Twilio Teams Up With Nonprofits To Help Fight Human Trafficking

March 28, 2013
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Polaris Project
For human trafficking victims, the key to rescue is communication. We’ve teamed up with the Polaris Project, Thorn, and to build a new avenue of rescue for victims.

Victims and concerned citizens can text the Twilio-powered shortcode “BeFree” (233733) to be immediately connected with the the Polaris Project’s National Human Trafficking Resource Center (NHTRC). The Polaris Project will work to gather critical information, and even help coordinate rescues.

The NHRTC received over 70,000 phone calls from citizens and victims the past six years. Many of these cases have been reported to law enforcement. But, victims are consistently monitored by their captors and need a way to reach out for help without the risk of being caught.

“Our research with child sex trafficking survivors has shown that many of them use text as their primary form of communication and that, when under the control of their trafficker, they were in need of more accessible, discrete forms of communication to seek help,” said Julie Cordua, Executive Director, Thorn: Digital Defenders of Children.

Going forward, the Polaris Project’s call center will organize information from victims and citizens using Salesforce and then share that information with the National Human Trafficking Resource Center. By harnessing the power of communication, we hope to save lives. “This is one of those times that affirms our conviction that software can change lives for the better,” says Jeff Lawson.

To contact the NHRTC and find out how you can help stop human trafficking, visit their website here.