Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland Coláiste Ríoga na Máinleá in Éirinn

RCSI part of team presenting at the White House in Washington D.C. at Forum to Tackle Human Trafficking

10 April 2013
Ms. Mary Aiken, CyberPsychologist and Research Fellow at the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (RCSI) Institute of Leadership presented as part of an academic team yesterday evening at the White House in Washington at the Obama Administration's Forum to Combat Human Trafficking.

Mary Aiken, CyberPsychologist, RCSI Institute of Leadership.

The RCSI contribution to the team presenting at the Forum focused on the new area of forensic cyber-psychology. The proposals presented at the Forum are part of a series of technology based concepts which are aimed at tackling the growing international problem of human trafficking. This is one of a number of international projects involving Irish researchers and Ireland is rapidly becoming a leading centre in the emerging discipline of CyberPsychology.

Ms. Mary Aiken, CyberPsychologist and RCSI Research Fellow said "These proposals conceptualize cyber augmented potential solutions to human trafficking, particularly trafficking facilitated by cyber technologies. This problem is not confined to the USA, with more than 20 million victims of human trafficking around the world; it is an issue of global importance. RCSI, as an international organisation dedicated to education and research in healthcare, is proud to play its part in addressing this critical humanitarian issue."

Mary Aiken presented at the White House with Steve Chan, Network Scientist and Senior Research Fellow at MIT and the Harvard Kennedy School.

At the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) in September 2012, President Barrack Obama said "We are turning the tables on the traffickers. Just as they are now using technology and the Internet to exploit their victims, we're going to harness technology to stop them".

The aim of the Forum is to highlight the progress that has been made to combat human trafficking since President Obama delivered his speech on the fight to end trafficking at the CGI in September 2012.

The White House Forum to Combat Human Trafficking brought together advocates, service providers, researchers and academics, business leaders, faith leaders, leaders in the technology community, law enforcement, local, state and federal government leaders to discuss strategies for countering trafficking in persons.

Professor Ciaran O'Boyle, Director of the RCSI Institute of Leadership, said "Human trafficking is an area of growing concern and one of the major goals of RCSI is to engage with the national and international community and to conduct and disseminate research for the benefit of human health.

The team from RCSI, MIT and Harvard was formed following a technology and trafficking meeting convened in Washington in July 2012, by the White House Office for Science and Technology and the Council on Women and Girls.