Tag Archives: Human Trafficking

International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women

Today is an important milestone – the day that everyone should take a moment to consider the lifelong impact of violence against women and the irrefutable evidence of how domestic violence negatively impacts children who witness the assaults and psychological attacks.  Human trafficking is real in rural Ontario and one of the most reprehensible forms of violence against women.  Please, take that moment.

The Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Foreign Affairs, and the Honourable Karina Gould, Minister of International Development, today issued the following statement:

“Around the world, in both peace and war, women, girls and vulnerable populations experience sexual assault and its lifelong adverse effects on health, including psychological, physical, sexual and reproductive health. Sexual assault, also used in too many instances as a weapon of war, is a violation of human rights and one of the main barriers to achieving gender equality. Too often, the victims are silenced while the perpetrators go unpunished.

Canada is a global leader in efforts to eliminate gender-based violence through diplomacy and advocacy. In developing countries, we support projects that address harmful norms that perpetuate sexual and gender-based violence. We also support survivors, so they can gain access to justice and the services they need to rebuild their lives, and work with partners to ensure that those responsible for gross human rights violations and abuses are brought to account.

Today and every day, we invite everyone to take a stand against sexual assault, and to join survivors and women’s rights activists at home and abroad who draw attention to the injustice of sexual assault and the social norms that condone it.

We also mark the beginning of 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence. This global campaign, which runs until International Human Rights Day on December 10, draws attention to all forms of sexual and gender-based violence. The aim of the Sustainable Development Goals—to leave no one behind—cannot be reached without first ending all forms of gender-based violence, including violence against women, girls and vulnerable minorities.”

Human Trafficking Prevention presentation tonight, 7:00 p.m. at Westport Free Methodist Church

This is a reminder of the important presentation being delivered by the Leeds & Grenville Human Trafficking Coalition.  You will learn of Leeds & Grenville children who have become victims of human traffickers and hear some suggestions on what we as parents, grandparents and friends can do to keep our boys and girls safe.

I hope to see you tonight.


What is human trafficking?

Human trafficking is a crime and is taking place right here in Leeds&Grenville.  The Leeds&Grenville Human Trafficking Coalition is working hard to educate the public and provide prevention strategies.  If you would like more information or a presentation by the Coalition to your community or church group or school, contact Sarah at sarah@vslg.ca.  I am a member of the Coalition and encourage everyone to become better informed about the ways that our girls and boys are exploited and become victims of human sex trafficking.

Traffickers control people in many ways, including psychological manipulation, emotional abuse, lies, addiction, threats, violence, isolation, and taking control of ID/documents and money. Sometimes human trafficking is confused with human smuggling (across borders). In reality, most of the people sex trafficked in Ontario are girls and women who are Canadian citizens or permanent residents. While human trafficking is a vastly under-reported crime, Ontario is a major centre for human trafficking in Canada, with about two-thirds of reported Canadian cases arising in Ontario.


Myths about human trafficking

Myth: Human trafficking is an international crime that involves sneaking someone across a border.

FACTIn most reported cases of human trafficking in Ontario, the person trafficked is from Canada and is recruited within Canada.

Myth: Human trafficking happens in developing countries, not in places like Ontario.

FACT: Human trafficking occurs throughout the world, including here in Leeds&Grenville.  Police report an increasing number of cases since human trafficking specific charges were created by the government and could be laid.  Human trafficking is an underreported crime, so the actual number of cases is likely much larger.

Myth: Sex trafficking can only happen to people who use drugs or have other serious risk factors.

FACT: While some groups have been identified as at-risk, there are also cases in which no known risk factors are present. In those cases, traffickers often target very young people and may build trust during a “grooming” period before exploitation begins.

Myth: If a person isn’t kept locked up or in chains they can always just leave.

FACT: Some people who are trafficked are controlled and monitored constantly and don’t have the opportunity to ask for help. Others may not realize or acknowledge what is happening to them or that it is a crime. In some cases, they may fear their trafficker or law enforcement too much to risk seeking help. They may also be manipulated to believe that the trafficker is the only person who cares about them and that they are best off staying with their trafficker.

Human Trafficking in Leeds&Grenville – yes, right here.

This afternoon I hosted a discussion about human sex trafficking in Leeds & Grenville.  Approximately 100 people met to learn about this criminal activity from the OPP, Leeds and Grenville Victim Services and MPP Laurie Scott.  The information is disturbing, the reality that it is going on in our part of Ontario is shocking – but this group of people – representing the public, NGOs, volunteer community groups, churches, social services, Upper Canada School Board, Brockville General hospital, the OPP, Brockville Police and the Mayors of North Grenville, Front of Young, Leeds and Thousand Islands, Township of Rideau Lakes and Merrickville-Wolford – offered their suggestions in three key areas : public education, prevention and intervention.  Stay tuned – there is much more work to do.

We all committed to doing one thing in regards to public education – to tell 10 people.  Hopefully this gets to more than 10 people, who will tell 10….

Many thanks to workshop presenters:

Sonya Jodoin, Victim Services Leeds & Grenville; MPP Steve Clark (Leeds & Grenville); MPP Laurie Scott (Haliburton, Kawartha Lakes, Brock); OPP Staff Sergeant Coyer Yateman

Human Trafficking Brockville