Human Trafficking

What is Human Trafficking?

It is the recruitment, transportation, transfer, harbouring or receipt of persons, by means of the threat or use of force or other forms of coercion, of abduction, of fraud, of deception, of the abuse of power or of a position of vulnerability or of the giving or receiving of payments or benefits to achieve the consent of a person having control over another person, for the purpose of exploitation.

What is Sexual Exploitation?

Sexual exploitation is the sexual abuse of children and youth through the exchange of sex or sexual acts for drugs, food, shelter, protection, other basics of life, and/or money. Sexual exploitation also includes involving children and youth in creating pornography and sexually explicit images and websites



BCAAFC Sexual Exploitation and Human Trafficking Prevention of Indigenous Youth

 

Our Spirits are NOT for Sale

As part of the BCAAFC’s Taking Action to End Violence against Indigenous Women and Children strategic plan, the BCAAFC hosted dialog sessions in northern BC in 2013 (due to the proximity to the Highway of Tears) inviting youth, elders, RCMP, school districts, and other local organizations to discuss the issue of human trafficking of Indigenous women and girls in their communities.

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From those sessions, BCAAFC developed a prevention workshop for Indigenous youth and delivered it in 8 communities as well as at BCAAFC’s Gathering Our Voices Youth Conference.  From 164 surveys received from the 276 youth who took part in the workshops, BCAAFC gained some insight into the lived realities for BC’s Indigenous Youth. A sample of responses from youth is shown in the following graphs.

Human Trafficking in our Communities

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For youth who responded “I know it does!” to the question “Does trafficking and exploitation happen in your community?” most offered a reason, citing an incident of a friend or family member or offering where and how that they knew it was occurring.  

Youth at risk or experienced homelessness shared their experiences in group discussions offering much different experiences and a culture of exploitation/sexual violence that is not widely known by the majority of mainstream community members.

Do you think youth in your community are vulnerable to human trafficking?

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Youth overwhelming thought that peers in their community were vulnerable to being lured by traffickers and being victims of sexual exploitation.  The reasons given for vulnerability were often in relation to wanting to fit in and perceived as “cool”, others wanting to feel cared for or loved, specifically targeted through racism, escaping family violence in their home, and numbers of youth homelessness.

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Youth overwhelming thought that peers in their community were vulnerable to being lured by traffickers and being victims of sexual exploitation.  The reasons given for vulnerability were often in relation to wanting to fit in and perceived as “cool”, others wanting to feel cared for or loved, specifically targeted through racism, escaping family violence in their home, and numbers of youth homelessness.

 

 

Read more about the BCAAFC  “Our Spirits are NOT for Sale” Prevention Workshop report here: Coming soon

Indigenous youth play critical roles on both sides of the trafficking and sexual exploitation spectrum.  At one end, they are the most vulnerable to becoming its victims and, at the other, the most qualified to protect themselves and their peers from being victims.  BCAAFC is committed to the continuation of engaging youth in the conversations as they have a deeper understanding of how they are being lured and recruited as well as insight into their communities that adults do not possess.

BC Friendship Centre’s are located in 25 communities across BC and in the urban areas in which the trafficking of Indigenous women and girls is significant, they are important partners in combatting the issue of the trafficking of Indigenous youth and are hope to eradicate this type of violence against Indigenous women and youth.