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Alberta investing $4M to create office to combat human trafficking


The provincial government is partnering with three Alberta organizations to create an office that will work with victims and survivors of human trafficking.

The Alberta Office to Combat Trafficking in Persons will be led by #NotInMyCity, Native Counselling Services of Alberta (NCSA) and REACH Edmonton Council for Safer Communities.

Premier Danielle Smith and Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Services Mike Ellis gathered at a downtown Calgary hotel on Friday to announce the creation of the office.

The province is committing $4 million over two years to make the project a reality.

"We can't afford to close our eyes to the problem of human trafficking, and we can't afford to ignore those who are at risk of being trafficked or those who have been trafficked," said Premier Danielle Smith.

The office will connect survivors and victims of human trafficking to various community supports and services.

It will also work at establishing a better data collection process to monitor the effectiveness of service delivery and help close gaps in tracking cross-jurisdictional trafficking.

Human trafficking survivor April Eve Wiberg spoke about her experiences during the Friday news conference, saying she was sold by pimps in cities across Canada and U.S. for nearly a decade before escaping.

"I was taught to hide my indigenous roots because if the buyers knew I was more likely to be beaten, robbed, raped or murdered."Human trafficking cases are classified in three main categories: sex trafficking, labour trafficking and organ trafficking. 

Between 2011 and 2021, more than 3,500 incidents of human trafficking were reported across Canada, with the vast majority of victims (96 per cent) being women and girls, and one quarter of victims under the age of 18.

"Every investment made into the combatting of human trafficking is helping restore the humanity and freedom that every individual deserves," Ellis said. Top Stories

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