Polaris Project and LexisNexis Form Public-Private Partnership to Fight Human Trafficking
New Database System Offers Access to Critical Information
May 27, 2009 — Washington, D.C., May 27, 2009 - Polaris Project (www.polarisproject.org), one of the largest anti-trafficking organizations in the U.S. today announced the implementation of a national database to aid in the global fight against human trafficking. The comprehensive database was developed to assist in the operation of the National Human Trafficking Resource Center (NHTRC), which runs the national human trafficking hotline for the U.S. This development is part of a public-private collaboration between Polaris Project and LexisNexis (www.lexisnexis.com), a leading global provider of content-enabled workflow solutions.
LexisNexis® Risk & Information Analytics Group worked with Polaris Project to develop and implement a new web-based system that allows all hotline employees to access the same information in real time. The newly designed solution allows Polaris Project employees to service those in need by being able to field and respond to hotline calls more quickly and provide up-to-date, accurate information about local resources and service providers. Prior to this new national database, Polaris Project used a cumbersome system that contained information in disparate spreadsheets, making it difficult to access, maintain and share vital information.
Over the past year, the resources of the NHTRC have been increasingly accessed by community members, service providers and law enforcement. Call volume has grown two to three times the number in previous years - reaching over 500 calls per month - highlighting the critical need for these services and infrastructure improvements. As the fight against human-trafficking grows, the new database will expand to meet this need and will help to increase the number of victims identified, the number of traffickers brought to justice and the number of survivors receiving critical social services.
Using its 35 years of database and analytic modeling, LexisNexis developed a system to help Polaris Project store, manage and access its critical information. This in-kind donation includes 250 hours of employee labor, donated computer hardware and ongoing system support.
"Fighting human trafficking is all about protection for the victims and accountability for those enslaving them," said Ambassador Mark Lagon, executive director of Polaris Project. "Polaris Project deeply values the working partnership LexisNexis has forged with us. In advancing the Polaris-run National Human Trafficking Resource Center, through innovative analytics solutions from LexisNexis, we are together advancing the Rule of Law in the name of the most disempowered."
Nearly 10 years after the passage of the Trafficking Victims Protection Act (TVPA) of 2000, the anti-trafficking field in the United States has made significant progress but also faces a number of persistent challenges. Polaris Project seeks to combat human trafficking and modern-day slavery by conducting direct outreach and victim identification, providing social services and transitional housing to victims, operating the National Human Trafficking Resource Center, advocating for stronger state and Federal anti-trafficking legislation and engaging community members in local and national grassroots efforts.
Polaris Project operates the NHTRC's national toll-free hotline, which runs 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The hotline works to help improve the national response to protect victims of human trafficking in the U.S. by providing callers with a range of comprehensive services, including crisis response, urgent and non-urgent referrals, tip reporting, and comprehensive resources and training for the anti-trafficking field and those who wish to get involved. The NHTRC, funded with the support of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and other private funders, is part of Polaris Project's Training, Technical Assistance, and Strategic Support Program (TTASP), which exists to help improve the systemic response to protecting victims of human trafficking in the United States.
"LexisNexis is proud of this public-private partnership with Polaris Project as efforts to end human trafficking hinge on the ability of corporations, governments and NGOs to effectively work together in creative ways," said Elizabeth Rector, senior vice president, Corporate Responsibility for LexisNexis. "We believe this partnership can serve as a model for other business