BeFree Social Cooperative on Violence Against Women, Trafficking in Human Beings and Discrimination

National Network

Via della Lungara 19
00165 Rome

+39 0664760799
+3906 64760799
E-Mail (2)
E-Mail (3)
Mobile Phone
+39 0664760799
Mobile Phone (other)
+39 3407167690
Organisation Type
Non-Governmental Organization
Year of Establishment
Fields of Activity
  1. Gender
  2. Human rights
  3. Research
General Information
BeFree Social Cooperative Against Violence and Discrimination was launched on February 27, 2007 to counter violence against women, gender-based discrimination, inequality and trafficking in human beings. To this end, BeFree provides services, advocacy, training, education, and outreach activities. BeFree is structured as a permanent “workshop” to develop and implement methodologies and practices of research, fieldwork, support, and assistance (legal, social, and psychological) to victims in a non-judgmental way. It operates with the conviction that victims cases represent living evidence of societal malfunctions which need to be addressed by the society as a whole and that demand to put the interests of the victims first in the respect, protection, and promotion of their human rights. BeFree is funded by government institutions 9at national and local levels), international organizations (UN Volountary Trust  Fund on Modern Forms of Slavery), and foundations (Opens Society Foundations and We World) through the adjudication of competitive grants. It is highly regarded and prominently consulted and featured by such institutions and the media as an indispensable interlocutor, and a source of expertise and excellence. Its permanent staff is composed of 21 members. BeFree also avails itself of a roster of consultants, including auditors and quality control specialists on an on-going basis. It is a member of of the European Women's Lobby and of the Inter-parlamentary Group on Human Trafficking. It is a member of the CEDAW NGOs platform and of the anti-trafficking campaign LasciateCIEntrare.
Mission and Objectives

BeFree’s objectives are the promotion and protection of women’s human rights, as well as the empowerment of both victims and protection actors through the provision of front-line services, research, advocacy and education. The cooperative aims at ensuring that gender rights are mainstreamed in policies and actions. BeFree works to change social perceptions of gender roles and dynamics in order to promote a culture of respect for diversity. It strives to promote protection for victims of human trafficking and ensure that perpetrators are brought to justice. To these ends, the cooperative regularly provides training courses to partners in government, educational institutions, civil society and the media.

Main Projects / Activities

BeFree runs four shelters in Central Italy: three for victims of violence against women and the fourth for victims of trafficking. It runs two help desks. The first (and only example in Italy) provides 24/7 counselling to victims of violence and is located within the emergency room of the hospital San Camillo Forlanini in Rome. The second is located within the Center of Identification and Expulsion of Rome where irregular migrants are detained. The cooperative's legal team assists victims and litigates cases on their behalf. BeFree promotes advocacy campaigns either on its own or in partnership with other organizations in civil society. It conducts research on the themes of its mandate and promotes recommendations stemming from this research with the government and international organizations (the UN, EU, Council of Europe, Organisations for Security Cooperation in Europe). It holds regular training courses for social operators, law enforcers, health specialists, academia, and other individuals from concerned civil society. It promotes gendere studies and culture through an annual summer school. It is regularly consulted by government institutions on the themes of violence against women, human trafficking and discrimination.

How can you contribute to the Network in your country?

BeFree can provide information and advocacy on the network's themes. It can facilitate contacts between network members and Italian partners. It can host events (conferences/lectures/ meetings) at the International House of Women in Rome --where BeFree is headquartered.

Why do you want to join the ALF Network?

Since 2013, BeFree has developed an international projects capacity. As a result, its international outreach has increased. However, the cooperative would like to extend its network beyond its traditional partners and interlocutors and liaise with like-minded organizations and networks.

Contact (1) Full Name
Loretta Bondi'
Job Title
Director, International Projects
Head of the organisation
Orietta Gargano, President
Contact (2) Full Name
Oria Gargano
Job Title (2)