The Trafficked Human campaign is guided by the mission to educate and raise awareness of the law around exploited and trafficked individuals in Canada. Through our campaign, we hope to instill upon every citizen that we all have a responsibility to report to law enforcement any evidence of the exploitation of women and youth. Human trafficking is modern day slavery and cannot be tolerated; we can protect trafficked humans by equipping ourselves with knowledge to bring down the root cause of sexual exploitation – demand.
- Human trafficking/prostitution is modern day slavery and cannot be tolerated. It is exploitation of one person by another in a global, socio-economic context of inequality of power and wealth. Buying sex for money objectifies the human body and commodifies sexual activity making the victim a commodity in a market industry. In Canada, buying sex is a crime.
- In Canada, buying sex is a crime but in some cities and towns, the law is not being enforced. In 2014, Canada enacted a new law called The Protection of Communities and Exploited Persons Act. This law criminalizes the buying of sex and holds the buyers accountable as well as the third party who benefits from commercial sexual exploitation.
- Every citizen has a responsibility to be aware and to report to law enforcement any evidence of the exploitation of women and youth. Due to the clandestine nature of prostitution, citizens need to be extra vigilant as it is happening locally, in hotels, apartments, bars and massage parlors in every city and town. Because of the hidden nature of the crime, it is under reported, therefore needs more public awareness and action.
- Human trafficking/prostitution is violence against women and children. It is inherently harmful, causing long term physical and psychological damage to the person.
- The traffickers lure through false promises the most vulnerable persons in our society ie. Those suffering from poverty, racism, sexism and abuse, mainly women and youth.
- Trafficking implies an imbalance of power, age, economic stability and education. It is not a choice, nor work. The average age of children being lured into prostitution is 13-16 years of age.
- The majority of victims of prostitution/trafficking are white Canadians between 14 and 22 years of age. Almost 40% are minors.
- Trafficking is a criminal industry driven by the ability of predators to make huge profits, with negligible risk of prosecution. Profits generated from sexual exploitation, for the most part kept by traffickers and not taxed, range from $500 to $1000 per day per person forced to provide sexual services; that is between $168,000 and $336,000 per year.
- The root cause of sexual exploitation is demand – decrease the demand, decreases the supply. Thus the new law criminalizes the buying of sex but does not criminalize the victims. All levels of government need to support agencies that are providing exiting strategies for those wishing to leave prostitution.
This billboard in Gastown, Vancouver, is one of several in the Greater Vancouver area.