Google Earth Is Trying To Help Stop Slavery In India

Aug 04, 2017 at 12:02 PM ET

Can Google Earth help end slavery?

With more than 18 million people in India believed to be living in slavery, researchers are investigating the practice by analyzing Google Earth images of the country.

The researchers and volunteers are searching for brick-making kilns in the “brick belt” region of Northern India that are notorious for using forced labor. The area spans 1,500 miles, so it’s difficult to track conditions on the ground. That’s why researchers at the University of Nottingham are using volunteers who log onto the “Slavery From Space” website and help identify brick kiln sites.

The aim is to gather verified locations that use forced labor, provide the information to the government and aid workers.

Even though India banned bonded labor, the most common form of modern slavery worldwide, in 1976, technology could hopefully provide a solution to end slavery there permanently.