SE Asian ride-share service fights Trafficking

Grab, the largest ride-share company in South-East Asia is training millions of drivers in identifying human trafficking. The company operates in eight countries, including Cambodia and the Philippines where training will commence this year via the company’s app.

The ride-hail service has partnered with anti-trafficking group Liberty Shared to have “eyes and ears on the ground” to fight human trafficking. In an interview with Thomson Reuters Foundation, Teresa Tan from Grab highlighted that “taxi and ride-hailing drivers often unwittingly become the first point of contact for traffickers or victims, at airports or bus terminals. We want to make sure if that happens, they can detect and report these instances to authorities”.

South-East Asia is a hub for trafficking, with the second highest rate of modern slavery, according to the UN. The travel industry is “on the front line” of the anti-trafficking fight, an this new initiative is hoped to halt trafficking in its early stages.

Grab has more than 9 million drivers in the region. Archana Kotecha, a regional director at Liberty Shared stated that "Asia has a lot of catch-up to play, given that we have some of the world's highest number of victims and this is where a lot of the world's supply chains are located”.

Sonja Duncan