Using Conversational Applications to Interrupt Sex Trafficking

MARCH 8, 2018 –

In the United States, 325,000 minors are currently at risk of being trafficked into the sex industry against their will. Of the minors that are bought and sold, the average age is thirteen.

Appalling. Shocking. Unbelievable.

While most Americans will share these thoughts, very few know what to do next. How can this epidemic be stopped? What can citizens do to lend a hand in making sure that it does?

For Tom Perez, the founder and visionary behind the Epik Project, asking these questions was simply not enough.

On a mission to radically disrupt sex trafficking in the United States, Perez has been an innovator, finding new ways to use everyday technology to make dramatic dents in the number of girls impacted by it. To date, Perez and his Epik Project has stopped nearly 70,000 attempts to purchase a human being for sex.

Currently, they are poised to quickly reach 100,000 interruptions of attempts to purchase a human being for sex

Although Perez and his team keep their tactics closely guarded, they have made it clear that they are using combinations of SMS, voicebots, chatbots, and AI to both identify and intercept illegal sex purchases taking place in the United States.

Now a national leader in the anti-trafficking movement, the Epik Project is attracting major attention from law enforcement agencies who are interested in learning how to use technology to intercept even more illegal purchases.

Other nonprofit efforts, such as THORN and Demand Abolition, are also finding ways to use technology to help save minors from being trafficked against their will.

When asked about the technology Epik uses, Perez says,

“Vulnerable people are being bought and sold for sex against their will. This bot is not OK with that.”
And neither are we.

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