Joy Smith

MP invites civil society to join the fight against human trafficking

By 
  • November 7, 2012

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

Comments (0)

There are no comments posted here yet

Leave your comments

  1. Posting comment as a guest. Sign up or login to your account.
Attachments (0 / 3)
Share Your Location
Type the text presented in the image below

Support The Catholic Register

Unlike many other news websites, The Catholic Register has never charged readers for access to the news and information on our site. We want to keep our award-winning journalism as widely available as possible. But we need your help.

For more than 125 years, The Register has been a trusted source of faith based journalism. By making even a small donation you help ensure our future as an important voice in the Catholic Church. If you support the mission of Catholic journalism, please donate today. Thank you.