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Atlas Free

Atlas Free exists to accelerate and resource the fight against sex trafficking and exploitation.

As a nonprofit, Atlas Free is building a global movement uniting funder, adventurers, and everyday people with the best local organizations in the world.

They specialize in finding and accelerating the most effective frontline initiatives and creating resources and tools to scale the fight against human trafficking.

For over a decade, Atlas Free has been chasing an ambitious goal—to create a global movement to stop sexual exploitation everywhere. Like an atlas, they build pathways that unite people and partners around the globe. While trafficking is a massive issue, they know what it takes to solve it, and every day, they see their strategy working thanks to a generous community of supporters and a leading team of local experts.

Human trafficking is one of the most pressing global issues of our time.

Today, there are more enslaved people than at any other time in history, with an estimated 4.8 million people bought and sold for sex (International Labor Organization, 2016). In fact, recent studies suggest that human trafficking has increased by 20% over the last 5 years. This massive injustice predominantly—and devastatingly—impacts women and children.

Human trafficking is a complex global problem that requires a strategic global solution.

Atlas Free exists to put sex trafficking and exploitation out of business. Eleven years ago Atlas Free set out to build a more strategic way to fight sex trafficking. A truly holistic solution requires both local and global solutions that address every element of the fight: the victims, the survivors, the traffickers, the buyers, the laws, the enforcement of those laws, and much more. Our experience was that no one organization can do everything to combat exploitation all around the world. But one organization can coordinate everything. By building a global network of partners who bring different areas of expertise, Atlas Free can build a unified global strategy to tackle this issue at scale. And by doing so, we can create a place where people can invest in more than just a single well-intentioned and compassionate program, they can invest in a global strategy that is committed to maximizing impact all around the world.

Over the last decade, that idea has come to life. Today Atlas Free operates in 25 countries, working alongside a global network of over 40 local partners with 250 unique programs.

Since 2012 they have seen our model unite strategies across borders and touch over 635,169 lives—each number representing a story, a voice, and a face. This movement matters because people matter. The heart of our work centers around our belief in people. Every man, woman, and child was created for freedom with innate dignity, worth, and value. Together we believe that we can stop traffickers, arm human dignity, and build a brighter future for survivors.

“We are determined to out-innovate, outwork, out-plan, out-strategize, and outlast traffickers. We believe that history is on our side. And we believe that God is on our side. Because He created all of us for freedom.”

-Jeremy Vallerand, CEO & President

What does this holistic strategy look like?

Since every atlas and map has a compass with four key directions, you can think about our strategy as four key areas uniting abolitionists across the globe and making a collective impact as we intervene, advocate, prevent, and disrupt.

  1. They intervene by building pathways out of exploitation. Last year, outreach impacted 4,068 women worldwide. Our aftercare services offer residential and non-residential services, including housing, legal counseling, medical consultations, vocational training, education, parenting skills, trauma-informed counseling, and therapy. A place for safety, community, and belonging that helps victims become survivors.
  2. They advocate by supporting or developing policies that strengthen the movement by implementing laws that curb the demand, protect the victims, and prosecute perpetrators. We are working diligently to support the groundwork to pass the first human trafficking law in Spain. In addition, we fund rigorous research in Sweden, Germany, Spain, and Latin America that provides essential data to bring about change.
  3. They prevent sex trafficking and exploitation by supporting education in vulnerable populations. Last year, 37,518 individuals received prevention education. A student reported a recruiter’s attempt to engage her through Facebook. The case went to the cyber police, and in turn, she was protected through the power of knowledge.
  4. They disrupt by breaking apart systems that perpetuate sex trafficking and exploitation. We advocate for accountability in the justice system. Mariana, a victim, unjustly accused of conspiracy to murder when her pimp took the life of her daughter, was supported by one of our local partners with legal representation, and professional testimony by a trauma expert.

This year alone, Atlas Free provided training to 17,363 law enforcement, judges, and legislators.

Sustainable, holistic work is locally led, solution-focused, and agile by nature. Great work requires great people, so they work with local experts in 26 countries who understand the vulnerabilities in their communities and cultures best. Where they don’t see a necessary program in place, we build it.

Where they work:

The team and their local partners are operating over 250 unique programs. Specializing in accelerating frontline solutions and creating resources and tools to strategically dismantle sex trafficking around the world. And it’s working.

Last year:

  • 615 women and children have been set free from sex trafficking.
  • 1,694 people, of which 895 are children, have been empowered with a life-changing education.
  • 8,077 attempts to purchase sex have been disrupted.
  • 4,068 people were impacted through online and in-person outreach
  • 1,250 people have been empowered with job training—576 people have been employed as a direct result.

635,169 people have been impacted through aftercare, prevention, outreach, awareness, and intervention programs since Atlas Free was founded in 2012.

Recent Impact Highlights:

The network includes one of the largest secure home networks in existence today. Sixty-six safe homes operate worldwide within that network to care for survivors, with children making up well over half of the residents. These homes include things like medical consultations, vocational training, education, life skills, parenting skills, trauma-informed counseling, legal counseling, and therapy. A place for safety, community, and belonging that helps victims become survivors.

They recently opened two new safe homes in Colombia that currently house 35 women and children. These families are fleeing desperate situations where they need safety, education, vocational training, and long-term support to heal from the trauma of sex trafficking and exploitation. The long-term care of children requires a strong financial commitment, as well as a commitment to responsibility, endurance, and sustainability.

This school year, 52 children and teenagers are enrolled and receiving an education. In Tijuana, Mexico, children of exploited women are often left vulnerable to the lure of traffickers, and the cycle of exploitation is repeated—girls are groomed for prostitution, and boys are groomed for pimping or drug peddling. After years of strategic outreach, Atlas Free Education was launched alongside our local partner, in order to intervene and stop the cycle of trafficking. Today more than 20 mothers attend parenting workshops with the goal of empowering them out of a life of exploitation.

Learn More & Get Involved

Source: Atlas Free, Accessed 2/20/23


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