National Human Trafficking Awareness Day in Canada Date in the current year: February 22, 2024

National Human Trafficking Awareness Day in Canada National Human Trafficking Awareness Day is observed in Canada on February 22 every year. It was created to raise awareness of the magnitude of modern slavery, both in Canada and abroad, and to encourage Canadians to contribute to the combat against human trafficking.

Human trafficking is the trade of humans for the purpose of forced labor, indentured servitude, sexual exploitation, forced marriage, or organ procurement. Contrary to a common misconception, human trafficking does not necessarily involve crossing borders; it can happen within a country – any country, including developed countries like Canada. It is a nationwide issue that affects all Canadian communities, yet it was added to the Canadian Criminal Code only in 2005.

The most common form of human trafficking in Canada is sexual exploitation; it makes up more than 70% of all human trafficking in the country. 90% of human trafficking victims are Canadian citizens; among them, 96% are women and girls. 25% of the known human trafficking victims in Canada are aged under 18.

A lot of people believe that human trafficking always involves kidnapping, but this just is another common misconception. Only about 9% of traffickers are strangers to their victims. In most cases, trafficking involves grooming and coercion from someone victims know and trust like a boyfriend, friend, or family member. Due to this, a lot of trafficking victims do not realize they are being trafficked, and a significant number of trafficking cases go undetected.

February 22 was designated as National Human Trafficking Awareness Day by the Canadian House of Commons in 2007 and by the federal government in 2020. Its main goal is to raise public awareness of human trafficking and the physical, psychological, and emotional trauma it causes to the victims, dispel the misconceptions surrounding it, and encourage Canadians to take a stand against trafficking in persons.

To mark National Human Trafficking Awareness Day, the Canadian Human Trafficking Hotline, operated by the Canadian Centre to End Human Trafficking, launched the It’s Time to T.A.L.K. campaign that is meant to facilitate conversations around sex trafficking. The acronym T.A.L.K. stands for:

  • T – Teach yourself about sex trafficking
  • A – Approach the conversation with care
  • L – Listen and adapt
  • K – Know there is help available

There are many ways to get involved with National Human Trafficking Awareness Day besides educating yourself about human trafficking and starting conversations. You can donate to a charity dedicated to fighting trafficking, support local anti-trafficking initiatives, and spread human trafficking awareness on social media.

Canada’s National Human Trafficking Awareness Day is not the only observance raising awareness of human trafficking. In the United States, for example, National Human Trafficking Awareness Day is observed annually on January 11. International observances include the EU Anti-Trafficking Day (October 18) and World Day Against Trafficking in Persons (July 30).

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National Human Trafficking Awareness Day in Canada, observances in Canada, human trafficking, sexual exploitation