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Manitoba Government News Release–The Manitoba government is providing $100,000 on International Women’s Day to help expand the public education efforts of the Joy Smith Foundation, a Winnipeg-based non-profit organization that has become Canada’s leading authority on human trafficking prevention, intervention and survivor support, Justice Minister Kelvin Goertzen announced today.

“Sex trafficking is a growing concern in communities across Manitoba, particularly putting young girls and women at risk, and the key to stopping continued exploitation is through education, increasing awareness and encouraging people who see the signs of trafficking to speak up,” said Goertzen. “This funding will help the Joy Smith Foundation expand its public education efforts and help more people recognize and avoid falling victim to this crime while also helping survivors recover and move forward in their lives.”

‘See the Trafficking Signs’ is a powerful national awareness and education campaign intended to prevent Canadian youth from being lured into the sex trade that the Joy Smith Foundation launched at the end of February to coincide with National Human Trafficking Awareness Day.

“We are filled with gratitude to the Manitoba government for providing the funding to bring awareness about human trafficking through our ‘See the Trafficking Signs’ initiative,” said Janet Campbell, president and CEO, Joy Smith Foundation. “This valuable information will protect our families from being trafficked. Education is our greatest weapon to suppress this crime.”

“The Manitoba government has taken remarkable leadership in recognizing the impact human trafficking has on our youth and communities,” said Joy Smith, founder, Joy Smith Foundation. “It is crucial our youth become aware of how traffickers operate so they are empowered to protect themselves from becoming victimized.”

The campaign uses extensive paid and organic digital and social media, out-of-home executions, and in-school posters to educate on what can be done to help someone caught up in trafficking and increase awareness of nine key signs of sex trafficking including:

  • new clothing, jewelry or gifts without having money;
  • frequent sleepovers at a friend’s house;
  • sudden interest in a man several years older;
  • sudden change in the style of dress or makeup;
  • new circle of friends and isolation from old group;
  • change in attitude toward school, regular activities, and friends;
  • grades dropping;
  • unexplained cuts or bruises; and
  • using two cell phones.

The Joy Smith Foundation’s mandate is to prevent victimization from human trafficking through education. Educating at-risk youth and sharing signs to watch helps Canadians learn who might be vulnerable and how to effectively intervene. Since its inception, the foundation has helped over 6,000 human trafficking survivors and their families restore their lives by reuniting, healing and integrating back into their communities.

To learn more about the ‘See the Trafficking Signs’ campaign, visit, https://www.traffickingsigns.ca.