OTTAWA – The Ontario Native Women’s Association (ONWA) fully supports Human Trafficking Awareness Day (February 22nd) as a vital tool in the effort to bring visibility to the scourge of pain and suffering taking place in the shadows of daily life across Ontario.
Ontarians must understand that human trafficking is a sophisticated business with powerful interests driven by a market that increasingly is targeting younger and younger Indigenous women and girls.
Networks of people engaged in human trafficking need to be identified and brought to justice. ONWA sees public awareness as a vital first step toward building a safer Ontario for Indigenous women and girls.
“We need more media stories that support Indigenous women’s strength, leadership and resiliency in the fight against human trafficking which remains almost invisible in the media. It is the collective responsibility of journalists to take the opportunity on Human Trafficking Awareness Day to change misguided public perceptions, not reinforce them,” stated Cora McGuire-Cyrette, ONWA Executive Director.
“Behind every human trafficking story is a human story. The story of someone’s mother, sister, daughter, who is fighting against overwhelming odds to lead the safe prosperous life that each and every one of them deserves,” stated Dawn Lavell Harvard, ONWA President.
February 22nd is Human Trafficking Awareness Day. ONWA satellite offices and partnerships, in Thunder Bay and across Ontario, will participate in activities that invite our communities to learn more about how they can be a part of the solution to ending human trafficking.