Calgary (January 11, 2022) – Today, on Human Trafficking Awareness Day, the Calgary Catholic School District (CCSD) has launched a new educational program in collaboration with #NotInMyCity, equipping teachers and staff with skills to identify the risk factors of human trafficking and sexual exploitation of youth.
The purpose of National Human Trafficking Day is to bring attention to Canada’s fastest growing crime and second largest source of illegal income worldwide. In Canada, 21 per cent of trafficking victims are under the age of 18. Despite Canada’s Indigenous population accounting for just 4 per cent of the country, it is estimated that 50 per cent of all Canadian trafficking victims are Indigenous.
As Director of Learning for CCSD, Leanne Timko has championed the development of an education-specific learning module to help give teachers and support staff the tools to identify risk factors that could lead to youth being trafficked.
Says Timko, “We are so pleased to work with #NotInMyCity to leverage the latest statistics, information and tools to help our teachers become more aware and be able to take the appropriate steps if they encounter a situation with a vulnerable youth in their schools and classrooms.”
#NotInMyCity is raising awareness and taking collective action to prevent, disrupt and end sexual exploitation and trafficking every day of the year. #NotInMyCity is a leading partner in helping address human trafficking across several sectors in Canada, including schools.
According to #NotInMyCity Founder Paul Brandt, “Creating allyships with school boards is an important part of the work we do as an organization. By collaborating with the CCSD, we can help teachers and staff identify signs of trafficking and give them the tools to confidently address situations.”
#NotInMyCity has developed customized training that will help teachers prospectively identify youth who may be vulnerable and at greater risk of being trafficked.
The learning program will provide CCSD teachers and staff with knowledge and awareness about sexual exploitation and human trafficking in Canada. They will learn to understand the behavioural signs that might indicate an exploited person, and how to get help without putting the concerned individual in harm’s way.
#NotInMyCity also offers an interactive e-learning course for anyone interested in learning more about the issue of human trafficking and sexual exploitation in Canada. It was developed in collaboration with provincial, national and international thought leaders. Upon completion of the free 30-minute e-course, participants are awarded with a certificate. Thousands of individuals have completed the course so far.
In Canada, anyone can call the Canadian Human Trafficking Hotline at 1-833-900-1010 if they believe they witness or are experiencing human trafficking or sexual exploitation. If anyone is in immediate danger, it is recommended to call 9-1-1.
#NotInMyCity is a facilitative organization that is raising awareness and taking collective action to prevent, disrupt and end sexual exploitation and trafficking, focusing on children and youth. The #NotInMyCity movement is growing. We are working in alliance with key stakeholders, creating awareness, educating others and mobilizing a strategic, integrated plan to bring about transformational and sustainable change at all levels. The organization was founded by Paul Brandt in 2017.
The Calgary Catholic School District (CCSD) is the largest Catholic school district in Alberta, serving more than 56,000 students in 117 schools located in Calgary, Airdrie, Cochrane, Chestermere, and the Rocky View County. CCSD educates and empowers students from kindergarten to Grade 12 through its mission of Learning and Learning in our Catholic Faith. For more information, please visit cssd.ab.ca.