Hosted by: The Freedom Lab & MIT Innovation Initiative

Over 200,000 children are estimated to be sexually trafficked in the US each year

Join the fight and make an impact at Hacking for Freedom, a hackathon to stop sex trafficking on October 27–28 at MIT.

The Topic

Human Sex Trafficking Markets

The Problem

As human trafficking markets are estimated to be the third largest and fastest growing illicit market globally. Due to inherently hidden nature of these activities, measuring and tracking human trafficking market activity presents complex challenges and requires creative cross-disciplinary solutions.

The Challenge

Continuous tracking, measurement, and mapping of human sex trafficking markets.

The focus is on data analytics, using technology to understand the scope, prevalence, and complexity of sex trafficking systems in the US. Lack of accurate data and analytics is a major obstacle in assessing impact of policy, law enforcement initiatives and survivor services.

Technical solutions have the potential to be extraordinarily powerful given the increasingly extensive use of technology in this pattern of offending. However, the technical challenges are not trivial. At the same time, some of these groups are very low tech, which enables them to operate well below the radar. Challenges exist across nature, scope, prevalence and complexity. Different people — victims, facilitators, and consumers — are involved in trafficking for different reasons and in very different ways. With high levels of complexity, all these factors must be considered in addressing this challenge.

The Prizes

  • 1st Place in each track: $1,000
  • 2nd Place in each track: $500

Hacking for Freedom is co-organized by the MIT Innovation Initiative and The Freedom Lab, a laboratory for developing and testing innovative system-based counter human trafficking research, methods, cyber technologies, intelligence collection, and world altering ideas.

Read a blog post from The Freedom Lab co-founder Mirar Bristol EMBA ’17 on her work in counter-human trafficking, why repurposing technological innovations is critical to fighting against such crimes, and the role hackathons can play in searching for solutions.


Saturday, October 27, 2018

  • 09:00 am Workshop (optional)
  • 12:00 pm Registration & Networking Lunch
  • 01:00 pm Opening Remarks
  • 02:30 pm Teams Begin Hacking
  • 07:00 pm Dinner
  • 11:00 pm Hacking Ends

Sunday, October 28, 2018

  • 08:00 am Breakfast & Hack Resumes
  • 12:00 pm Lunch
  • 03:15 pm Final Pitches
  • 04:45 pm Break/Judges Deliberate
  • 05:00 pm Awards & Closing Remarks

MIT Stata Center / R&D Commons
32 Vassar St.
Cambridge, MA 02139

Questions? Contact

For more information, visit The Freedom Lab website