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Sunday, 11 January 2015

January 11 World Human Trafficking Awareness Day - Yes In Our Backyard!

Kawartha Lakes Mums What Precautions Can You Take Against Human Trafficking? 

Human Trafficking is not just a threat in far away countries. Everyday girls, boys, women and men are being trafficked, sometimes right under our noses. Yes, it happens even in our neighbourhoods here in Ontario. This post was inspired by a post by Marjorie Snyder of the Two Snyder Girls on the anniversary of the January 11th birthday of Alice Paul a pioneer who fought for women not to be property and have the right to vote. Unfortunately women will not be truly free as long as Human Trafficking Continues.
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image Kawartha Lakes -Human Trafficking Yes it is here
Kawartha Lakes -Human Trafficking
What can be dome to help victims of Human Trafficking? How can we stop the sale of people?
Human Trafficking is a complex problem.

Human Trafficking Awareness - First Step in Battle

Human trafficking involves the exploitation of people for profit. The exploitation can take different forms including the sale of people for forced labour and sex trafficking. Last year, Human Trafficking charges were laid against an Oakwood man with ties to Wimpy's Diner in Lindsay in a case of  women imported from other countries for forced labour. The video Enslaved and Exploited: The Story of Sex Trafficking in Canada examines some of the issues in Sex Trafficking in Canada - imported slaves, aboriginal slaves, and yes, Canadian slaves.

Did you know, most victims of Hunan Trafficking in Canada are Canadian girls?  98% of Worldwide victims of Sex trafficking are women and 93% of Canada's victims of sex trafficking are Canadians?

Sex Trafficking - Canadian Girls at High Risk

We need to be vigilant and be prepared to support victims and report people who are victimizing our children. 
Human Trafficking Any Girl, Anywhere, At Any Tine
In 2012, the Canadian Women's Foundation launched a National Task Force on Sex Trafficking of Women and Girls in Canada to help develop a strategy to end sex trafficking in Canada. The Task Force submitted its report in May 2014 after conducting research across Canada with a wide cross section of  individuals and groups. Based on this research, the Canadian Women’s Foundation has developed a five-year strategy to help end sex trafficking in Canada.
Do you know what the biggest risk factor is?
Being a Girl!
The Canadian Women's Foundation Strategies to end Sex Trafficking in Canada published in Fall 2014 - Heartbreaking to Groundbreaking has statements that shock and point to the severity of the problem in Canada.A problem where the victims are ridiculed and even further victimized by those who are supposed to protect them.

image Canadian Sex Trafficking Statement “People watched as six large men dragged me down the street, and then turned their heads away. The cops laughed at me.”
Canadian Sex Trafficking Victim Statement - Laughed at By Police

The statistics show sex trafficking in Canada is BIG business.
Here are a few surprising stats about sex trafficking:
image Canadian  Sex trafficking  Stats
Report on Sex Trafficking in Canada
  • Most common recruitment age 13-14 
  • World-wide profits from sex trafficking $99 BILLION (US)4 
  • Average annual profit from each female trafficked in Canada $280,8005 
  • Estimated value of lost earnings and personal costs per trafficked girl $205,7396 
  • Trafficked girls and women served in 2012 by 266 surveyed Canadian organisations 2,8727 
  • Trafficking convictions since 2007  - 718 
  • Biggest risk factor BEING A GIRL
Young girls and yes, boys too, are tricked in various ways and exploited. One of the most dangerous problems teens having private access to web cams and cell phones.  In the 5 year plan designed by the Canadian Women's Foundation, you can read the stories of a variety of people battling human trafficking - many of them former victims.
Reading the stories a pattern emerges - vulnerable people are lured with promises, then abused and exploited. Sometimes it is people coming with the promise of work who are exploited, but usually it is young people who are groomed, and promised things that are improvements on their home lives. For example if parents won't let them have a cell phone, or a pet - the groomer will offer them those things. Especially skilled exploiters will use intermittent reinforcement, offering and withdrawing affection. Drugs and alcohol are also used to control the victims, Sometimes pregnancy is used as a control device as well. The grooming ends and the violence begins. Not only the victim is threatened ,but also those the victim loves.
image Canadian Human trafficking Victim Statement “They always talked about killing me — killing me, my sister or my dog.”
Canadian Human Trafficking Victim Statement - Death Threats
Surprisingly sometimes victims will even return to their exploiters as a result of Stockholm Syndrome.
While trafficking victims often go missing from their homes, sometimes they are blackmailed and exploited right under the noses of their parents. It can take years for victims to escape - one of the biggest problems overcoming the lies of the people exploiting them.

