Human Trafficking

29 Nov, 2020

From November 25th to December 10th is UN’s 16 days of Activism against gender-based violence. There are many ways to engage in activism. I find for me, one of they ways I like to do that is by drawing awareness to systemic issues that foster conditions for gender-based violence to happen. Over the next 6 days I will be writing posts about the various ways that the government has/ does actively participate in trafficking in persons.  There are absolutely more ways then the ones I will list that the government participates in the exploitation of humans so definitely this list will not be exhaustive.

Why is it important to understand the legacy of human trafficking?

For me I think when I learn or reflect on the ways that the government has harmed others it helps me for a few reasons, as a survivor it helps me to better make sense of the vulnerabilities that I had leading up to the various types of violence I have experienced. Particularly, how I was groomed to be trafficked and why it has been so challenging to heal the wounded parts of myself. My hope is that other survivors might connect with these understandings and in some small way lift even a tiny portion of the shame that we carry as a result of what happened to us.

Second, I honestly believe that we can not as a country move forward with healing the wounded parts of our nation without first acknowledging the harms that the government has caused and continues to cause.  I feel it is from that place of really pulling back the layers of harm and examining how that harm still plays out today that we can begin to heal in long lasting ways. There are many different individuals, communities and organizations doing the extremely hard work to hold government accountable and demand change.  Some powerful movements that have demanded these changes and are still demanding them are indigenous peoples  here is a link to the National Inquiry for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls, and the  and the Black Lives Matter movements .  So I would wonder if the idea of addressing big issues on a superficial level might be a patriarchal, colonial  way of operating. 

Finally, I am so grateful to have learned over time that one single person can make huge waves of change so if what I write motivates anyone to share or talk about with someone else things will continue to move. The anti-trafficking movement has gotten much louder over the past 10 or so years. Yet to me, I feel there is a large gap in systemic adjustments. I feel that although education and  prevention is important, if we do not really examine the root causes then we leave many survivors with a sense of “I should have known better because I was taught about trafficking.”  This shame is the systems shame it is not ours. We need as much systemic shifts maybe even more than the education and responding shifts that we are seeing.

When the governments are giving out pennies in comparison to the income that has been made off the exploitation of others. To me that is not a real attempt at change.

So  over these next 6 days I will share some of the things I have learned about Canada’s legacy of exploitation in an attempt to further motivate activism and in some small way, help others release some of the blame that can be carried. 

Please follow along over the next few days and engage with this blog what are your thoughts and feelings? Feel free to share any resources you might have or add to this dialogue. Finally, please share on your social media networks!