Let’s talk about sex trafficking

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A black rotary dial telephone sits on a table with the Canadian Human Trafficking Hotline’s phone number (1-833-900-1010) above it.
The Centre also offers a 24/7 support line. OpenClipart-Vectors via Pixabay, manipulated by lee lim

The Centre encourages conversations about sex trafficking with new resource

The Canadian Centre to End Human Trafficking (the Centre), launched their new “Its Time to T.A.L.K.” resource to commemorate National Human Trafficking Awareness Day observed on February 22.  

The release followed research conducted by Survey Methodology from January 17- 19 of this year. The survey was conducted, in French and English, among a representative sample of 1,505 online Canadians who are members of the Angus Reid Forum.  

The Angus Reid Forum is one of Canada’s best-known online public opinion communities. The forum is not-for-profit and non-partisan. The Angus Ried Institute’s work as a research foundation utilizes the forum for polling research and policy analysis.  

The results of the survey show that 74 per cent of Canadians surveyed believe that sex trafficking is prevalent in Canada. Despite this, more than 70 percent admitted that they have never had a conversation with a friend or family member about protecting themselves against sex trafficking. In fact, only 15 per cent of Canadians feel confident enough in their knowledge about the issue to start a conversation. 

A lack of awareness about the topic is one of the primary reasons why traffickers are successful in targeting unsuspecting victims. Their behaviour often goes unnoticed due in part to a lack of knowledge and discomfort in talk about the sex trafficking. 

The T.A.L.K. initiative by the Canadian Centre to End Human Trafficking is actually an acronym that reads as follows:  

Teach Yourself About the Issue 

Approach the Conversation with Care 

Listen and Adapt 

Know There is Help 

The Centre’s decision to launch the initiative came as a result of calls received seeking information. The need for informative resources was also highlighted when the results of the survey revealed that 68 per cent of Canadians surveyed are open to having a conversation with a young person about sex trafficking, but either need to understand the subject better or feel it’s difficult to find the right words. 

“Sex trafficking is a complex and serious social issue that is not going away on its own,” said Julia Drydyk, Executive Director at the Centre. “We understand the topic may seem overwhelming, but the reality is that we all need to start talking about it if we ever hope to end sex trafficking in Canada. That’s where we believe this resource can make a tangible difference.” 

The T.A.L.K. initiative aims to facilitate informed conversation about the issue and offer easily accessible resources which can be used to educate oneself, and to address the most pressing information gaps that were revealed in the survey. 

Conversations about an issue as sensitive and concerning as sex trafficking can seem daunting. This is precisely why educating oneself and having informed conversations with others around can make a big difference in addressing the discomfort and stigma associated with the subject. The Centre’s initiative is an important tool to assist in this. 

The Canadian Centre to End Human Trafficking was established in 2016 as the national backbone organization to facilitate innovative policy development and knowledge-sharing to end human trafficking in Canada.  

The Centre launched a hotline in 2019 for localized, trauma-informed support and referrals for those impacted by this crime. The Hotline is accessible 24/7 by phone, chat, web form, and email. Their phone number (pictured) is 1-833-900-1010. 

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