Survivors of human trafficking honoured
Kildonan – St. Paul MP Joy Smith honoured six people for their work against human trafficking at an awards ceremony in Winnipeg on Saturday night.
Two the honourees are women who are survivors of human trafficking and the sex trade.
Timea Nagy was the daughter of police officer in Budapest, Hungry. In 1998, she answered an ad to be a nanny in Toronto, but when she arrived the "agency" that brought her to Canada made her work at a strip club and in the sex trade instead.
They used fear to keep her in line, she said at a press conference before the awards ceremony.
"You don't know who to trust and you don't know anything about Canada or the Canadian people. The only thing you know is what they're telling you in your own language, which is Canadians are going to take you and rape you and kill you," Nagy said.
Nagy rescued herself after two and a half months by buying a dictionary to learn English and getting help from other employees at the strip club.
Now, she works to help victims of trafficking with her organization Walk With Me and she trains police officers to spot the signs of trafficking.
Another survivor is Natasha Falle. She is Canadian and was trafficked within Canada in the sex trade. She started the organization Sex Trade 101. She also works with police to help the child victims of prostitution.
Another honouree is Brian McConaghy, a former RCMP officer who worked on the Pickton case and founded the Ratanak Foundation, a Christian non-profit organization that works in Cambodia.
Tamara Cherry, a reporter for Toronto Sun who has written extensively about human trafficking, and Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs Grand Chief Ron Evans were also honoured.
Smith is the author of a private members bill that sought harsher penalties for child traffickers and was passed, resulting in changes to the criminal code.