New information and communication technologies (ICTs) have become an integral part of the networks that underpin labor trafficking in the 21st Century. Yet little research exists on the impact of technology in exacerbating or addressing the isolation, fraud, force, and/or coercion so often at the heart of trafficking cases. There is a lack of evidence-based research on any relationship between technology and labor trafficking either within or across national borders. To effectively intervene in labor trafficking, the impact of technology needs to be addressed by policy makers, governments, NGOs, researchers, and the private sector.
This research report is the first to investigate the relationship between technology and labor trafficking. The evidence gathered and analyzed in this report is based on public documents, websites, interviews with key stakeholders in the US and internationally, and fieldwork in the Philippines. With little previous research on the topic, this study is inherently exploratory. Thus this report's primary goal is to frame technology's impact on labor trafficking and to establish a set of definitions, theories, terms, themes, recommendations, and principles that can guide future research and policy.