Magazine article Anglican Journal

Event Targets Ugly Reality of Human Trafficking

Magazine article Anglican Journal

Event Targets Ugly Reality of Human Trafficking

Article excerpt

Each year, millions of children, women and men are trafficked into forced labour, domestic servitude and sex trade. It's a multi-billion dollar global business, and estimates of the number of Canadians lost annually to this trade range as high as 16,000.

Human trafficking--for which Canada is a country of source, transit and destination--was front and centre at a conference held Nov. 14 at the Sorrento Retreat Centre in Sorrento, B.C.--a week after Canada's new prostitution law, Bill C-36, received royal assent. Sponsored by the International Anglican Women's Network (IAWN) Canada in partnership with the Compass Rose Society of Canada, the event attracted about 50 people, lay and clergy.

The emotional core of the conference was the story of its first speaker, Glendene Grant of Kamloops, B.C., whose "typical girl next door" daughter Jessie Foster was forced into prostitution in the U.S. at age 20. She had gone on vacation to New York City and Atlantic City with a trusted male friend she'd known since she was 15. Unbeknownst to Jessie, the smooth-talking friend had become a sex trade recruiter, and she ended up in a house in Las Vegas, coerced into sexual captivity.

Grant has not seen her daughter since Christmas Day 2005 and has not spoken to her since April 2006. Thanks to her mother's efforts, Jessie's case received wide media attention in the U.S., but to no avail. She has since worked tirelessly to prevent others from meeting her daughter's fate, founding the organization MATH, Mothers Against Human Trafficking. …

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