The Institute for anti-trafficking Innovation

The Institute for Anti-Trafficking Innovation (IATI) seeks to influence the innovation and adoption of evidence-based models and the practice of continual evaluation and improvement. IATI’s pillars of learning, thinking, applying, and sharing are the backbone of our work across the trafficking cycle – from exploring best practices in prevention, to ensuring that aftercare programs do not create unintentional harm.

Why we do what we do

Much of the past 20 years of the modern anti-trafficking movement has been responsive rather than proactive; ideological rather than empirical.

From its beginnings focused on protecting children from sexual exploitation came a movement that viewed people as victims not survivors, treated adults as incapable of agency, and narrowed the scope of the problem to sex trafficking of females, with rescue the only response.

Later, as the need for aftercare became evident, programs were reactive to immediate needs but did not consider best practices in terms of residential vs. non-residential care, the need for trauma-informed practice, the role of stigma in the process of reintegration, or the challenge of sustainably and holistically transforming communities to address root causes behind exploitation and re-exploitation.

More recently, the movement has focused on much-needed prevention, but actions marketed as prevention are not proven to be effective and, worse, many of the practices (e.g. residential homes for prevention) have been shown to be demonstrably harmful by other sectors in the development world, actually making people more vulnerable to trafficking and exploitation.

Victims deserve better
At-risk communities deserve better
Anti-trafficking workers deserve better
Donors deserve better
The movement deserves better

Our Vision for the Movement

We envision an anti-trafficking movement that:

  • enables all people to have a thriving existence, with access to resources that empower them to meet their physical, mental, and social needs and to be resilient in the face of crisis
  • ensures that anti-trafficking efforts are evidence-based and effective, addressing the societal conditions that drive exploitation, human trafficking, and modern slavery
  • encourages the movement to become more self-aware, self-critical, willing to learn, and constantly innovating in the face of changing reality

To secure these goals, IATI is dedicated to catalyzing a professional, evidence-based response to human trafficking through our four pillars of learning, thinking, applying, and sharing.

Our Primary Values

Value

Every person has equal value. We aim to inspire a movement that sees value in every person and is committed to providing necessary social support to people before exploitation, trafficking, or slavery can occur.

Innovation

Vulnerability, exploitation, human trafficking, and slavery cannot be eradicated without new, innovative strategies that prioritize systemic solutions and interventions that address situations of vulnerability before harm occurs.

Iteration

Change is constant and inevitable. As the problems of exploitation, trafficking and slavery evolve, the anti-trafficking movement must adopt an iterative process that strategically and systematically tests and evaluates existing programs as well as new ideas and pilot programs.

 

Principles That Guide Our Work

 

Ensuring Safety

We endeavor to create a safe, healthy working environment for our staff, advisors, and partners. We are committed to building an organization that values cultural humility and mutual accountability.

Intentionality

We make careful, intentional decisions as we choose our advisors and partner organizations and design our projects. We believe it is more important to do the right thing with great care than to “just do something” out of an emotional response or moral panic.

Building Bridges

We aim to facilitate the emergence of an interconnected, evidence-based anti-trafficking movement where practitioners, academics, and donors have access to the latest research, professional training, and necessary funding to adequately address the complexity of human trafficking.

Core Belief

Shared Learning

We believe that transparently sharing the process of learning, thinking about, and applying evidence-based concepts with the anti-trafficking community is essential to building trust in the outcomes and key learnings from our projects.

Shifting attention, policy, investment, and prevention efforts toward root cause issues requires transparency, trust, and the inclusion of stakeholders in the learning and research process.

We believe that it is not enough to share final data and outcomes, we must share and model an intentional approach to learning, thinking, and applying evidence that is applicable and understandable to academics, practitioners, community leaders, and donors. We must model a way of thinking about the problem and the development of evidence-based solutions that prioritizes community and stakeholder involvement.

About Our Founders

The Institute for Anti-Trafficking Innovation was founded out of a desire to see the anti-trafficking movement embrace the complexity of the problem and develop evidence-based solutions to address the root causes of vulnerability that lead to exploitation, human trafficking, and modern slavery.

Christa Foster Crawford, J.D.

Founder and CEO

Christa Foster Crawford, J.D., is the founder of Freedom Resource International. She is an international consultant providing resources and expert advice to empower the anti-trafficking movement for greater effectiveness. Since 2001, Christa has lived in Thailand working to end exploitation at both the grassroots and policy levels with the United Nations, International Justice Mission, and as co-founder of Just Food, Inc./The Garden of Hope. She is currently a principal consultant of Freedom Resource International and helps direct the Center for Human Rights Law at Payap University, and is co-chair of the Joint Learning Initiative’s Anti-Trafficking and Modern Slavery Hub.

Christa develops curriculum, teaches academic courses, and delivers practitioner training on topics ranging from understanding of macro-level dynamics to best practices for response. A professional speaker, she has also authored and edited numerous books, chapters, and articles, including Combatting Human Trafficking in Asia published by the United Nations. With Glenn Miles, she co-edits a book series that includes Stopping the Traffick and Finding Our Way through the Traffick.

Christa holds a J.D. from Harvard Law School and a B.A. in Philosophy & Public Affairs from Claremont McKenna College. A lifelong learner, she has done graduate work in Children at Risk/Development and short courses on a variety of subjects relevant to understanding and responding to exploitation.

