Can we really end human trafficking?

January 17, 2024
Jeremy Vallerand

At Atlas Free, we often talk (and dream) about ending human trafficking. This often prompts the question, “Do we really think we can do it?"

People will say things like: “Prostitution is the oldest profession, and you think you can end sex trafficking?” To which I reply… “No, prostitution is the oldest oppression… the oldest profession is probably gardening. And yes, we believe we can end sex trafficking as we know it.” Let me explain.

Human trafficking is a massive global issue, in large part because it is a very low-risk and very high-reward crime. Traffickers can make a lot of money and are very unlikely to be punished for doing so. And as long as that is the case, trafficking will continue to flourish. But, if we can change the equation and make trafficking a high-risk and low-reward crime, we can put sex trafficking out of business.

Let’s be clear: we are not saying that we think we can change all the hearts of human beings so that no one ever wants to harm another person. Unfortunately, there will always be people who are willing to exploit others if it remains an easy, low-risk way to make a lot of money or indulge a sexual fantasy. The good news is that it is not rocket science to dismantle the business of sexual exploitation. When traffickers and buyers are held accountable for breaking the law, the risk increases and the reward decreases, and behavior changes. 

Right now, in the United States (and most countries worldwide), we rarely prosecute traffickers. To give you an idea of how unlikely it is to be prosecuted for trafficking, here are three things that are more likely to happen to you:

  1. You’re more likely to be struck by lightning than prosecuted for human trafficking.
  2. You’re more likely to be drafted into the NFL than prosecuted for human trafficking.
  3. You’re more likely to report having a personal encounter with Bigfoot than be prosecuted for human trafficking. 

As long as that’s the case, we should not wonder why human trafficking is the fastest-growing criminal enterprise on the planet. If someone doesn’t care about the exploitation of women and children, and wants to make large amounts of money, human trafficking currently appears to be a viable option. But when laws are enforced, and cultural norms that turn a blind eye to exploitation are confronted, that changes.

We believe that we can make human trafficking a bad business. And Atlas Free is bad for business when it comes to traffickers’ pockets—but we need your help.

We can create communities and initiatives where traffickers and buyers are exposed and held accountable. Today, it is profitable to buy and sell people. But we can make it dangerous, foolish, reckless, and unsustainable.

Together, we can put sex trafficking out of business. Right now, we’re looking for 20 incredible people to join our group of monthly givers, Team Freedom, to make business bad for traffickers. When you give just $20 a month, you can help free an average of 20 people every single week. Will you consider giving monthly today? 

By Jeremy Vallerand
CEO & President, Atlas Free

For more human trafficking news and updates, follow Jeremy on Instagram and LinkedIn

P.S. You can get our sticker with two things worth believing in: Bigfoot, and a world free from exploitation. Shop our Bigfoot sticker available now.