Harnessing Technology for Good - 6Degree.org
On 23 June 2015, IOM and Microsoft launched 6Degree.org, the world’s first crowdfunding portal that enables the public to directly support the voluntary return and reintegration of individual human trafficking victims. Just 15 days later, 13 people from around the world had fully funded the portal's first case. 6Degree tells each survivor’s story through interactive story maps. This method protects the survivor’s identity and yet tells a compelling story. And it works: In the first month alone, over 68 potential donors have registered on 6Degree. The interactive maps, built on top of Microsoft’s Bing Maps, allow potential donors to follow the journey of each former victim, with significant milestones illustrated by clickable icons. When clicked, the user is presented with a narrative elaborating on the survivor’s experience at that point in their journey.
The development of 6Degree was led by IOM X, IOM’s new campaign to encourage safe migration and public action to stop exploitation and human trafficking, produced in partnership with USAID. As a result of IOM and Microsoft’s high-profile launch event in Bangkok on 23 June, 6Degree received mention in more than 50 publications globally, in three languages, reaching millions of potential donors. On 21 July, a video about 6Degree was screened to over 12,000 Microsoft staff members who packed a 12,000-seat stadium in Orlando, Florida, during a staff retreat. On 30 July, 22 IOM offices around the world marked World Day Against Trafficking in Persons by sharing information about 6Degree online. The traction 6Degree is gaining -- through traditional and social media; within IOM and Microsoft; and among the general public -- is testament to the fact that people want to take action against human trafficking; they just need to be shown how.