OTTAWA - Canada’s parliamentary crusader against prostitution and human trafficking is leaving federal politics.

Conservative MP Joy Smith said she will not run in the next federal election so she can devote her time to fighting human trafficking in Canada.

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TORONTO - Pope Francis called for “the globalization of charity and co-operation” on the 101st World Day of Migrants and Refugees, but the Sisters of St. Joseph may have beaten the Pope to it with their submission to a United Nations commission in early January.

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VATICAN CITY - Leaving their habits behind and disguised along with police in regular clothes, a small group of three or four nuns raid brothels in Calcutta, India, at night, snatching young women and girls as young as 12 from the clutches of their captors.

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MANCHESTER, England - Young Africans are being seduced into modern slavery by the promise of a dream that never comes true, an English cardinal told a conference on human trafficking.

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OTTAWA - Several hundred marchers participated in Ottawa’s first fundraising Freedom Walk Sept. 27 to raise awareness of the fight against human trafficking.

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VATICAN CITY - Pope Francis called for the "globalization of charity" through an international network to fight human trafficking and ensure the rights of migrants and refugees.

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VATICAN CITY - Human trafficking destroys the lives of millions of children, women and men each year, making it a real threat to peace, the Vatican said as it announced Pope Francis' 2015 World Peace Day message would focus on the phenomenon.

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VATICAN CITY - Although they have not yet reached full unity, Roman Catholics and Anglicans continue their dialogue, come together in prayer and work side by side, including on a new project to combat human trafficking around the world.

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VATICAN CITY - Pope Francis denounced those responsible for human trafficking, slave labour and arms manufacturing, saying people producing weapons of war are "merchants of death."

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TORONTO - Human trafficking is not limited to sexual slavery, says Karlee Sapoznik, and it occurs closer to home than Canadians believe.

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OTTAWA - It is one thing to set victims of human trafficking free but quite another to get them started on a new life.

“They believe they are good for nothing,” said Conservative MP Joy Smith. “This is so wrong. It breaks my heart. A lot of these girls were lost and had no support to get back on their feet.”

With that in mind Smith has launched a foundation to invite the public to participate in the fight against human trafficking.

The Joy Smith Foundation is a registered, non-profit organization where “every red cent goes to the victims and the NGOs that take care of them,” Smith said.

The foundation is a follow-up to the federal government’s National Action Plan to Combat Human Trafficking announced in June 2012. Non-political and non-partisan, the foundation is all about the victims,, Smith said.

Victims are “so traumatized they need support” to “start their lives again,” she said. They “need a vision” to rebuild their lives.

“I’m trying to be a role model for the public to show them what they can do,” Smith said. The money goes to the victims to provide rehabilitation to prepare them for a new life outside the sex trade; for clothing, counselling, housing, and money, “all those important everyday things.”

She recalled the court testimony of one trafficking victim who said she felt “good for nothing except giving sex to men.”

The foundation’s other component is building awareness of the plight of trafficking victims and the “unsung heroes” among police officers who rescue them and the NGOs that look after them, Smith said. “These people need to be thanked.”

Smith said people do not realize how hard it is to work in the human trafficking field and the kinds of blocks one runs into, from “judicial blocks” to the blocks from one’s peers in the police force. The work can be discouraging and depressing because the damage to trafficked women and children is so horrible, she said.

“It’s all about love, your love for girls and a desire to give them a fresh start,” she said.

Smith is the first MP in Canadian history to cause amendments to the Criminal Code twice through private member’s bills. Bill C-310 added a mandatory five-year sentence to those convicted of trafficking children under 18, and C-268 made human trafficking an extra-territorial offence, allowing prosecution of Canadian citizens or residents for trafficking crimes committed in other countries.

More information about the foundation can be found at www.joysmithfoundation.com

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OTTAWA - Conservative MP Joy Smith’s second anti-human trafficking private member’s bill has passed the Senate with unanimous support.

Bill C-310 was to receive Royal Assent on June 28 and become law.

The bill makes human trafficking an extra-territorial offence under Canada’s Criminal Code, thus allowing Canada to prosecute citizens and permanent residents for human trafficking offences committed in other countries where there might be weak laws, inadequate policing and/or an ineffective justice system.

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OTTAWA - The federal government’s National Action Plan (NAP) to Combat Human Trafficking announced June 6 will be a “huge help” in battling modern-day slavery, said Conservative MP Joy Smith.

“I’m absolutely delighted,” said Smith, who participated in the NAP’s roll-out in one of several news conferences across the country. “This adds a new step toward combatting human trafficking in Canada.

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ROME - Increasing numbers of women are migrating alone, a situation that makes them vulnerable to violence and exploitation, but one that often shows their courage and commitment to making a better life for their families, said speakers at a conference in Rome.

About 214 million people live outside their country of origin, and half of all migrants are women, said Miguel Diaz, U.S. ambassador to the Holy See, which sponsored a panel discussion about migration and women May 24.

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OTTAWA - Consumers should ensure products they buy are not produced by modern-day slaves, said the American Ambassador-at-large who monitors and combats human trafficking.

“It takes a cultural shift,” Ambassador Luis CdeBaca told a gathering of MPs, senators, diplomats and NGOs on May 17.

CdeBaca, who works under U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, said consumers must ask themselves: “Where did the shrimp come from that I’m eating? Where did the chocolate come from that I’m eating?”

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