According to the Global Slavery Index by the Walk Free Foundation, “[m]ore than 260,000 of Cambodia’s 16 million people are trapped in modern slavery”, often men and children in the fisheries and construction industries and “thousands of women are thought to have been trafficked to marry Chinese men”.

Despite the increasing efforts of the police to tackle the problem, the phenomenon is far from stopping.

Organizations working in anti-trafficking are working tirelessly side by side with local authorities to find new and more effective ideas to spot people victims of trafficking. The news of the week is that an unexpected player will join their fight: the ride-hiling app Grab.

Hashim Alkaff, head of Grab Cambodia, said tuk tuk drivers have been found to “unknowingly be the first point of contact for traffickers and victims, especially at airports, bus terminals or train stations”. The idea is to empower drivers to be ground detectors of potentially trafficked people.

The pilot initiative will take place in the capital, Phnom Penh, were Grab said to train 10.000 drivers by the end of this month to start with, with the hope of extending the project to other drivers around Asia. Charity Liberty House, a Hong Kong-based anti-trafficking organization, will deliver online lessons to the drivers, while the local charity Child Helpline Cambodia, will train them on the ground.

Trafficking is a slippery slope and if we want to end it, we need all the possible help. Grab teaches us that also big private companies can give an extra push to solve the problem, we hope more actors will take its example and join in the action!

Read more about WeWorld-GVC’s project MIG-RIGHT, a migration-centred project implemented in Cambodia and Thailand.