Innovation that Matters

Members News - Community - Oct 01, 2019

Business in the Community Ireland

One of IBM’s core values is ‘Innovation that matters – for our company and for the world’. As a result, a team of engineers in IBM’s software lab in Dublin is putting that value into action through their work on an award winning project with Stop the Traffik, a UK founded not-for-profit organisation set up to prevent human trafficking globally. A common misconception with human trafficking is that it is exclusive to the sex industry. However, there are many ways in which people can be trafficked and enslaved, from labour exploitation to organ harvesting. Sexual exploitation trafficking represents just 19 percent of the market for forced labour. Trafficking  takes place all over the world, across all ages, genders and socio-economic backgrounds.  The covert nature of these crimes makes it hard to identify and prevent. It may even exist next door to you.

The technology
Using an IBM data intelligence-led approach, the team developed a Traffik Analysis Hub to analyse human trafficking trends and hotspots. The hub uses IBM AI services, hosted securely on IBM Cloud, to derive information from the incident reports received. This information can then be analysed together with data from other sources to identify patterns and hotspots. It uses this information to target awareness programmes that ultimately help disrupt human trafficking.
The Technology for Good team, funded by IBM Corporate Social Responsibility, values the opportunity to make a difference to society on projects to disrupt human trafficking and modern slavery or to combat homelessness. They are fully engaged in every part of the process from the initial meetings with the NGO partners through to deciding the architecture, the technology, and designing and coding the solution. The team recently won the European Data Science & AI Awards 2019 for the most innovative use of AI for Social Good. John Evans, Technology For Good Manager, IBM Ireland Lab commented, “We have a very committed Technology for Good team who really feel they have the opportunity to ‘make a difference’. This is one job that it is easy to get out of bed for each morning!”

IBM working with the NGOs, gaining insight into the work they do and the difficulties they face while using its technology and skills on some of the most pressing issues in society today makes ‘Innovation that matters’ truly come to life.

For more information please visit

For further information on what you can do to mitigate potential human rights infringements in your operations or supply chain, please contact Darina Eades, BITCI Senior Adviser at

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