More than 30 million people throughout the world are trapped in various forms of slavery. GEOINT is playing a significant role in helping combat such human rights atrocities.

DigitalGlobe recently released a video, titled “Seeing Freedom,” which chronicles how in 2015 the company used satellite imagery to help free men enslaved on fishing boats in the South Pacific Ocean. The video discusses how the company received a phone call from an Associated Press reporter who was investigating fishing boats enslaving men for labor. The fishing boats the reporter was investigating had turned off their GPS while at sea, making them virtually impossible to locate.

DigitalGlobe worked with the reporter to gather information and tasked its WorldView-3 satellite to pinpoint the locations of the boats. The satellite imagery was able to reveal enough details to produce evidence of enslaved labor. The Associated Press brought this information to the Indonesian government, which enabled their Navy to rescue 2,000 enslaved men and arrest their captors.

“This is one of the rare times, maybe even the only time, where we’ve actually put a face to the lives we’ve saved,” Jeffrey Tarr, DigitalGlobe president and CEO, said in the video.

Read trajectory’s Q4 2016 cover story “Modern Slavery” to learn more about the application of geospatial technology in the fight against human trafficking.

Photo Credit: DigitalGlobe 

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Posted by Lindsay Tilton Mitchell

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