Ottawa, ON – This fall, Arnold Viersen, Member of Parliament for Peace River —Westlock, continued his work to combat human trafficking with a focus on youth in the riding. MP Viersen sent a letter to principals of every school in the riding urging them to ensure students were aware of human trafficking and potential signs.
“Just over a year ago, the RCMP rescued a minor in High Level who was being trafficked by a man from our riding,” said MP Viersen. “We must raise awareness of this horrific crime to every child across our riding.”
“Youth from rural communities are especially vulnerable through social media. Pimps and traffickers will pose as potential boyfriends, hoping to lure youth to cities with the promise of a lavish lifestyle. Indigenous youth are particularly vulnerable to be trafficked, making up over 50% of Canada’s victims of sex trafficking.
“In October, the Joy Smith Foundation, an incredible anti-human trafficking organization in Canada, launched the National Human Trafficking Education Centre, providing information that is readily available for educators across our country to share with their students.
“I have sent letters to all of the schools in Peace River – Westlock and drawing their attention to the freely available educational tools from the Joy Smith Foundation. I also included the number for Canada's Human Trafficking Hotline: 1-833-900-1010.
“Education is the best tool we have to fight human trafficking. It is my hope that with these resources, the youth in our riding can become aware of their own safety in the face of traffickers, as well as advocates for the safety of others in their community.”