Hon. Mobina S. B. Jaffer:
Honourable senators, I rise today to speak about one of the world’s most pressing crises, the epidemic of human trafficking. This is a crisis that affects many children worldwide. In 2012 alone, over 2 million children were subjected to trafficking in the global commercial sex trade. This number is steadily rising.
Over the 30 years I have worked on this issue, I have had the opportunity to collaborate with International Justice Mission Canada, a non-profit that works with authorities to rescue and rehabilitate victims of trafficking. To show what kind of work that International Justice Mission does, I would like to share the story of Sani, a young girl they rescued.
When Sani was 14, she met a man who offered her a job in another part of the country. Instead, he drugged her and sold her to a brothel. At first Sani refused to meet customers, but she was beaten mercilessly and locked in a room for seven days. After she was raped for the first time, Sani was passed from one brothel to another. This became her life. On average, Sani serviced 25 men a day.
Sani’s experience is too common. On average, a trafficker in South Asia can make between $9,000 and $66,000 a year from one girl. In this environment, girls like Sani lose hope of going free.
Thankfully, a rescue operation led by the local police and supported by International Justice Mission Canada freed her from the brothel and immediately provided her with rehabilitation services. Within one year of her rescue, Sani enrolled in a nursing program and completed it, ranking third in her class. She currently manages the hospital’s dialysis unit.
Shortly after her rescue, Sani gained permission from a magistrate to take part in a rescue operation to help save other girls. She led police and International Justice Mission to a brothel and showed them every hiding place. Nine girls were rescued that day.
Girls must never suffer like Sani did. Canada needs to play a part in ending human trafficking. Currently, sadly, Canada is ranked third out of 60 countries for hosting websites selling child cybersex materials online. This is unacceptable.
Honourable senators, I have contacted every member of Parliament and senator about this issue and will send a second round of follow-up letters soon. I urge you to join me in displaying on your devices #NotOnMyScreen stickers and to help end child cybersex trafficking now. Senators, the girls and boys around the world and in our country need your support. I ask for your support.