Human trafficking online information forum to be held Wednesday

Violence Prevention Grey Bruce logo. (Provided by Violence Prevention Grey Bruce)

The Anti-Human Trafficking Committee of Violence Prevention Grey Bruce hosts an information session and community forum Wednesday, November 25, 2020.

The free online public event will feature human trafficking experts and showcase the committee’s work to organize local responses to human trafficking in Grey and Bruce counties.

Human trafficking involves the recruitment, transportation, and control of a person for sexual exploitation or forced labour.

The online forum is the conclusion of grant funding to create a community committee focused on understanding and addressing human sex-trafficking in the twin counties.

Wednesday evening’s forum features a keynote presentation from Kaitlin Bick and Carly Church, two survivors of human trafficking who now work professionally to support victims and advocate for change.

“We’ve been taught to think of human trafficking as a city problem but people are being trafficked in Grey Bruce,” said Violence Prevention Grey Bruce Coordinator Jon Farmer. “People can be trafficked at as young as 12 or 13 years old. It can happen to anyone and young women are disproportionately the targets of traffickers. It doesn’t matter how much money your parents make or what school someone goes to. We need to raise awareness about this issue among both adults and young people if we’re going to prevent the violence and exploitation of trafficking in our communities”.

According to Farmer, the more that we can raise awareness about the issue and the warning signs, the more our community will be able to prevent exploitation.

“Human trafficking has come to greater attention over the past few years but we have a lot of work still to do. As caring adults, we need to be familiar with the warning signs and comfortable enough to talk with young people about relationships and exploitation. And as service providers, we need to know how to recognize the warning signs and support people who have been exploited. Before we can do any of that, we need to do our own learning and this forum is a step in that direction”.

The evening event will live stream on Violence Prevention Grey Bruce’s website, Facebook page, and YouTube channel. The organizers are encouraging children as young as 12 to watch with their families. All adults who have children in their lives or who work with the public are encouraged to participate as well. If you or someone you know has experienced trafficking, contact Victim Services Bruce Grey Perth.

People can register at www.vpgb.ca.