Friday, January 23, 2009

Canada: Winter Olympics 2010 a Sex Trafficking Target

VANCOUVER, CANADA - Imagine finding yourself working in a brothel or in the back of a massage parlor after you were promised a well-paying job as a model or a waitress.

This is a brutal reality for a growing number of unsuspecting young women and men who become trapped in the sex trade after being lured to Canada with false promises.

Canada is a source, transit and destination country for women, men and children trafficked for the purposes of commercial sexual exploitation and forced labour.


And there are fears that the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver may become a catalyst for a massive boom in trafficking of women into the city’s sex trade from outside and within Canada.

That’s why the Canadian Religious Conference (CRC) is trying to educate young Canadians on the issue.

The CRC, in conjunction with the School Sisters of Notre Dame, recently released an awareness and action kit on human trafficking for Catholic high school students across Canada.

The purpose of the kit is to introduce students to the issue and raise awareness of the link between high profile sporting events such as the Winter Olympics and increased trafficking in persons for sexual and labour exploitation, explained Dave Bouchard, spokesperson for the CRC.

“We just want young people to be more aware of what’s happening. And most of the time this is happening to people their own age, people between the ages of 14 to 22.”


The kit, titled Being a Global Village: Human Trafficking and the 2010 Olympics, provides material for about three 60-minute class periods. It can be inserted in curriculum areas such as social or human rights or as a social justice component of religious studies.

The kit contains teacher notes, a Power Point presentation on human trafficking, a documentary/play called the Oldest Oppression, as well as prayers, reflections and action handouts. The kit is available in English and French and can easily be adapted to a parish youth program of catechesis.

“Young people need to become more aware of the issue of human trafficking for two reasons: to avoid any traps that come their way in terms of how traffickers work and to help them get more involved in advocacy work to try to help victims of human trafficking,” says Bouchard.

He will be speaking to teachers’ conventions in February and March to make educators aware of the kit...

READ THE FULL ARTICLE AT THE Western Catholic Reporter

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