It's A Problem That Can Be Solved If You Put People First
And now for something completely different - and it is no joke!
People First is a very large tent. You only need to Google those two words to find more than 13 billion results. My focus is on the impact of People First thinking in business and specifically, the revenue side of The Business Equation, but another part of that very large tent has a focus on Human Trafficking 1, which is what this week’s newsletter is all about.
Human Trafficking (or rather anti-HT) is not an area that I have deep expertise in, but others do - including someone very close to me. Last week the focus of People First and Human Trafficking intersected because a lot of prep work was needed for some important upcoming meetings. It was all hands on deck! 2
Just this week, a meeting is scheduled with an ‘All Parties Group’ within The United Kingdom’s Parliament’. The group is mandated to help create an international action plan to protect child refugees and ‘that someone’ will be talking to them about Child and Human Trafficking in both Ukraine and the border countries, with a focus on technological solutions to fight this abhorrent crime. The APG also includes senior members of Ukraine’s government.
Clearly, people in power are getting the message. Not surprising since human trafficking is often part of the same groups that drive drugs and illegal firearms trading across the world. The cost of Human Trafficking to the Global Economy is estimated to be in the trillions of dollars.
Trafficking is estimated to have grown into a $150US billion business, one of the world’s biggest illicit industries, undermining economic growth and trapping victims and their families in inter-generational cycles of debt bondage.
~ USGLC 3
I know right? How much do you read about that in the news?
But there’s more … the team hit the ground in Ukraine within 48 hours of the Russian invasion to provide humanitarian needs and support at the borders. Since then they have intercepted and stopped multiple abductions, deployed technology that has impacted up to 35,000 refugees a day 4, (mostly women and children), provided a deterrent for criminals and returned a known sexual predator to their country of origin 5 … and that is just the start.
Some of the team are experts in blockchain and crypto, some are ex-Special Forces. Seriously, it’s as if I am binge-watching the drama as a streaming TV series - except this is real and the loose ends don’t just ‘disappear’. And yes, I am being deliberately vague about who’s involved and how all this magic happens.6 Suffice to say it’s bleeding edge stuff - and working!
Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.
~ Arthur C. Clarke
Right now, some money has been raised to support the core work going on, which has revealed the extent and speed at which this crime moves. The bad players have quickly moved in, seizing opportunities in the confusion of war to reap massive rewards. That will continue if nothing is done to stop them.
Properly funding Stop Child Traffic is the first step that is being taken right now.
The conversations are in process, but if you, or anyone you know, is interested in donating to, working in and/or supporting what is being done, I can surely make the introduction 😄 … or just click here.
One of the ways for traffickers to control their prey is by controlling their identity (one of the 8 pillars of People First).
This is why last week’s long-form newsletter didn’t go out.
At the height of the Ukrainian refugee movements, an estimated 350,000 people (mostly women and children) were at the Medyka border crossing into Poland every day. That number has reduced over time and the technology deployed successfully impacted and averted the trafficking of approximately 10% of those crossing over.
I have no idea how they managed to get out of the country where they lived to Ukraine without being flagged … but they did.
It’s deliberate. The fact is the approach being taken is unique, having an impact and being noticed. Not just by ‘team good’ - but also by ‘team bad’.