Hacking for Freedom

Sunday, October 28, 2018 at 8:00am to 5:00pm

R&D Commons 32 Vassar Street, Cambridge, MA 02139

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, will be co-hosting a hackathon with the MIT Innovation Initiative to stop human trafficking on October 27–28, 2018.

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
Event Type

Community Event

Events By Interest

Academic, Entrepreneurship, General

Events By Audience

Public, MIT Community





MIT Innovation Initiative


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