The small country of Moldova from the Eastern European side will have their first launch of a platform that will be fighting child trafficking through a blockchain-based method.
The New York based company, ConsenSys, won in a competition by UN wherein the project will be used in Moldova being the poorest country in Europe.
ConsenSys will have children, which may have been victims of trafficking, to create each digital identity through the use of biometrics which will be later on stored in a blockchain.
The company wants to develop the platform through a digital identity which will link the children with other members of the family. This method will not only aid in reducing cases of child trafficking but also lessen the criminals which may target undocumented children of moving them across the borders.
Based on a research by the International Organization for Migration (IOM), in Moldova a total of over 40,000 children in are being left by their parents on their own as they chose work overseas in order to survive for their basic needs.
Lilian Levandovschi, head of Moldova’s anti-trafficking police unit
“A lot of children are staying just with their grandfathers or grandmas, spending (more) time in the streets,” said Lilian Levandovschi, the head of the anti-trafficking police unit in Moldova.
Moldova’s laws on anti-trafficking have evolved over the years where now the children are entitled to have a passport and be accompanied by a parent or a guardian, granted that they have a letter of permission, in order to exit the country.
Robert Greenfield from ConsenSys said that a notification will be sent to their legal guardians to grant the approval of them crossing the border as the children will have their eyes or fingerprints be scanned to exit the country.
Criminals who would try to cross children abroad will have their actions recorded through the blockchain, which is a new way of catching these traffickers.
“Nobody can bribe someone to delete that information,”said Mariana Dahan, the co-founder of the World Identity Network (WIN), as it is also involved in the project.
However, some groups of anti-trafficking are claiming that the project won’t make a big difference since there are deceiving traffickers that look as if they work abroad.
“As long as we don’t have job opportunities … trafficking will still remain a problem for Moldova,” said Irina Arapof IOM.
The data found by Ecaterina Berejan, the head of the anti-trafficking agency, said that less than 20 percent of the victims of trafficking account for children as of last year in abroad and home. Yet many aspects are being decided upon on the project which includes even the process of funding; the biometrical data that will be used; the targeted groups; and how it will be maintained.
As of now, Moldova may be the first country to use blockchain in combating the continuous industry of child trafficking.