Sex trafficking makes the world unsafe for 5 million women and girls around the globe—that’s 78% of all detected victims.

When it’s a girl, it’s an opportunity for human traffickers, but girls deserve the chance to make their own opportunities.

It's hard to imagine life without freedom, but that is the reality for millions.

That's why since 2012, we've made it our mission to put sexual exploitation out of business. Not only does human trafficking remove our most basic human rights, but it prevents children from getting an education and women from employment opportunities, damages the economy, affects public health, and harms families. Freedom means dignity, hope, health, and safety, especially for women and children. We're here to make that happen.

Unless people like you choose to do something, the cycle will continue.

We know that effective work requires effective people, so we work with local experts who understand the vulnerabilities in their communities and culture best. Where we don't see a program in place, we build what's needed and share the knowledge with others to elevate the whole movement.

Knowledge is Power

Educating yourself about human trafficking turns your passion into advocacy. Learn more about sex trafficking, and become a part of the solution. Click to download the resource we made to get you started.

What does every victim of human trafficking have in common? Vulnerability.

But freedom is changing everything for women like Claudia, Priyanka, and Chesa. Read their stories.

Knowing the facts is a good place to start.

What is human trafficking?

Human trafficking is the abuse of men, women, and children for profit; it is the use of force, fraud, or coercion to compel a person into commercial sex or labor.

Worldwide, human trafficking is the fastest-growing criminal enterprise, generating $236 billion in illegal profit. That's more profit than McDonald's, PepsiCo, and Disney combined.

What is sex trafficking?

Sex trafficking is when someone uses force, lies, or intimidation to cause another person to perform a commercial sex act.

Sex trafficking is the practice of illegally transporting people from one country or area to another for the purpose of sexual exploitation.

It is the act of profiting from the exploitation of men, women, and children through prostitution, pornography, public or private sexual exhibition, public or private exhibitions of a sexual nature, sex tourism or any other paid sexual activity.

Where does sex trafficking happen?

Sex trafficking happens in every country in every part of the world—no community is immune. Sex trafficking happens in homes, schools, legal and illegal brothels, illicit massage parlors, hotels, strip clubs, cantinas, escort services, street prostitution, online sex acts, pornography, and any other place where traffickers and buyers can think of.

Who is affected by human trafficking?

We believe that everyone is affected by trafficking. Trafficking affects communities and individuals, and it ultimately affects us all because we can all feel the impact in one way or another. If one is not free, then none of us are free.

What is commercial sexual exploitation?

Commercial Sexual Exploitation (CSE) is a phrase similar to sex trafficking and is used globally to describe trafficking crimes where the primary form of forced labor is in sexual services.

Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children (CSEC) specifically applies the conditions of CSE to people under the age of 18.

Exploiters take advantage of differences in age, race, gender, sexual orientation, or social and economic power to sexually exploit more vulnerable people. Commercial sex markets—prostitution, pornography, sugaring, sex tourism, etc.—were built upon and perpetuate inequity and violence against our most marginalized populations.

Who is targeted?

Traffickers target the vulnerable and thrive in vulnerabilities such as youth, political instability, conflict, systemic discrimination, poverty, prior victimization such as child sexual abuse or trauma, substance abuse, lack of housing, lack of education, generational exploitation, migrants, and racism.

How does Atlas Free fight sexual exploitation and trafficking?

We intervene, prevent, advocate, and disrupt sex trafficking and exploitation. Since freedom and exploitation look different in every region, so does our strategy. Our global network understands the vulnerabilities of sex trafficking and exploitation, which makes the network effective at comprehensively combatting the issue. 

What makes your work or approach unique?

We value proven solutions in the local context. See how we work here.

What makes your work holistic?

In collaboration with a global network, we have built a holistic framework that addresses essential issues in four key areas to resource the fight against sex trafficking and exploitation. See how we work here.

Do you only work with local partners?

No, that's part of what makes our work scalable and unique. We also initiate new projects when we can’t find a sustainable solution in a given country or region. We invest in what's working and build what's missing. See more here.

Why do you work with local partners?

We believe in local expression and a contextual approach to tackling unique problems in a given country or region. Those who are cultural experts and instigators of change are our best chance at ending sexual exploitation. Learn more here.

How do you choose how and where to fight sex trafficking?

We watch global trends, study cultures, pay attention to governments and legislators, learn from successful programming, and invest in what is already working. See more here.

Every day, millions of men, women, and children are victims of forced commercial sexual exploitation, bought and sold for sex.
Globally, human trafficking is the fastest-growing illegal enterprise, generating $236 billion in profit— that's more than Walmart, Visa, Amazon, Google, and Apple combined. [International Labour Organization: 2024]
The vast majority, 78 percent, of sex trafficking victims are women and girls. [ILO: 2022]
Children represent 35% of trafficking victims.
[UNODC 2020]