This article first appeared on the Colorado Coalition Against Sexual Assault blog and is re-published with the author's permission.
When I came to the human trafficking field from working on domestic and sexual violence, I was shocked by a lot of things. It was disturbing to learn about the various ways traffickers abuse and exploit victims for labor and sex and surprising to see how frequently human trafficking intersected directly with intimate partner violence, sex assault and child abuse.
For the last two weeks, I have had the privilege to travel across the country to visit social service agencies and community-based organizations that are championing anti-trafficking initiatives at the local level. Most of these programs are run by women and informed by people who have experienced trafficking in one form or another. All of them are looking for ways to support those who have been trafficked while tackling the root causes of the problem in their communities.
When we speak of sex trafficking at the Canadian Women’s Foundation, we define it as an extreme form of violence against woman and girls. The coercion of a girl or a woman to engage in sex for the financial gain of another is nothing less than violent and an egregious form of abuse that must not be tolerated. Less often discussed in public forums is the fact that sex trafficking is also a human rights violation. Sex trafficking is more than just one person mistreating another — it is the result of systemic problems in our society that need to be urgently addressed.
Since the fall 2014 publication of the ground-breaking “NO MORE” Report of the Task Force on Trafficking of Women and Girls in Canada”, the Canadian Women’s Foundation has made dramatic strides to combat sex trafficking in Canada. Through a five year strategy, the Foundation addresses this abhorrent crime in three strategic areas:
1. Financial support for critical anti-trafficking efforts.
2. Promotion of a collective action approach with many important stakeholders.
3. Sharing of knowledge and expertise to promote system change at the three levels of government.
Special Projects Over more than 25 years, the Foundation has become a national leader in its work toward gender equality. We raise public awareness by speaking out about the barriers women and girls face. We also connect what we learn from our funded programs to the development of provincial and national projects and strategies. Some […]