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article imageOp-Ed: We can free victims of human trafficking Special

By Savia D'cunha     Jan 30, 2013 in Crime
The average age of girls being trafficked in Canada is 13.
“Choice” is a word that is often misused; the right word should be “prostituted”, since nobody chooses to enter the sex trade at the age of 13.
Human trafficking is buying and selling minors in the sex trade. Human trafficking looks different in Canada than it does in other countries. There are no open brothels. It’s much more hidden. Traffickers and pimps who control, manipulate, and abuse women, control it.
“Canada is known as a source, transit, and destination country. Girls are brought into Canada, from countries such as Thailand, Vietnam, and Cambodia. Girls are also trafficked from within Canadian borders,” says, Shae Invidiata, the founder of Free Them Canada, an Oakville, organization that combats human trafficking.
Free Them Canada formed the first anti-human trafficking coalition in Ontario in October, 2011. Free Them Canada holds a freedom march every year to create awareness.
It is hard to tell the difference between human trafficking and prostitution. In countries where prostitution has been legalized such as the Netherlands, and Australia, pimps and traffickers have got business licenses overnight. The illegal underground brothels in Sydney have exploded since they legalized prostitution in the Kings Cross area of Sydney.
Amsterdam successfully shut down one-third of its red light district after adopting the Swedish model, a proposal that would arrest traffickers caught trafficking minors, age 18 and under.
The Canadian government is not doing a lot to fight human trafficking. There are many political parties that are campaigning against the Swedish model that Canada needs, most notably the Bloc Quebecois.
There is no single ministry that can take care of this itself. There are various ministries that should be involved such as Public Safety, Immigration, and Status of Women Canada.
MP Joy Smith, has fought tirelessly to get a mandatory minimum sentence passed in Canada. Traffickers caught for trafficking minors, will get a mandatory minimum sentence for five years. Bill C-310 was passed in April, 2012. It expands on the definition of what exploitation really is and amends the criminal code.
“Human trafficking is growing because our society has allowed our men, old and young to have a dim view of women and their value, so it’s more of a control thing and not even sexual,” says, Stan Burditt, the founder of MAST (Men Against Sexual Trafficking).
“The ratio of men to women, at awareness programs is one man to four women in attendance, even though majority of the traffickers are men. Men need to be learn how to keep their families from being trafficked, and not use sexual services. Men need to talk to their friends about this and not to talk about women in a demeaning way. “ says, Burditt.
Canadians can get involved in ways big or small. Being aware of the problem, fundraising, donating time, just letting a member of parliament know through a quick email or letter that this is a huge problem that they do not want.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
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