Ms. Catherine Fife: Over the weekend I attended Rock to Stop Human Trafficking, a fundraising event organized by women in my community who have been championing this issue for years.
Timea Nagy, a courageous survivor of human trafficking, has dedicated her life’s work to advocate for a future where young women are not exploited and abused right here in Ontario. Timea’s organization, Walk with Me Canada Victim Services, was chronically underfunded and under-resourced and was forced to close its doors on August 15, 2015.
Timea and her supporters are now fundraising to provide a five-day retreat in Waterloo region where survivors of human trafficking can relearn life skills and be supported by community leaders within a safe environment.
It is upsetting that in 2016 we are still holding bake sales and work barbecues to fundraise for a cause that is a matter of life and death. The Liberal government has promised money, but organizations within my community of Kitchener-Waterloo have seen very minimal funding increases that will barely cover the needs of one survivor, let alone address the problem holistically.
We should not let the sex trade stigma prevent action. No one chooses to be trafficked. To quote Timea, “They say that the sex trade is the oldest profession, but in reality, it is the oldest form of oppression.”
When will this Liberal government live up to its promise and properly fund front-line community organizations? We have the leadership; now we need the investment in education, prevention and survivor support today.