You might be interested to know that human trafficking is a huge problem in Canada and the United States. It’s not just an issue in other parts of the world we might associate with that behaviour. No longer can we turn away and say “Well that doesn’t happen here!” because it does.
Every year, countless men, women and children fall prey to traffickers. They are bought and sold for sexual favours causing physical, emotional and spiritual pain like many of us will never imagine. Believe it or not, Canada is a source country as well as a country of transit and destination for these horrific transactions (http://www.unodc.org/unodc/en/human-trafficking/what-is-human-trafficking.html).
Did you know?
- 2,000,000 children are subjected to prostitution in the global commercial sex trade yearly
- an average victim may be forced to have sex 20-48 times…a day
- 30 million people. $150 billion dollar industry – worldwide sex and labour traffic
- At $32 billion, the global sex trade is the fastest growing commerce in the world.
- 12-14 years old is the average age at which a girl is first sexually exploited in the commercial sex industry in Canada and the US
- A single child trafficked internationally can earn a trafficker as much as $30,000
These are staggering and sobering figures!
You might also be interested to know that the incidents of human trafficking rises during large sporting events like the Superbowl. It’s estimated that around 10,000 sex trade workers were brought into Miami for the Superbowl.
This coming July in Toronto, the Pan Am Games are coming and with it a host of issues relating to human trafficking. The question remains: What can we do to make a difference?
Joanna Doak is the Youth and Creative Outreach Coordinator for the Atlantic Baptist Women (http://www.atlanticbaptistwomen.ca). She was deeply moved by stories and statistics about human trafficking that she wanted to make a difference. She was encouraged to write a show that would highlight the issues and give voice to the voiceless. “As much as we don’t want to admit it, some of God’s precious creations are being bought and sold here, in Canada…here, in Atlantic Canada. We can’t DO anything about it if we don’t know anything about it,” says Joanna.
So she and her drama production company, Chameleon Jo Productions (http://joannadoak.wix.com/chameleonjo) have developed a musical show called “eXpendable”. Set in the world of human trafficking, the story is fictional yet set in the real world of sex trafficking in North America, using the SuperBowl as a back drop.
The CBWOQ (Canadian Baptist Women of Ontario & Quebec), as part of their work with the “Buying Sex is Not a Sport” campaign, have asked that Chameleon Jo Productions bring the cast/musicians/crew to Toronto to perform the show at the end of June. We will offer performances in Fredericton, NB leading up to the shows in Toronto.
Of course such ventures have a cost attached and the group is asking for donations to help fund this musical that will shed light on this hidden topic. Joanna estimates that it will cost nearly $70,000 once you factor in travel, sets, etc.
You can help!
- ABW Walk – the 2015 walk proceeds are going to eXpendables. Any donation over $20 is tax deductible. You can sponsor someone from your WMS, Joanna, a cast member, be a walker yourself. Money must be in by May 24th. Forms are on ABW website – http://www.atlanticbaptistwomen.ca/programs/convention. Go fund me page.
- Go Fund Me – they have set up a fundraising page here: http://www.gofundme.com/cjpexpendable
Let’s no longer be silent!