.
The police showed staff a photo and "One of the girls in our office knew exactly what it was,” said an administrator. Then idea of an app to upload pics of hotel rooms became obvious. Last but not least, the Exchange Initiative got together with Washington University researchers to describe the plan and develop the app.
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