Blockchain Plays an Unlikely Role in the Global Battle for Human Rights

It’s a nightmarish scenario that is sadly familiar to many who are seeking work in foreign countries. Slavery and human trafficking — these are criminal industries that continue to flourish in many regions across the globe.

Such problems may seem distant and abstract to the average consumer in more developed regions, but it’s a very real problem for millions of people. Many retail products can be traced back through supply chains, linking consumers to some of the 45 million people in 167 countries that are reportedly trapped in modern slavery.

Larry Cameron, chief information security officer of the Anti-Human Trafficking Intelligence Initiative (ATII), shared with Cointelegraph concerns regarding the emerging usage of Bitcoin (BTC) and blockchain technology for criminal purposes.

He pointed out that: “Bitcoin is utilized for ransomware payments, dark web, drugs, weapons and even human trafficking.” Cameron explained that the digital technology is “...heavily used by organized crime, hackers and scammers in order to launder funds.”

A number of agencies are attacking these same problems, teaming up with blockchain technology as an ally in the battle against crime. Previous reporting by Cointelegraph has detailed press release announcements regarding the launch of a program to attack these societal problems. In cooperation with the United Nations-led International Organization for Migration (IOM), Diginex launched IRIS-SAFER to protect migrant workers in Hong Kong, with plans to expand to more regions.

Numerous software-based programs, squarely aimed at ending human trafficking, are joining the fight. In the United Kingdom, for example, IBM is working with a nonprofit organization named STOP THE TRAFFIK to put an end to human trafficking and modern slavery through the usage of “intelligence analysis software” that tracks the identities and locations of potential victims, and, ultimately, aims to disrupt trafficking processes at their source.


Speaking to Cointelegraph, Diginex head of government Mark Blick shared two major projects that use the Diginex platform to protect workers: the aforementioned IRIS-SAFER and Emin.

Although IRIS-SAFER focuses on working cooperatively with United Nations governmental agencies and private companies to establish and broaden ethical recruitment practices, Emin is a cooperative effort between Diginex and the Mekong Club, an NGO focused on fighting modern slavery. Both projects involve cooperation on a large scale between public and private entities and the harnessing of blockchain technology to improve transparency and access to data. Read More...

Blockchain Plays an Unlikely Role in the Global Battle for Human Rights
Battle for Human Rights