This is my very first blog. I have very working on the issue of human trafficking for a few years. I first encountered the issue nearly four years ago when I was asked by a charity here in Ireland to undertake research. At that time human trafficking was not an issue I had previously encountered. I had worked for years in the fields of industry, in small & medium sized enterprise, and in information technology. What I found during those first weeks of research left me astounded. A seemingly obscure became less obscure. The extraordinary became a little more ordinary.
When asked to research the issue my response was "where on earth will I find information?" Yet after just a few days I had uncovered troves of material, most of it via the Internet. Sadly this is the case because there is so much exploitation going on. The culmination of the research was my co-authoring a book on human trafficking and African witchcraft (Juju, Voodoo). The book is available free of charge in Kindle edition from Amazon.
Realising how these terrible abuses had been going on around the world and realising too how little I had known about it all until I went and looked for information I also decided that I wanted to make it easier for people to find information. I created a website called PalermoProtocol.com where I gathered newspaper articles from around the world. Judging by the number of hits the website received I deemed that it most have been of interest. The old website (see the screenshot below) was certainly an innovation and a valuable resource. It was however limited, partly due to the fact that it was my first attempt at website creation and partly due to the limitations of the content management system.
Over the past few months I have sought to address these deficiencies by creating a new website. Even as I type hundreds of articles are being exported from the old PalermoProtocol.com website, processed through a data interpretation process where they are assigned tags, and imported into this site. I hope that the new website will address many of the issue of the old one. New functionality allows for much more comprehensive research. I have created many many different keywords, some based on geography, some based on aspects of violence used in human trafficking, some based on activities in which its victims are found and others based on factors which motivate it.
At present there is still much to do. I am having issues with default images for articles that have none. This is a work in progress. I also have to review all the articles I imported from the old site before they are fully functioning once again. This will take some months to fulfil this part. If you are visiting this site and it is not at www.PalermoProtocol.com then you have found it during its testing phase. When I happy that all is in order I shall back it up and restore it over the old website, thus replacing it. I am a bit concerned that though technically superior to the last site, especially by way of permitting more extensive searching, that the new site is a little bit clinical.
I hope that you find this site to be informative. Please do bear in mind that many voices are needed in the fight against human trafficking.