Bryon Lippincott, M.A.

Co-Founder

Bryon Lippincott, M.A., is the co-founder and creative director of Sharing Dots, a boutique creative agency specializing in strategic communications consulting and media production for NGOs in Asia. He has partnered with more than 100 organizations and individuals in 13 countries. He specializes in the areas of child vulnerability, anti-trafficking, and media and communication ethics. Previously, he was the co-founder and CEO of 5DayDeal an internet retail start-up that has donated more than $2.5 million to charitable causes since 2015.

Bryon holds an M.A. in Strategic Communication from California Baptist University. He is a serial entrepreneur, skilled in the development and incubation of business and nonprofit ventures, and helping organizations maximize the impact of their programs and communications.

Bryon helps organizations and individuals develop strategic frameworks for change and articulate how their visionary thinking empowers individuals and transforms communities. His passions are to see people suffering from marginalization and vulnerability experience safe and abundant lives within healthy communities, and to helping organizations represent their beneficiaries in ways that honor their dignity and respect their value as human beings.

Our Strategic Advisors

We rely on their depth of knowledge, personal values, and ethical standards to guide us as we pursue our goals of industry transformation.

Glenn M. Miles, Ph.D.

Glenn M. Miles, Ph.D., has over 30 years of experience researching, training, mentoring, and advocating for children in Southeast Asia as a leader of international NGOs and as an independent researcher and academic advisor. He has pioneered several INGOs, developed several toolkits to aid in reducing the sexual exploitation of children, conducted research projects studying the vulnerabilities of sexually-exploited children and young people including boys, young men, and transgender individuals, and conducted research into the demand for commercial sex that leads to exploitation. He is also academic advisor for the Chab Dai Longitudinal Butterfly Project, which completed its tenth year in 2020, the findings of which are published in a dedicated edition of the Dignity Journal.

Glenn holds a Ph.D. in Childhood Studies, an M.Sc. in International Maternal and Child Health, and a PGCE–PCET Graduate Certificate in Adult Education. He is a researcher, professor, author, trainer, and practitioner. Currently, he is a senior researcher for up! International and has been a lecturer at Swansea University, Wales, UK. He also teaches courses on Holistic Child Development at graduate programs in APNTS, Philippines and ETI, Ethiopia. Glenn’s extensive publications include the book Celebrating Children: Equipping People Working with Children and Young People Living in Difficult Circumstances around the World and, with Christa Foster Crawford, a book series that includes Stopping the Traffick and Finding Our Way through the Traffick.

Glenn has a special concern for marginalized sexual minorities and facilitates research with trafficked and prostituted men, boys, and transgender individuals, as well as male clients. He has developed resources including the Celebrating Children training curriculum for Viva, the Tearfund karaoke video series, the “Good Touch Bad Touch” child education program, and the “Asian Youth Against Porn” flipcharts.

 

Debbie Kramlich, Ph.D.

Debbie Kramlich, Ph.D., is the Founder and Director of Cultural Mosaic, LLC where she uses the framework of belonging to consult with universities, schools, and organizations to help them create culturally-humble cultures where diversity is appreciated, and students, employees, customers, and beneficiaries experience belonging. Her work has particular significance and application for organizations that are working with individuals and groups that experience a profound lack of belonging in their communities and in their interactions with aid organizations due to marginalization, discrimination, and exclusion resulting from identity factors beyond their control.

Debbie also coaches professors and teachers in navigating culturally-diverse contexts and creating environments where students experience belonging in their classrooms. Her work also equips families and students living cross culturally with their educational journey. Having lived outside her own home culture for more than 30 years, she is passionate about helping others to find belonging and flourish in cross-cultural settings.

Debbie holds an M.A in TEFL/ICS and a Ph.D. in Educational Leadership. She lectures on Intercultural Communication, Educational Theories and Instructional Design, as well as Transformative Adult Education in Intercultural Settings in universities in Europe and Asia. Additionally, she is a postdoctoral research associate at Payap University where she is researching and publishing around multiculturalism, transformative learning, transformative listening, and belonging.

Debbie’s scholarly articles and book chapters include “The Foreign Language Classroom as a Transformative Response to Unique Needs of Migrants and Refugees”  She has also been interviewed by the Journal of Transformative Learning.

Ethics Statement

We believe that ethical thinking and ethical behavior must be the cornerstones of any effort to prevent injustice, exploitation, trafficking, or slavery. To that end we pledge the following:

 

  • To first create a professional, respectful atmosphere in our organization where empathy, dignity, and kindness are the foundations of every interaction and conversation.
  • To embrace and promote an understanding of human trafficking that recognizes the complexity of the issue and the interconnected relationships between exploitation, human trafficking, and modern slavery.
  • To prioritize the agency and capacity of survivors and people-at-risk in all aspects of the anti-trafficking movement.
  • To maintain the highest standards of ethical storytelling, and to prioritize individual, family, and community privacy to reduce the risks of stigmatization, discrimination, and exclusion for survivors and those who could be perceived as survivors.
  • To endeavor to improve public and political perception of people, families, and communities facing vulnerability, marginalization, and exploitation and to increase public and political will to intervene in situations of vulnerability and marginalization.
  • To be revolutionary in our thinking and empathetic in our relationships and organizational culture.