Anti-human trafficking apps were meant to save lives. They're failing

Since its April 2018 founding in Malaysia, the Be My Protector app has enabled interventions in 120 cases of suspected human trafficking, sparked by anonymous reports that its app enables. In about a third of those cases, which mostly involved migrant workers in South and Southeast Asia, the victims were able to return to their homes, while others were offered counseling. But, like the more than 90 such apps available around the world, Be My Protector has struggled to make a big impact. Many such apps capitalize on a trendy subject without a clear focus on improving conditions and helping victims.

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