Apprise aims to close the data gap on human trafficking and forced labour by enabling the collection of high-quality data to create responsive policy. This project seeks to contribute to the anti-human trafficking 4 P’s approach by generating policy recommendations for more rigorous processes of victim identification related to the prevention pilar, which in turn can also better inform the other anti-trafficking pillars such as prevention, prosecution and partnership.
Until Jan 2019, our focus has primarily been on evaluating and refining the Apprise system. Our focus then shifted towards the crucial evidence that is captured through the process of screening workers. In January 2019 we released a policy brief, discussing the use of sentinel surveillance for identifying changing patterns of exploitation. Sentinel surveillance is a methodology commonly used in epidemiology, otherwise known the science of public health. Given that the central objective of public health is prevention, qualitative and quantitative insights drawn from the tools epidemiologists use for informed decision-making processes may prove useful in the context of better understanding and addressing labour trafficking.
This brief recommended proactive and consistent screening of vulnerable populations (using tools such as Apprise) as well as the post-hoc analysis of this data to identify trends and patterns of exploitation. This data could be used by legal experts and policy makers to develop evidence-based policy that is more effective in eradicating the conditions that allow labour exploitation and forced labour to flourish and evaluating the impact of various anti-trafficking interventions. We are continuing to explore this interdisciplinary approach through collaborations with human trafficking, public health and modelling experts.