A group of government agencies and private foundations has set up a competition with $500,000 in prize money that will be awarded for the best technology solutions to combat the use of slave labor.

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With more than a million apps in the Apple and Android stores, it would be easy to assume we are nearing the limit of developers to come up with new creations. That would be a mistake.

The latest example: apps aimed at fighting human trafficking. Yes, they exist and more are emerging as social entrepreneurs try to use technology to battle what they see as the forces of evil.

A group of government agencies and private foundations calling themselves Partnership for Freedom has set up a “Rethink Supply Chains” contest. Prize money of $500,000 will be awarded for the best technology solutions to combat the use of slave labor. Finalists will be announced next month.

Rising awareness among global companies of labor abuses and new laws requiring steps to ensure fair-labor practices across supply chains are spurring a new industry for technologies that help them enforce supplier rules. The challenge also intends to lure innovators who are working on related technologies, said Catherine Chen, director in charge of investments at Humanity United, a key supporter of the challenge.

“In many instances, they have already been addressing issues that are analogous,” Chen said. “That could be conflict minerals, that could be tracking the source of E. coli, mobile money, digital payments — those kinds of things. We wanted to get that community of problem solvers to focus their talents on this particular challenge.”

Humanity United is the social-welfare organization started by Pam and Pierre Omidyar, eBay’s founder, in 2005. Goldman Sachs Group’s 10,000 Women initiative and Steven Spielberg’s Righteous Persons Foundation are also supporting the challenge.

LaborVoices, a Sunnyvale, Calif.-based venture, is entering the challenge with an app that allows workers to report abuses simply and anonymously using a voice-activated smartphone app. Made in a Free World, a 5-year-old startup that’s built a database of labor-abuse risk factors for global supply chains, offers an app designed to let small and medium-sized enterprises use its data more easily.

Laborvoices Smartline, a voice-operated app that lets workers anonymously share feedback on working conditions, is also participating.

Kohl Gill, a San Francisco-based entrepreneur and semiconductor physicist who worked on the human-trafficking issue at the State Department, founded Laborvoices in 2010 after coming up with the idea of using mobile phones to help workers report working conditions.

Laborvoices works with garment maker Reliable Source Industrial, a supplier to Nike, Victoria’s Secret and Under Armour with factories in China, Cambodia, Bangladesh, Indonesia and Taiwan. Gill’s organization is helping the company monitor its own production and subcontractors by providing workers with a voice-activated mobile app to report labor abuses.

“We are creating these persistent, reliable reputations for employers, so that workers can vote with their feet,” Gill said, adding this lets people who are in the best position to see human trafficking respond directly without waiting for government or other authorities.