Tech4Good: Colombian youth to develop an App to combat human trafficking

Bogotá D.C., Colombia - 24 August 2018 -  In a 32-hour race against the clock, university students, young programmers, engineers, and designers will participate in a hackathon to create a prototype mobile application or website to combat human trafficking. The hackathon entitled ' Bluehack Free Steps Against Human Trafficking' will be run by IBM and is supported by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), under the framework of  Global Action against Trafficking in Persons and the smuggling of Migrants ( GLO.ACT), and the Free Steps Foundation. The hackathon - the first of its kind to take place in Colombia - is scheduled to take place  from 31 August 1 September 2018 in Bogotá. During the hackathon participants will need to develop tech solutions while considering the questions:

  1. How  can we  strengthen coordination between government authorities and the passenger  transport industry to activate and manage alerts on travelers and migrants at risk of being victims of trafficking in persons?
  2. How can we increase the speed and accuracy of the process of identifying and tracking victims of human trafficking in sexually exploitative material?
  3. How can we prevent the consumption and distribution of sexually exploitative material on the internet?

Speaking at the launch event of the Bluehack Mr. Carlos Andrés Péres, GLO.ACT's National Programme Officer for Colombia congratulated the private sector, civil society and the United Nations on their willingness to cooperate, at an international level, to create the space for technology to be used to develop innovative ways to prevent human trafficking.  During his speech he said, "This hackathon represents a process of social innovation to combat this crime, not only in Colombia but also in other parts of the world."

During the event, Mr. Jesús Manager of Corporate Citizenship and Corporate Social Responsibility Program Management at IBM invited attendees to participate in this type of initiatives that seeks to promote the use of technology in a conscious manner, enabling the development of tech solutions that may help curb problems such as trafficking in persons. 

The winning team will be awarded a contract by UNODC to develop the winning submission into an application that can be used in the fight against human trafficking. This is in addition to receiving official recognition from the all the event organizers.

For those interested in registering to participate in the Hackathon please access all registration  details here:

For more information, please contact: 

Mr. Carlos Andrés Pérez

GLO.ACT National Project Officer


Twitter:    @glo_act