Hundreds rally to end human trafficking
Hundreds of people attended a rally at the legislature Saturday to bring attention to the crime of the trafficking of children.
Kildonan-St. Paul M.P. Joy Smith organized the rally and a walk to bring attention to that cause.
She has been pushing a private members bill that would institute mandatory five-year minimum sentences for anyone convicted of trafficking children.
"The real purpose of that is to get these perpetrators away from their victims," Smith said.
Speaking to the crowd at the legislature, Timea Nagy said she almost cried when she saw people stand up for her, and for people like her who have been victims of human trafficking.
"You can buy a girl now for $4,500 these days; a girl; a human being; a person," she said.
Nagy spoke about being lured to Toronto from Hungry, told that she would be working at a restaurant, but being held captive, brainwashed and forced to work in strip clubs and massage parlours instead.
"We are a product and we have a price tag on us. You might as well just put a barcode on us and sell us like that," she said.
Smith said that no one would willingly endure what Nagy and other girls have lived through.
"Someone's telling them what to do. No girl would ever service 22 to 25 men a night and give her money over to her boyfriend unless you had to," Smith said.
Ron Evans, Grand Chief of the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs, spoke at the rally and said that eight out of 10 victims of this type of crime are aboriginal.
Evans said that is because they are more likely to live in poverty and be vulnerable to traffickers.
Even though Nagy eventually managed to escape with help from staff at the strip club where she worked, none her traffickers were ever charged, she said.
If passed by the senate, Smith's private members bill could become law as early as June.
-with a report from CTV's Stacey Ashley