Free a Girl fights sexual exploitation of children (SEC). We have rescued over 6000 minor girls since 2008 and are now fighting part of that battle online. The use of social media platforms to lure, sell and exploit minor children is growing and must be stopped immediately. Our Smart Rescue Project develops software that makes tracking down exploiters online easier. The software will be used by local partners who will analyze the data to locate and rescue girls from SEC.
Currently, 1 in 3 internet users worldwide is a minor. Criminals can contact, groom and use children through online channels from the safety of their own home, talking to many children at once. Encrypted messaging forums and easy access to the dark web allow offenders to collaborate and evade detection. There is little supervision as many countries don't have the right skills to conduct online research. The COVID pandemic further accelerated the online supply and demand of SEC.
The Smart Rescue Project has developed a software system that can be used in any country to track down victims and exploiters using artificial intelligence, data systems and detection technology. A comprehensive dashboard allows partners to share and analyze the data. Partners will hire new IT specialists and will also be trained in online investigation methods. With the combined information, our local partners can set up rescue operations with the local police and rescue children.
By staying one step ahead of the criminals online, we both prevent situations of sexual exploitation and find and track down victims faster and easier. We started in India and will expand to Thailand in 2022. Eventually, local partners will be able to run their own online research programs independently, allowing us to focus on new countries to make sure everyone everywhere is up to date about the newest technologies used to traffic girls.
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