Local support groups have a better understanding of how to deal with potential human trafficking situations. A workshop hosted by Crime Prevention and ACT Alberta was meant to help them look for warning signs.
54 per cent of trafficking victims are used for sex work. HIV North’s Jen Spencer says that is a clientele they work with regularly.
“Locally we do deal with women who are in the sex trade. Sometimes they are there by choice and sometimes they are not. So, we just wanted to learn how to support them best.”
41 per cent of trafficking victims are being used for labour, many of those may enter the country legitimately as visitors or temporary foreign workers. 59 per cent of human trafficking victims are Canadian citizens that are moved around the country.
ACT Alberta also worked to help the groups understand the warning signs. Spencer says being able to recognize those signs isn’t the final step.
“We see a lot of things that sometimes we just need to know what to do with those red flags once we do see them.”
“Lots of time people aren’t from this community,” Spencer continued, “so for them to reach out and have supports closer to where they feel more comfortable, that would be a benefit for us.”
Spence feels that by HIV North learning from groups like ACT it will help them broaden their resource base and provide better care to their clients.
ACT says some signs to watch for include people being constantly escorted or watched or not speaking on their own behalf. People will also tend to have little knowledge of the area they are in and limited personal belongings.