Code 8.7 Outputs & Events

History of Code 8.7

Code 8.7 began as a meeting to discover how computational science and artificial intelligence can be used to achieve Target 8.7 of the UN Sustainable Development Goals. Lack of data and data fragmentation were recognized as major barriers in the anti-slavery movement, and Code 8.7 sought to bring together various stakeholders in the battle against modern slavery to address the data issue in unique and non-traditional ways.

June 2021 — CCC / Code 8.7 Applying AI in the Fight Against Modern Slavery Workshop Report Released

Following the March 2020 workshop that brought together over 50 members of the computing research community along with anti-slavery practitioners and survivors, the CCC / Code 8.7 Applying AI in the Fight Against Modern Slavery Workshop Report is now available. This report presents a research roadmap aimed at applying AI to the fight against human trafficking:

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February 2021 — AI for Good Summit: AI to Prevent Modern Slavery, Human Trafficking and Forced and Child Labour

On 24 February 2021, organized by ITU with XPRIZE Foundation in partnership with over 35 sister United Nations agencies, Switzerland and ACMITU, members of the Code 8.7 Organizing Committee came together to discuss promising research avenues within AI and Computational Science in which application of these technologies are supporting SDG Target 8.7.

Moderated by Alice Eckstein, Modern Slavery Programme Manager at UN University Centre for Policy Research, the webinar brought together Nadya T Bliss from Arizona State University Global Security Initiative, Doreen Boyd and James Goulding from University of Nottingham and Anjali Mazumder from The Alan Turing Institute.

Watch and listen to the webinar here:

March 2020 — Workshop 

On 3-4 March 2020, Code 8.7 and the Computing Community Consortium visioning workshop, organized in collaboration with Code 8.7 brought together members of the computing research community along with anti-slavery practitioners and survivors to lay out a research roadmap aimed at applying AI to the fight against human trafficking. Building on the kickoff Code 8.7 conference held at the UN in February 2019, the focus for this event was to link the ambitious goals outlined in the 20-Year Community Roadmap for AI Research to challenges vital in achieving the UN’s Target 8.7.

June 2019 — Organizing Committee Meeting

The Code 8.7 Organizing Committee was hosted at the offices of The Alan Turing Institute in London on 10-11 June 2019. The Committee met to set an agenda for Code 8.7 as a community of intent, and to consider how to institutionalize and organize Code 8.7.

The group deliberated for two days on questions of mission, goals, strategy, activities, resourcing and governance. It had VTC conversations with Maxar (a satellite imagery company) and Harry Cook (IOM / CTDC) and considered written inputs from the Global Fund to End Modern Slavery and the Minderoo Foundation. Representatives of AnnieCannons were invited but were unable to attendKey Takeaways from the June OC Meeting in London along with ten decisions made by the Organizing Committee to move Code 8.7 forward into 2020 can be found below:

February 2019 — Code 8.7 Conference

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.

The event examined the value of machine learning to the anti-slavery community, how best to combine Big Data and Small Data, the possibilities of information and communications technology (ICT) for survivor self-identification and the roles of satellite remote sensing, crowd-computing and open digital maps to better visualize slavery locations. Throughout the two days of plenary sessions and hothouses, there were conversations around the biases found in data, the need to understand modern slavery prevalence, how to use financial data to identify trafficking and the role of survivors as subjects and researchers.

The February 2019 Conference Report, videos and each session’s rapporteur overview can all be found below:


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

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Forced Labour Import Bans: What Does the Evidence Tell Us?

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Domestic Slave Labour in Brazil

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Indigenous Peoples and the Anti-Trafficking Sector’s Blind Spot

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