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'It takes a nation to stop': Human trafficking awareness campaign launched in Manitoba

A national human trafficking awareness campaign was launched on Wednesday in Manitoba, with the goal of preventing youth from being lured into the sex trade.

The Joy Smith Foundation, with the support of the Winnipeg Police Service and the Manitoba RCMP, announced the ‘See the Trafficking Signs’ campaign on Wednesday. The initiative involves educating the public about the typical indicators of someone who is being trafficked, as well as the methods that traffickers use to recruit.

“Human trafficking can occur in any city across this country, and only through education, awareness, information sharing and campaigns like this one, can we protect our youth and those most vulnerable in our community,” said Sgt. Andrea Scott with the Winnipeg police’s counter exploitation and missing persons unit.

The campaign is being launched across the country with educational signs that provide information on how people can recognize if someone is being trafficked.

‘See the Trafficking Signs’ also include videos, a website and school programs.

Joy Smith, the founder of the Joy Smith Foundation, noted that this campaign is two years in the making.

“It takes a nation to stop human trafficking,” she said.

“There are very young victims; [Traffickers] go after very young victims.”

Some of the signs of human trafficking to look out for are:

  • A child that has two cellphones;
  • A child wearing clothing their family can’t afford;
  • A child with unexplained cuts and bruises;
  • A child with an entirely new circle of friends;
  • A child who is dressing and acting differently.

“Canadians can start making a difference today by recognizing the signs of human trafficking and by speaking up,” said Sgt. Tara Clelland of the RCMP.

“If you fear that a person is being exploited, contact the police. By knowing the signs and speaking up, you can change the life of a young person.” Top Stories

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