July 30th is The United Nations World Day Against Trafficking in Persons and this year’s theme is Victims’ Voices Lead the Way.
“This year’s theme puts victims of human trafficking at the centre of the campaign and will highlight the importance of listening to and learning from survivors of human trafficking. Learning from victims’ experiences and turning their suggestions into concrete actions will lead to a more victim-centred and effective approach in combating human trafficking.” – United Nations
From February 2014 to March 2017, Covenant House International invited researchers from Loyola University (New Orleans) Modern Slavery Research Project (MSRP) and The Field Center for Children’s Policy, Practice & Research at the University of Pennsylvania to 13 cities across the United States and Canada to serve as external experts to study the prevalence and nature of human trafficking among young people experiencing homelessness. The result has led to one of the largest-ever data sets on human trafficking and exploitation experiences of youth facing homelessness.
From The Field Center’s study, out of 270 young people interviewed:
- 20% had been sex or labor trafficked
- 17% were victims of human trafficking
- 6% were victims of labor trafficking
At Covenant House Vancouver we received funding from the Women and Gender Equality (WAGE) to help us serve more youth who have experienced human trafficking including:
- The hiring of an Anti-Human Trafficking Coordinator to increase the capacity of Covenant House Vancouver to serve trafficked and exploited youth.
- Creation of a Toolkit for CHV and community partners to guide work with sexual exploitation and human trafficking.
- Creation of a Training Module to support CHV staff and partners on how to use the new practices.