Code 8.7: Using Computational Science and AI to End Modern Slavery


Code 8.7 fosters collaboration between artificial intelligence (AI), computational science and anti-slavery leaders in the fight against forced labour, modern slavery, human trafficking and child labour.

Code 8.7 is building a global community of actors working on these issues.

Code 8.7 is led by a core group of organizers: Delta 8.7 at United Nations University Centre for Policy Research, the Alan Turing Institute, the Computing Community Consortium, the Rights Lab at the University of Nottingham, the Global Security Initiative at Arizona State University and AnnieCannons.

The first Code 8.7 event was a conference held on 19-20 February 2019 in New York, which brought more than 120 people from the computational research and artificial intelligence communities with those working to achieve Target 8.7 of the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

Click on the links below to learn more about Code 8.7’s forward plans and the February 2019 conference.

Forward plans

Code 8.7 Conference (February 2019)


Welcome, Conference Overview & Keynote

Organizing Committee representatives: James Cockayne, Anjali Mazumder, Dan Lopresti, Zoe Trodd and Hannah Darnton
What this effort can mean for survivors – Jessica Hubley and Laura Hackney, from Annie Cannons
Keynote: Can computational science accelerate the fight against modern slavery?Kevin Bales, Rights Lab

Opportunities Showcase

This session showcased opportunities that are emerging for use of computational science and AI to address modern slavery.

Moderator: Todd Landman (Rights Lab)
Presenters: Kelly Gleason (Delta 8.7)Luis Fabiano de Assis (SmartLab Brazil), Dominique Roe-Sepowitz (ASU), Dominique Roe-Sepowitz (ASU)Doreen Boyd (Rights Lab), Harry Cook (CTDC), James Goulding (Rights Lab) and Chris Cuthbert (Lumos Foundation)


The ‘mini-hothouses’ provided participants the opportunity to brainstorm how computational science methods might be better brought to bear on particular pieces of the Target 8.7 puzzle. The aim was not to arrive at definitive solutions or consensus approaches or to develop new code or tools, but rather to tease out promising opportunities for further exploration and collaborative problem-solving.

Hothouse A – Vulnerability mapping and modelling  

Moderator: Davina Durgana (Walk Free Foundation)
Presenters:  Maria Olave (Regional Initiative)James Goulding (Rights Lab) and Harry Cook (CTDC)
Rapporteur: Todd Landman (Rights Lab)

Hothouse B – Using ICT to find hidden populations

Moderator: Nadya Bliss (ASU)
Presenters: Shannon Stewart (GFEMS), Sam Blazek (IST Research), and Hannah Thinyane (UNU-CS)
Rapporteur: Zoe Trodd (Rights Lab)

Hothouse C – Mining government data to reach Target 8.7   

Moderator: Anjali Mazumder (Turing Institute/Carnegie Mellon)
Presenters: Luis Fabiano de Assis (SmartLab Brazil), Clare Gollop (UK National Policing Modern Slavery Portfolio) and Julia Kocis (Lehigh County Regional Intelligence Centre)
Rapporteur: Davina Durgana (Walk Free Foundation)

Hothouse D – Slavery from space

Moderator: Kevin Bales (Rights Lab)
Presenters: Austin Choi-Fitzpatrick (Joan B. Kroc School of Peace Studies),  Doreen Boyd (Rights Lab), Andrew Zolli (Planet Labs)
Rapporteur: Hannah Darnton (Tech Against Trafficking)

Hothouse E – Fintech

Moderator: James Cockayne, Delta 8.7/Financial Sector Commission on Modern Slavery
Presenters: Maria Mahl (Arabesque)Liz Barrick (TRAC) and Bill Peace (Stop the Traffik)
Rapporteur: Kilian Moote, Know The Chain

Hothouse F – Finding hidden populations: orphanage trafficking     

Moderator: Kelly Gleason, Delta 8.7
Presenters: Chloe Setter and Chris Cuthbert, Lumos Foundation
Rapporteur: Paul Jones, Turing Institute


Reports from previous day’s hothouses

Rapporteurs presented recaps of key themes that emerged from the previous day’s mini-hothouses, including opportunities for joint problem-solving, applied and theoretical research agendas, and challenges that emerge from these discussions.

Moderator: James Cockayne, Delta 8.7
Presenters: Todd Landman (Rights Lab), Zoe Trodd (Rights Lab), Davina Durgana (Walk Free Foundation), Hannah Darnton (Tech Against Trafficking), Kilian Moote (Know The Chain) and Paul Jones (Turing Institute)


Towards a pipeline – technology, techniques and training

Moderator: Hannah Darnton, Tech Against Trafficking
Intervention 1: Is AI a silver bullet? – Anjali Mazumder, Turing Institute/ Carnegie Mellon
Intervention 2: Common data collection and taxonomy protocols – Harry Cook, IOM
Intervention 3: Getting the tech community involved – Phil Bennett, Founding Member, Tech Against Trafficking
Intervention 4: Data trusts – Steve Anning, British Army
DiscussantNadya Bliss, ASU         

Creating incentives for action – research, regulation and rewards

Moderator: Zoe Trodd, Rights Lab
Intervention 1: Encouraging innovation: the role of government and the academy – Keith Marzullo, Dean, iSchool University of Maryland College Park
Intervention 2: Developing a shared research agendaDan Lopresti, CCC
Intervention 3: Purpose over profit? The role of businessSophia Tu, IBM
Discussant: James Cockayne, Delta 8.7

How can we advance collaborative problem-solving?

This final session provided an opportunity for all participants to discuss how collaborative problem-solving involving computational science to accelerate progress towards Target 8.7 could be advanced.  

Moderator: James Cockayne, Delta 8.7
Discussants: Members of the Code 8.7 Organizing Committee


Economics, Business Regulation and Supply Chains

Promise and Limits of Remote Monitoring in Addressing Forced and Child Labour

Leanne Melnyk, Phoebe Ewen, Sophie Zinser, Hannah Thinyane
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Survivor and Victim Support

Symposium: Protecting Children from Exploitation during the COVID-19 Pandemic

Amanda Bissex, Eshani Ruwanpura, Ramya Subrahmanian, Aniruddha Kulkarni, Claudia Cappa
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Measurement and Statistical Methods

Why Data: The Importance of Systematizing Data Capture

Ayesha Lissanevitch , Sophie Otiende
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Survivor and Victim Support

Human Trafficking and the COVID-19 Pandemic: A Public Health Perspective

Laura T. Murphy, Jordan Greenbaum, HEAL Trafficking, Hanni Stoklosa
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Economics, Business Regulation and Supply Chains

Promise and Limits of Remote Monitoring in Addressing Forced and Child Labour

Leanne Melnyk, Phoebe Ewen, Sophie Zinser, Hannah Thinyane
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Development Assistance

Symposium: A Multidisciplinary Model Toward Preventing and Eradicating Child Labour in the Agricultural Sector

World Vision
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