ConsenSys Wins #Blockchain4Humanity Challenge for Designing Blockchain-Based Identification System to Help End Child Trafficking in Republic of Moldova

UN PRESS RELEASE

PI/2224
15 MARCH 2018

NEW YORK, 15 March 2018 (Office of Information and Communications Technology) — The United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS) and the United Nations Department of Management’s Office of Information and Communications Technology announced today that the Blockchain for Social Impact team of ConsenSys has won the Unite Ideas “Blockchain for Humanity” challenge, launched by the World Identity Network, the United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS) and the United Nations Office of Information and Communications Technology. Read more.

Moldova eyes blockchain to end child trafficking

 

WED NOV 15, 2017 / 12:22 PM EST
Umberto Bacchi

LONDON (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – Moldova, Europe’s poorest country, is looking to use blockchain, the digital tool behind the cryptocurrency bitcoin, to stamp out child trafficking with help from United Nations experts, a government official said on Wednesday.

Digital identification experts from the U.N. Office for Project Services (UNOPS) and other agencies were in Chisinau this week to discuss possible ways of using the technology to protect children from exploitation.

Every year, hundreds of women and girls as young as 13 are trafficked from Moldova to Russia, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates and other nations, mainly to work as sex slaves, according to international watchdogs.

“This is a pressing issue and we are eager to find efficient solutions to help us address it,” Mihail Beregoi, state secretary for the Moldova’s Ministry of Internal Affairs, told the Thomson Reuters Foundation via email.

Moldova was put on the United States’ watch list of countries that are not doing enough to fight human trafficking earlier this year.

Children living in rural areas are particularly at risk of trafficking as they often hold no identification, something that makes them invisible to authorities and easier for traffickers to smuggle across borders on fake documents, experts say.

Blockchain could be used to give them paperless identification documents based on biometric data, such as fingerprints or facial scans, which would be impossible to fake, said Yoshiyuki Yamamoto, UNOPS special adviser for blockchain.

“If we want to set up a reliable identity management system it has to be based on something immutable,” he said by phone from New York ahead of traveling to Chisinau.

An estimated 40 million people were trapped as slaves last year – mostly women and girls – in forced labor and forced marriages, according to anti-slavery groups.

UNOPS this month announced it had teamed up with the World Identity Network (WIN), a campaign group, and other U.N. agencies to launch a pilot using blockchain to fight the crime.

Moldova was the first country to show a concrete interest in the project, said Mariana Dahan, chief executive of WIN, who hoped to start the pilot soon.

Moldova, Europe’s poorest country, borders EU member Romania, with which it has close linguistic and cultural ties, but remains heavily reliant on Russian energy supplies.

Blockchain, which first emerged as the system underpinning bitcoin, is a digital shared record of transactions maintained by a network of computers on the internet without a centralized authority that is hard to tamper with.

Dahan said securing children’s identities on a blockchain-based platform would allow for their identification at all times and also allow for trafficking attempts to be recorded.

“Of course technology is not a silver bullet that can solve all these problems but it can be the catalyst,” Dahan said.

(Reporting by Umberto Bacchi @UmbertoBacchi, Editing by Belinda Goldsmith; Please credit the Thomson Reuters Foundation, the charitable arm of Thomson Reuters, that covers humanitarian news, women’s rights, trafficking, property rights, climate change and resilience. Visit news.trust.org)

Blockchain for Humanity – Global Challenge

This is a Global challenge at United Nations Unite Ideas. You can find a link to submission form at the bottom of this page.
BACKGROUND

The World Identity Network (WIN), the United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS), and the United Nations Office of Information and Communications Technology (UN-OICT) are partnering to launch a pilot initiative that will use the blockchain technology to help combat child trafficking in Moldova. A first in the world, this project is part of a broader effort titled “Blockchain For Humanity”, announced during the Blockchain Humanitarian Summit in New York, on November 10, 2017.

Still the poorest country in Europe, Moldova has been trying to stop child trafficking for decades. The Government of Moldova is an official partner in this Global Challenge, believing that this breakthrough technology can be leveraged beyond commercial applications, for the social good.

EXPECTED OUTCOME

The Global Challenge will result in a detailed concept and project design that could be further enhanced and used by the Government of Moldova for project implementation. However, the concept should be scalable and applicable to other contexts as well, including other countries around the world, where the prevalence of child trafficking is high.

RECOGNITION

The winner of the challenge will:

  • Be offered the opportunity to have an advisory role in the further development of the submitted solution.
  • Be featured at the United Nations Press, the Unite Ideas platform and more broadly in press and social media.
  • Be offered the opportunity to pitch the solution for potential investment from WIN and other interested organizations.

*Please note that the winner of the Global Challenge is not automatically guaranteed award of contract for project implementation, nor investment or grants from potential donors.

AUDIENCE

This challenge is open to the general public. Public, private, and academic organizations.

How can Blockchain Technology Be Used to Help Prevent Child Trafficking in Moldova?

