According to Ardanyan, the major issue facing the program is securing funding to allow the national NGO to maintain the helpline: “As the funding from international aid agencies expires, this matter becomes crucial and a priority for continuing the hotline’s operation.” The 2010 Haitian earthquake displaced thousands of individuals into overcrowded and poorly regulated camps, where violence against women and children proliferated. Mobile phone service was one of the first infrastructures back up and running, thus mobile phones played an important role in technological innovations for post-disaster efforts. Survivors Connect, a U.
S.-based nonprofit, partnered with the NGO Fondation Espoir and Digicel, the largest cell provider in the Caribbean The partnership that emerged between these three entities was intended to compensate for the absence of a centralized system for recording cases of violence.
Logistical information such as time, place, pricing, and types of services are communicated through phone calls or text messages on mobile phones.
As an increasing number of websites develop mobile applications, posting of advertisements can be done primarily via mobile phone, as can viewing and responding to these advertisements.
Based on the evidence gathered in the previous section, a key finding of this report is that mobile phones play a central role in facilitating potential cases of DMST.
Online advertisements for potential DMST victims commonly contain a mobile phone contact number.
Because the social actors involved in trafficking can use mobile phones to communicate, coordinate, organize, advertise, etc., the information transmitted across mobile networks could serve multiple evidentiary and investigatory purposes.
The widespread use of mobile phones can also be utilized for social outreach and interventions.
Some lessons might be learned from recent anti-trafficking initiatives in Ukraine and Haiti that were spearheaded by mobile carriers in coordination with NGOs.
Thus pre-paid mobile phone technologies are certainly not a cause for concern in and of themselves.
Nevertheless, several states have introduced bills that would require registration of pre-paid phones and identification at time of purchase, though none have been passed into law. In 2010, Senate Bill 342—the “Pre-Paid Mobile Device Identification Act”—was introduced to implement an identification requirement for the purchase of pre-paid mobile phones, but no further action has been taken on the bill. Critics have suggested that such a law would violate consumers’ rights to privacy and other civil liberties, would place unreasonable burdens on retailers, and would not be effective in reducing crime. Registration of pre-paid phones is already required in some countries, including Australia, Germany, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Norway, Singapore, South Africa, Switzerland, and Thailand. In a recent case from the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, the court held that the defendant had no “reasonable expectation of privacy in the data emanating from his [pay-as-you-go] cell phone that showed its location.” The defendant, a “courier in a large-scale drug-trafficking operation,” challenged law enforcement agents’ tracking of his cell phone to locate the defendant, arguing that it constituted a “warrantless search that violated the Fourth Amendment.” In finding that the defendant’s Fourth Amendment rights had not been violated, the court explained, “if a tool used to transport contraband gives off a signal that can be tracked for location, certainly the police can track that signal.
Pre-paid Mobile Phones In the course of this research, the role of pre-paid, no-contact, and disposable mobile phones has surfaced as a growing phenomenon.
In the analysis above of phone numbers over three months for a popular adult online classified site in Los Angeles, 19.1% of all numbers were from Metro PCS – a major pre-paid mobile phone carrier.
As a first step, the partners created a toll-free anti-trafficking phone number—527—through which callers can receive information about dangers that migrants could face outside of Ukraine.