It seems unlikely that whoever coined the term 'information superhighway' anticipated that the traffic on the internet would be in people, as well as information. How, and how much, the internet and other ICTs are implicated in trafficking is the subject of this issue paper by The Association for Progressive Communications Women's Networking Support Programme (APC WNSP) produced in cooperation with The Association for Women's Rights in Development (AWID).
The paper discusses trafficking and ICTs as defined by activists in the two arenas. It also explores three pivotal and at times controversial questions: Does the role of ICTs matter or is it a fashionable distraction from serious countertrafficking work? Can we talk of trafficking in images or does trafficking only apply to people? Is consideration of privacy in relation to ICTs contrary to counter-trafficking work or an essential part of a broader movement to create safety and freedom for individuals and communities?
Finally, the paper asks what action can and is being taken, by
governments, feminists, civil society organisations, and other actors.
A joint publication of AWID and APC WNSP, the paper was written by Kathleen Maltzahn, who has worked on the issue of trafficking since 1992. The paper is part of a series of forthcoming issue papers from the APC WNSP examining ICT from a gender perspective to invite greater reflection and debate around ICT policy. Available in English, Spanish
and French in PDF.