The task is to propose a detailed project concept and functional design of the solution that would encompass the following sub-components:

ESTABLISHING A PERSONAL DIGITAL IDENTITY FOR CHILDREN

Undocumented children and minors can become an easy prey for human traffickers, who often use fake identification (ID) documents to transport them across borders. Once trafficked, these children and minors are sold to sex brothels, caught in modern slavery rings, and even used for the illegal human organ trade. Digital identity on the blockchain may offer a significantly higher chance of catching traffickers and securing data on an immutable ledger, further making any such trafficking attempts more traceable and preventable.
However, concerns over the privacy of the identity data stored should be identified and clarified, along with proposed ways of addressing them. The proposed solution should allow establishing a unique, secure, digital identity for children and minors aged 0-14 y/o (pilot size: approx. 350,000 children, with modalities of linking children’s personal identity to that of their family members.

SETTING UP A BLOCKCHAIN PLATFORM FOR THE INTEGRATED ID SYSTEM

Setting up a solution that would allow securing identity data on the blockchain, making an immutable record of the actual, or attempted exit with a minor without parents’ permission outside the borders of Moldova.

The integrated ID system may cover the total population (size: 3,500,000 people) or a subset of it, and the choice between these two options should be explained and justified. Issues such as “the right to be forgotten” and the self-sovereign control of data should also be addressed in the proposed solution.

AUTOMATING COMMUNICATION

Potential or actual victims of trafficking are often times isolated and lack support and help in critical circumstances. However, the traditional communication tools, such as direct contact with a social worker, for example, may not function in this context. Setting up a solution that would allow the use of artificial intelligence (AI) tools, for instance, could help recognize and detect patterns of behavior and automate communication with the victims.

EXPECTED DELIVERABLES

Your submission must include the following materials:

1. Detailed concept design and documentation describing the functionalities and explanation of the approach taken to solve the Challenge and the proposed solution.

2. Demonstration systems, prototypes, or videos illustrating the functionality described. (you must provide a link to the source code of any demonstration material you submit).

If you decide to submit a solution, you will do so by providing Internet links where your documentation, software, demos and any material will be stored, which shall be marked and accompanied by creative common and recognized open source software licenses, and shall be visible and accessible to the general public. You will be asked to accept the terms and conditions below:

SOLUTION TERMS AND CONDITIONS

When you submit a solution to this challenge you agree to license it as follows:
Documents, presentations, Infographics, databases and any other content are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International license. Read the full text of the license here: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/legalcode

Software and hardware is licensed under a GNU General Public License Version 3 as published by the Free Software Foundation here: https://www.gnu.org/licenses/gpl.html or another license approved by the Open Source Initiative, see: https://opensource.org/licenses/alphabetical.

You represent and warrant that you have all necessary rights, licenses, and permissions to grant the above license and that the content submitted by you and the submission of such content, do not and will not violate any intellectual property rights (including but not limited to copyrights and trademark rights) of any third party.

CHALLENGE SPONSORING ORGANIZATIONS:

The Government of Moldova, UNOPS, UN-OICT, WIN.

CHALLENGE FOCAL POINTS:

Yoshiyuki Yamamoto, UNOPS
Jorge Martinez Navarrete, UN-OICT
Mariana Dahan, WIN
Mihail Beregoi, Government of Moldova

Post your preliminary idea today!

The last day for submissions is January 10, 2018

For any questions please contact us at : uniteideas@un.org

Humanitarian Blockchain Summit

November 10, 2017

Fordham University at Lincoln Center

The Humanitarian Blockchain Summit will bring technology experts, scholars, and humanitarian practitioners together for dynamic discussions about the future of blockchain technology in humanitarian operations and in pursuit of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

Blockchain technology holds great potential for improving these operations—whether it’s used to transfer cash to disaster victims, coordinate the delivery of supplies, streamline humanitarian financing, or make humanitarian projects more gender-inclusive.

The summit is designed for those interested in using blockchain for tangible humanitarian impact. Breakout sessions will focus on overcoming challenges to using blockchain, as well as identifying the best ways to develop humanitarian-friendly blockchain platforms, among other topics. The sessions will also include collaborative exercises and presentations about how some organizations are using blockchain.

Register for the Summit

Objectives

The goal of the event is for participants to recommend policies for using blockchain in specific humanitarian interventions through:

  • Highlighting a range of piloted and pioneered blockchain initiatives for humanitarian action;
  • Facilitating the ethical adoption of humanitarian blockchain solutions in response to technical, legal, and governance challenges facing the humanitarian sector;
  • Bringing together people from across sectors to foster new partnerships, encourage technical collaboration, and explore nontraditional funding sources;
  • Curating existing open-source tools used in humanitarian blockchain services; and
  • Building a digital community of developers interested in impacting humanitarian assistance.

UN Commission: Blockchain Can Help Struggling Banks in Latin America

William Suberg
02 MAY 2017  THE COINTELEGRAPH

The Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) has stated Blockchain could help improve costs in troubled banking sectors.

In a report released at the end of April, the ECLAC, which is a regional commission of the United Nations, said the technology held particular promise in reducing so-called “de-risking” practices among local banks.

De-risking, it says, is the phenomenon witnessed across the developing world in which banks shy away from deals which would cost too much in regulatory maneuvering to fulfill.

“…This technology appears to have the potential to address the problem of de-risking on two fronts,” it said. Read more.