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Free Lecture on Human Trafficking

Time: Monday, January 14th, 5:30 – 8:00 pm. (Refreshments at 5:30 pm, the forum begins at 6:00 pm)

Location: Liu Institute for Global Issues, The University of British Columbia
6476 NW Marine Drive, Vancouver, BC, Canada V6T 1Z2

Registration: Free online registration at Eventbrite, and share this event via the Facebook event page.

Speakers:

Kevin Ryan Speaks Out On Trafficking

Kevin Ryan President and CEO of Covenant House International recently wrote an article for The Huffington Post titled, "Taking Down Pimps Without Traumatizing Victims".

Here is an excerpt from the article:

"The father was known as "Mr. Vee," and had worked as a pimp for about two decades, instructing his son, known as "King Koby," in the family business. They tattooed these street names on the women they exploited. One woman had a crown with a dollar sign tattooed above her pubic bone. Another had "King Koby" and a barcode permanently inked on her neck.

I don't think I will ever see a barcode in the same way, having had to form a mental picture of a greedy man, with no respect for the dignity of a young woman, marking a person as his commodity, his sack of protoplasm, to be used by strangers over and over and over again, for his personal profit.

But I see causes for hope in this dreary case. The trafficked women were not arrested, and instead, after years of victimization, are being offered services like housing and counseling, to help them adjust to life without chains."

14 year old girl arrested for sex trade recruitment

There have been several news reports about the 14 year girl from Chilliwack who was arrested on suspicion of recruiting other girls into the sex trade.  Our Pastoral Counsellor Sister Nancy Brown is a national expert on sexual exploitation and human trafficking and takes issue with the way in which this case is being handled and reported.  Below is her letter to the editor at the Vancouver Sun.

I read with incredulousness the article about the 14-year old girl in Chilliwack who is accused of recruiting other girls into the sex trade.

While it is possible that this young girl was recruiting other girls, it should go without saying that this girl is herself a victim.  Pimps and predators lure young girls into the sex trade by exploiting their weaknesses whether it be a need for love, companionship or simply money for food.  That these same girls then recruit others is part of the deal; this is what they must do at the demand of the pimps. 

Victims of human trafficking tend to be young

New information on human trafficking in Canada has been released and the findings are alarming.  The Vancouver Sun reports that “the victims of human trafficking in Canada tend to be young, with one case that has led to a conviction involving a 14-year-old".  The Sun article is referencing a report released by the RCMP entitled Human Trafficking in Canada:  a Threat Assessment.  Key findings from the report can be found here and access to the full report can be requested by emailing htncc-cnctp@rcmp-grc.gc.ca.

Interestingly, the Ottawa Citizen wrote an article today about human trafficking and Canada's failure to folow through with prosecuting the offenders.  Click here to read more.

Canada needs national strategy for Human Trafficking

The trafficking of people is a big concern both around the world and in Canada. Human trafficking is thought of as modern day slavery - people being forced or tricked to work as prostitutes, strippers or in sweatshops against their will. The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime has an excellent definition explaining human trafficking.

Covenant House Vancouver has a strong stand against human trafficking and we have spoken out about this topic before.

Recently, the Toronto Sun published an article about Canada's lack of a national strategy for human trafficking citing the recent 2010 Trafficking in Persons Report put out by the State Department in the United States.  The Report calls Canada out - saying that Canada has not moved forward on its national strategy, noting that The House of Commons voted 3 years ago to create a national strategy around human trafficking but still nothing has been created.

I hope that you take the time to learn more about human trafficking and if it is an important issue to you please speak out against it.

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