Snapping A Picture Of Your Hotel Room Is All It Takes To Help End Human Trafficking

Apparently, with a touch of a camera button, you can now help officials crack human trafficking cases.  By checking into your hotel room, taking out your smartphone or tablet, and snapping a photo, you may just have saved someone’s life.  The key is to upload that photo to an app called TraffickCam, however.  Here’s how it works:

Take four pictures of the room you’re staying in.  Different angles, from within the bathroom or sitting area, etc.

Enter the hotel room number and the name.

Submit them to the app.

Your photos will then become part of database that law enforcement officials can use in order to track down criminals.  According to the developer of the app, Abby Stylianou, there are photos “posted every day” that display “victims of trafficking, in hotel rooms posed on beds.”  Perverted, yes, but with photos that can be drawn from the app and then used to cross reference those posted by the offenders, police are able to better track those perpetrating trafficking crimes.

Developed by the merging of forces, TraffickCam now has over 1.5 million images of hotels from across the world.  The app was created when police approached Nix Conference and Meeting Management, a group of researchers from Washington University and the Exchange Initiative.  Police had a photo of a girl in a hotel room, and wanted them to help them track it down.  A girl in the office knew exactly where it was from, and thus the app was born.

Officials have seen a huge increase if sex trafficking and child exploitation as the Internet has taken over.  There has been an increase in younger victims as well, and it’s apparently becoming common place for those dealing in these crimes to post photos online for prospective “buyers.”

Sgt. Adam Kavanaugh with St. Louis County Police says “The average age, when we talk to our girls that we deal with, most of them have started at 13, 14 years old. And most of them have been sexually abused as children.”

Hopefully, with the app in hand, more children will have the chance to be rescued. Feel free to check out the TraffickCam app.  It’s downloadable for iPhone, as well as Android.  With a little bit of luck, your photos might just save a young person’s life.


This article was inspired by this one here.

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