Thunder Bay, ON – The average age for human trafficking is 13 years old. It takes victims of sex trafficking an average of 7 attempts to successfully escape exploitation.
On this National Awareness Day for Human Trafficking (February 22), the Ontario Native Women's Association (ONWA) urges Canadians to learn more about human trafficking through ONWA’s new campaign, “Educate yourself, Educate Others”. This provincewide campaign includes billboard, subway, metro, and social media messaging. It allows anyone with a smartphone to scan a QR code and instantly connect to ONWA’s Human Trafficking resource page (https://www.onwa.ca/learning-resources-ht).
Indigenous women, girls, and two-spirit people have the right to live in safety, free from the threat, fear or experience of exploitation and violence. The normalization of violence against Indigenous women, girls, and two-spirit people contributes to teaching them to accept this as part of their lives. This must stop. It is key that when a victim is identified, all barriers are removed to ensure they are survivors.
“A better description of human trafficking is exploitation. Breaking this cycle and ending violence against Indigenous women, girls, and two-spirit people shouldn’t just be an aspirational concept that gets talked about. It should be an expectation of every Canadian, backed up by supports that will contribute to real change in this unacceptable narrative.” – Cora McGuire-Cyrette, Executive Director, ONWA.
ONWA has the largest anti-human trafficking program in Ontario. ONWA developed 14 recommendations in the Journey to Safe SPACES Report. The report was based on extensive engagement with over 3,360 community members and the ongoing relationship with 250 self-identified human trafficking survivors who have shared their stories.
“Human trafficking and sexual exploitation are happening in every community in Ontario. Everyone needs to know the signs, so they can be a part of the solution.” – Jennifer Richardson, Senior Director of Strategy and Communications (ONWA) and survivor of human trafficking.
Let’s end human trafficking by upholding the rights, safety, and dignity of Indigenous women, girls, and two-spirit people.
Learn more about human trafficking:
For more information and media inquiries, contact:
Andre Morriseau, Communications Manager
Ontario Native Women’s Association (ONWA)