This convergence of technology and transnational crime is particularly prominent in the context of trafficking in persons and people smuggling, as criminal networks exploit social media and online platforms for victim recruitment, service advertisement, and operational coordination. The use of fake identities and anonymous accounts on these platforms has facilitated the cross-border operations of traffickers while evading detection by law enforcement. As smartphones, social media, and other new technologies become more pervasive, the linkages between transnational organized crime, irregular migration, and technology continue to deepen, transforming the landscape of counter-trafficking and people smuggling efforts.
At the same time, technology offers significant opportunities for countering trafficking in persons. The advancements in technology have paved the way for increased ease of cross-border law enforcement coordination, enabling more efficient sharing of information, intelligence, and best practices. Additionally, technology has led to the development of innovative tools such as apps and algorithms that can help identify traffickers online and detect patterns of trafficking activities. These tools empower law enforcement agencies and organizations to proactively target and disrupt trafficking networks.
The Regional Support Office (RSO) Transnational Crime and Technology programme aims to connect with Bali Process Member States to better understand the challenges they’re facing. The team focuses on addressing some of the new and growing means of technology being used to facilitate trafficking in persons and people smuggling, working collaboratively with Member States to identify and implement joint solutions. Specifically, the Transnational Crime and Technology Programme will work to improve information sharing around the impact of technology on migration, improve coordination between technology companies and law enforcement, and promote digital literacy and online investigation skills to enable more effective online investigations by law enforcement and prosecutors.