But it does mean traffickers and victims leave permanent traces which can help police to identify them, Europol added.
“Traffickers are using the scale and popularity of online services to essentially hide in plain sight,” he said.
“Even if we identified all traffickers or victims online, law enforcement and social services lack the manpower and resources to effectively respond,” added Latonero, who is also a fellow at the U. (Additional reporting by Ellen Wulfhorst in New York, Editing by Belinda Goldsmith; The Thomson Reuters Foundation, the charitable arm of Thomson Reuters, covers humanitarian news, women’s rights, trafficking, corruption and climate change.
To combat traffickers, experts say more children should be targeted in public awareness campaigns through social media, and vulnerable children encouraged to speak to trustworthy people.
Facebook said its users are encouraged to report content that violates its policies, including any connected to human trafficking, while teenagers are given additional safety and privacy features on their accounts which block public searches.
“This kind of thing happens all the time,” said Paris, whose network has led to more than 350 trafficking cases since 2011 and identified about 650 trafficking victims.