The McCain Institute’s commitment to strengthening character-driven global leadership is reflected in its own efforts to support humanitarian action. Inspired by Mrs. Cindy McCain’s life-long support of humanitarian causes, the Institute is focusing initially on two critical humanitarian areas: Human Trafficking, and the crisis in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
America was founded, and fought a civil war, over the principles of freedom, liberty, equality and justice for all. Yet today, within our own borders, and around the world, millions of people live in forms of modern-day slavery: from sex-trafficking to forced labor to the exploitation of children.
Through the active leadership of Mrs. Cindy McCain, and in cooperation with the Polaris Project, the McCain Institute is supporting the Arizona state task force on human trafficking. The goal is to strengthen and implement anti-trafficking legislation and regulations as well as training of law enforcement and social services personnel in Arizona. By helping Arizona become a standard-bearer in the fight against human trafficking, we aim to reach out to others to fight trafficking in the wider mountain west region of the United States.
Using Technology to Understand and Tackle Human Trafficking
Despite heroic efforts by multiple organizations, most information about human trafficking is fragmented and anecdotal, and little information is shared across organizations. It is difficult to gain a complete picture of the scope of trafficking in the United States, as well as the business model behind trafficking, and the best ways to fight it.
The McCain Institute seeks to join with researchers, NGO’s and technology companies, to create a dynamic, national-level information platform. This platform will link databases to give law enforcement, social services, and policy-makers information they need to combat trafficking more effectively.
Bringing National Security Thinking and Tools to the Fight
Human trafficking is unquestionably a human rights violation, but it also thrives on national security vulnerabilities — fraudulent documents, porous borders, and money laundering, to name a few. Human trafficking is the second largest source of profits for international organized crime behind drugs.
The fight against terrorism has revealed the potential for using a variety of national security instruments – e.g., intelligence collection, financial transaction monitoring, sanctions – to combat effectively the activities of these groups. The McCain Institute aims to make human trafficking a higher priority within the national security community by drawing attention to the linkages with national security challenges, and calling for the use of these national security instruments in attacking trafficking organizations.