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UN Agencies Employ Blockchain to Curb Child Trafficking

Written by Mekael Rahman on 13 November 2017

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The United Nations has teamed up with the World Identity Network (WIN) to establish a blockchain identity pilot intended to help strangle child trafficking.

The news regarding the pilot was announced during the Humanitarian Blockchain Summit in New York last Friday, 10 November 2017.  According to a recent press release, (see - https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/world-identity-network-and-united-nations-team-up-to-launch-innovative-blockchain-pilot-to-help-prevent-child-trafficking-300553921.html) the United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS) and the United Nations Office of Information and Communications Technology (UN-OICT) will be involved. Furthermore, the press release has stated that storing digital identities on a blockchain, will provide a "significantly higher chance of catching traffickers." What’s more, securing identity data on an immutable ledger will make trafficking attempts "more traceable and preventable."

Dr. Mariana Dahan, co-founder and CEO of WIN has articulated that “invisible” children under the age of five and those who have not got a birth certificate are at “risk” of falling prey to child traffickers. She went on to say that “[s]everal developing countries are actively looking at more efficient ways to prevent child trafficking. Identification is always at the heart of the solution.”

Yannick Glemarec, UN women deputy executive director affirmed child trafficking as being one of the “greatest human rights abuses” and emphasised that blockchain, would be a "potentially powerful" technology to tackle the problem and could possibly save "millions of children."

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