Canadian Women's Foundation Strategies for Human Trafficking Elimination

What the Canadian Women's Foundation is Doing to Combat Human Trafficking
The Canadian Women’s Foundation has a three-fold five-year strategy to help end sex trafficking in Canada. This strategy builds on their expertise in grant making, convening, evaluation, and advocacy for systemic change. The three main components are:
 1. Grants: Over the next five years, the Canadian Women’s Foundation will: Provide stable five-year funding for up to 20 organizations working to prevent sex trafficking and helping women and girls to end the sexual exploitation and rebuild their lives. Organizations that receive grants will be invited to come together to network, share knowledge and strengthen the capacity of the service sector. Incorporate sex trafficking into our existing programs through:

  • Additional funding for their annual violence prevention grants 
  • New developmental grants to enable existing grant recipients to improve their services for trafficking women and girls 
  • New grants to mobilize knowledge about sex trafficking within existing innovation projects funded by the Canadian Women’s Foundation 
  • Knowledge sharing on sex trafficking at grantee meetings and through training webinars 

2. Promoting collective action Within the next year, the Canadian Women’s Foundation will: Convene four Regional Roundtables to transfer knowledge and support community-based strategies to end sex trafficking. These roundtables will build upon existing regional networks and include representation from experiential women, community-based organizations, law enforcement and justice, child welfare, Aboriginal and Migrant communities, funding partners, government and the private sector. Convene a one-day National Summit for specialists in four areas:

  • Research and Data: to pave the way for consistent and sustained Canada-wide data collection and an agreed-upon national research agenda 
  • Technology: to advance the role of the internet and mobile communications in combating sex trafficking 
  • Legal Issues: to overcome legal barriers that impede prosecutions and prevent women and girls from coming forward 
  • National Co-ordination: to establish a body to keep the work moving forward for the greatest collective impact 
3. Sharing knowledge and expertise towards system change  Over the next five years, the Canadian Women’s Foundation will: Present policy recommendations to relevant levels of government that encourage effective system change and create supportive environments for trafficked women and girls Monitor emerging issues that affect sex trafficking in Canada and respond with strategies that address them Share their knowledge on sex trafficking at key conferences, annual meetings, schools, universities and community organizations Establish a small research budget to work with other organizations and fill gaps in knowledge.
What YOU Can Do to Help End Human Trafficking!
One of the initiatives Canadian Women's Foundation Supports is the Donate Your Voice Campaign to raise awareness of the young people who have had their voices silenced. Visit the website, choose a script, and read it aloud online in honour of victims who have been silenced.
Donate Your Voice Help End Human Trafficking

1. LEARN ABOUT IT Get informed about sex trafficking of women and girls in Canada: canadianwomen.org/trafficking
2. SPEAK UP ABOUT IT Sexual exploitation is driven by demand. Speak up about the realities of women and girls exploited in the sex industry.
3. CHALLENGE IT Contact your federal, provincial or local government representative to ask what they’re doing about sex trafficking, raise the issue with your local paper, or bring it up at a community meeting.
4. STOP IT If you suspect that sex trafficking is happening in your community, or you are a trafficking victim, contact a local sexual assault line, women’s crisis line, or police.
5. CHANGE IT Help the Canadian Women’s Foundation to bring an end to the sex trafficking of women and girls in Canada. Visit canadianwomen.org to donate today

Would you be interested in taking part in an online or offline fundraiser to help with strategies to end Human trafficking?
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