Tag: smartphone technology

Free the Slaves uses mobile technology to spread hope in India

A new pilot outreach program is using the high penetration of phones in the country to reach enslaved people.

Free the Slaves recently launched in India. It is still in its pilot phase, but it is already connecting with people throughout the country. It uses the knowledge that smartphones and mobile technology have reached tremendous penetration among Indian families to spread basic labor rights information.

The goal is to reach out to enslaved people in India and give them hope through readily available tech.

The Free the Slaves (FTS) outreach program pilot tested with Kaarak Enterprise Development Services. It is meant to educate and increase hope in at-risk rural communities. The goal is to connect with villagers who have a heightened vulnerability to debt bondage slavery and human trafficking. As there is typically at least one phone per family, mobile technology has become the natural vehicle for communicating with these people.

Free the Slaves - Hands in chainsThe program pilot comprised four messages written in Bhojpuri. That local language was selected as it is the most common among the people in Uttar Pradesh state. Over a span of 28 days, people in 192 communities were called and sent these messages over mobile technology.

The Free the Slaves messages shared information and awareness about bonded labor slavery and labor rights.

One of the messages said: “You must be paid as much as you deserve and you should be able to understand how payment works.” Another said: “Since the Bonded Labor Act, it is illegal to force someone to work as a slave because of their caste, under threat of violence or without pay.”

The villagers receiving the messages also learned about government rehabilitation and relief programs available to them. They underscored the importance of vigilance among community members. They also promoted the FTS program itself as well as the MSEMVS organization which works with communities to provide slavery resistance. It also offers support for slavery and sex trafficking survivors.

The Free the Slaves messages concluded with a caution about the risks associated with migrating for employment. They provided tips for avoiding traffickers in the first place. The reception to these messages was highly positive and community members welcomed them. Follow-up efforts with focus groups showed that 92 percent of community members learned something new and found the information very helpful to them. Another 79 percent felt the information was applicable to their own situations. Many of the people did not know that bonded labor was illegal in India until they heard the messages.

Mobile technology and Millennial habits spike American pollster anxiety

Predictions with regards to who would win the Spanish, Israeli and U.K. elections were way off.

During the most recent elections in the United Kingdom, Spain and Israel, pollsters called the outcomes quite firmly and yet they were incredibly wrong and the belief is that the same mistakes may be headed to the U.S. due to mobile technology and the lack of understanding of the Millennial lifestyle.

Still, American pollsters are trying their hardest to avoid those mistakes during the 2016 campaign.

According to the president of the American Association for Public Opinion Research, Mollyann Brodie, who is also responsible for overseeing polling at the Kaiser Family Foundation, “There are a lot of people working hard to make sure similar mis-steps don’t happen here.” However, she and other experts in the field – agree that the pollsters across the United States are currently up against some extremely complicated challenges with regards to their methodologies. These challenges are about as tough as they’ve been since mobile technology first hit the mainstream.

Millennials use their mobile technology to screen calls, throwing off the balance of understanding of voters.

Mobile Technology - Poll People in the Millennial generation don’t feel the urgency to pick up the phone when it rings, as has been the case in previous generations. When their mobile technology device rings, they use caller-ID to see who is on the other end, and they feel no obligation to pick up when it’s someone they don’t know, don’t want to talk to, or when they’re simply too busy to pick up.

This, combined with the declining accuracy of the “likely voter” models and swindling budgets have caused sample sizes to shrink dramatically. For this reason, the polls, this year, are facing considerable criticism. There is considerable risk that the predictions in the United States are as inaccurate as they have been elsewhere around the world, and that pollsters could find themselves feeling rather red-faced when the true outcomes are revealed.

A prime example of this challenge occurred when the chief strategist for Hillary Clinton, Joel Beneson tweeted “Seriously CNN?” in response to a poll result the network released, which showed the former secretary of state falling behind Bernie Sanders in Iowa (43-51). The reason for the lack of faith in the figures is that it was discovered that the sample used by CNN was made up primarily of men, and consisted of only slightly over 300 people – which is barely representative of a general population.