Moldova has finally begun the development of a blockchain solution for the major problem of human trafficking that has plagued this country for decades. Blockchain will be used for storing the identities of children leaving the country so that the country can keep track of the children’s whereabouts and prevent them from being sold into slavery.
Moldova’s human trafficking problem
In today’s high-tech and socially aware age, it would be easy to believe that slavery is an issue belonging to the past. Unfortunately, the sad reality is that slavery is still a real problem to this day, especially in underdeveloped countries like Moldova.
The country’s economic situation is desperate, with a monthly income being only at $135, or 2,250 Leu on average. This makes Moldova one of the poorest of the European countries, which in turn led to it becoming a human trafficking haven.
According to anti-slavery organizations, over 40 million people are currently considered to be slaves around the world. A huge majority of them include young women, who are targeted by traffickers and then sold into slavery that involves prostitution, forced labor, and even forced marriages.
Traffickers target the young
Moldova’s current population numbers around 3.5 million people, and the majority of them live in poverty. Most of the targeted citizens of the country include children and teenagers, who are left behind by their parents when they leave the country to work abroad. The children are often left with other siblings, or grandparents, and are not getting enough attention, which causes them to spend most of their time in the streets, according to Moldova’s anti-trafficking police unit’s head, Lilian Lavendovschi.
It is estimated that around 40,000 children in this country are currently in this situation, which makes them easy targets for slave-traders and other criminals. They approach these children with promises of a better future, which is how they convince them to cross the border with fake documents, which are then taken from them. What follows is the sale of the victims into prostitution or even organ harvesting.
Blockchain tech can help save lives
In order to combat the problem, ConsenSys came up with a solution which was long-discussed and is finally ready for deployment in Moldova. The country has been making plans with the company to introduce blockchain technology as an anti-trafficking solution, and it is expected that the program will start by the end of the year.
The plan is to give children biometrics-based digital identities which would be safely stored on the blockchain, which provides the perfect method of securing identities, since its transparency takes away the possibility of tampering, faking, or deleting information. It will be an excellent addition to Moldova’s current anti-trafficking laws, which require children exiting the country to have their fingerprints and eyes scanned. Additionally, according to law, these children have to be accompanied by their legal guardian, or someone who has the guardian’s written permission to take the child out of the country.
As a security addition, the guardians also receive phone alerts and they will have to approve of the action before the child is allowed to cross the border. With the help of blockchain, the children will now have their identities safely recorded.