"Human Trafficking for sex, labour and other purposes is happening in YOUR community.
Let's get our heads out of the sand and make a stand against this demeaning and de-humanizing industry!"
So reads the mandate of a Facebook Group called Let's Stop Human Trafficking in Canada
and right now, one of its members, Stan Burditt, is participating in their "Walk for Freedom 2012" to raise awareness and funds for MAST, MEN AGAINST SEXUAL TRAFFICKING
According to an article in the Hamilton Spectator
on Thursday, Sept. 13, Stan is part of a 200 kilometre walk that began in London, Ontario last week and ends in Toronto on Saturday, Sept. 14th. While no-one in Stan's family, nor Stan himself, has ever been directly affected by the crime of human trafficking for sex, he deeply feels the pain of the victims and believes the men behind MAST "are the voice for people who have none"
MAST's efforts are aimed at getting more provincial help and resources to fight the trafficking of both adults and children through increased law enforcement, and of course, funds for support groups.
What a wonderful thing this organization is doing! I remember my horror at reading some months back that the largest human trafficking group in Canadian history was discovered in our own home-town, Hamilton, Ontario. This ring was bringing poor people desperate for a better life from Hungary, promising them a brighter future, then putting them to work as slaves right here in Canada for next to nothing in wages. What they came to here was worse than what they'd left behind in their own country.
One feels almost personally violated to learn that something so ugly, where the perpetrators, were both male and female, could be happening right under our noses. While we all know our town isn't immune to vicious crimes of all kinds, the idea of people selling people for sex or labour is something we don't expect to find in our own culture. The newspaper published photos of the alleged traffickers, most of whom have, thankfully, been convicted by now. They repulsed me.
Having been the victim of sexual abuse myself, I cannot applaud the efforts of Men Against Sexual Trafficking
enough. Those of us who have lived through sexual abuse, may not have been trafficked but we can certainly identify with the victims. I encourage you to visit the MAST website
where you can read up on what this group is doing, watch relevant videos and support their efforts financially by donating online or purchasing items from their online store.
Kudos to you, Stan Burditt and MAST.