Can Blockchain Technology Save The Moldovian Children From Human Trafficking?
When Laura was almost 18 years, a palm reader told her she will be able to make $180 each month by simply working in the Beetroot farms in Russia. This amount was very attractive for a young girl who was struggling to just make a living in the city of Drochia.
But she needed to cross the border and had no passport, but the fortune teller told her this would not be a problem as a fake passport will be issued, this is according to an interview with Laura, not her real name, and the Thomson Reuters Foundation.
The fake birth certificate stated that she was 14, just what she needed to pass the borders with a smuggler who was posing as her parent. It was just the very first long tale of exploitation that Laura would endure. It is also one of the many stories that are heard in Moldova, Eastern Europe.
A country that is aiming to be the very first that is able to pilot the blockchain technology to be able to tackle the widespread human trafficking taking place.
With the growing number of human trafficking, it generates illegal profits of about $150 billion each year on a global scale. It is found that approximately 40 million individuals find themselves trapped as modern day slaves, to be precise it is mostly the women and girls, through forced labor and marriages. This is according to a leading survey that was conducted.
The Blockchain Technology And The Issue At Hand
The digital tool that is behind the cryptocurrency is regularly tested for the social causes. It is from the Coca-Cola company having a worker’s registry that will help in fighting forced labor, to going ahead and tracking the supply chain, like cobalt which has often been mined by children.
Moldova has been considered to have the highest rate of human trafficking in Europe. The reason being there is a widespread of unemployment and poverty that drives many of the young citizens, especially the women. Leading to the increased need to look for work overseas, this is according to the United Nations and the IOM migration agency.
Due to the stigma and hidden nature of trafficking, it is actually unknown on the actual number of people in the Soviet country who have actually been trafficked, but the IOM has been able to help about 3,400 victims so far since 2001. And from this number 10 percent of the victims are children.
While in Russia, Laura toiled several hours been beaten without receiving a payment. When she finally ended up in the hospital is when she got rescued by a doctor, but this did not last as she got trafficked again a few years later when her abusive partner sold her into the prostitution world.
The Scans And The Bribes
This year Moldovia is planning on launching the pilot of the digital identity project. They have been working with ConsenSys, which is a Brooklyn based software company that won the U.N competition in designing the best identity system that will be able to combat child trafficking.
The undocumented children tend to be very easy prey for traffickers as they are able to use fake documents when transporting them across borders so that they could work in brothels or just sell their organs.
It was found that more than 40,000 children in Moldova have been left behind by parents who have migrated abroad to get work. And most of the times these children are left with minimal supervision, this is according to IOM.
Moldova has a population of 3.5 million and has been considered to be among the poorest countries you can find in Europe. As it has a monthly disposable income of about $135, which is 2,250 Moldovan Leu according to the government data.
As a result, ConsenSys has aimed at creating the very best and also a secure digital identity that can be found on the blockchain technology, or have a decentralized digital ledger that will be shared on the network for the Moldovian children. With this system, it would be able to link the child’s identity with other family members. It is a system that will ensure the country can stay ahead of the criminals.