The upsurge in human trafficking seen in recent years is one of the saddest and most serious consequences of the on-going globalization of crime. According to the US Department of Health and Human Services, it is the fastest growing and second largest criminal industry in the world today. The United Nations Crime-Fighting office reported recently that 2.4 million people across the globe are victims of human trafficking at any one time. And the UN Office on Drugs and Crime describes it as a global enterprise worth in the region of US$32 billion.
Globalisation has helped drive the growth of human trafficking by accelerating the speed of rural to urban migration and increasing the ease of global travel and communication.
Today human trafficking is big business, in many cases driven by far-reaching international criminal networks. Despite this, most countries have not deployed the kinds of large scale coordinated response efforts typically used to address terrorism or cybercrime, for example.
Unfortunately, while it is increasingly high-profile in the media and widely condemned in all civilised countries, human trafficking is a difficult problem to combat. So, how can crime fighting agencies, both within countries and on an international basis, be more proactive in gathering the necessary information and intelligence to investigate these crimes and bring the guilty to justice?
The first and most important priority is capturing relevant data in the most efficient and effective way possible. Crime-fighting and investigative agencies will need access to systems that can help deliver information-sharing, information-gathering and intelligence management. They can then put in place analytics to detect suspicious patterns of behaviour while ensuring relevant data held by different agencies is widely available to all as actionable intelligence.
Their modelling and predictive analytics capabilities will need to help them build models that outline what unusual behaviour looks like and track the activities of suspects against that, making decisions about which individuals they decide to stop and search as a direct consequence.
Such is the complexity and scale of human trafficking networks. Taking a holistic approach is critical here. Often, arresting one individual or uncovering one location where people trafficking is taking place will be just a tiny part of the process. People trafficking is big business and agencies investigating it will need to understand the entire interconnected network of people to truly crack the problem. Ultimately, working together closely across national borders and delivering a joined-up approach to intelligence will be vital if this serious and rapidly growing criminal activity is to be effectively tackled.
Rather than requiring analysts to know precisely what to look for at any given moment, advanced analytics with built-in alert systems can be set up to proactively identify, prioritize and present information based on pattern identification and quantification of risk. Download this white paper for more information on how to tackle human trafficking with advanced analytics.