Emily Piccinin

This year, on September 27th, marks the fifth time the Free-Them initiative will band in solidarity to raise awareness against human trafficking and slavery. Hundreds of volunteers and advocates for freedom will march around the downtown core of Toronto and Ottawa waving banners, chanting rhymes and causing a stir. The aim is to educate communities, businesses and the country at large about the issue of slavery in Canada. The walk has been markedly successful, as each year, the turnout amasses people from across the nation. RCMP representatives, legislature heads, men, women and children of all ages are seen cheering in the name of equity and resistance to unjust, intolerable human treatment.

The parade in purple is a force to be reckoned with. In the words of Prime Minister Stephen Harper, “The urgency of addressing this issue” has not tapered in the least. This past year we have seen the successful passing of Bill C-36 through Second Reading which has been a tremendous success in the fight against human trafficking. However, it still needs to pass the final reading and have support from the community to make it work. Bill C-36 will return to the House of Commons on September 15th. If ever there was a time to raise your voices it is now.

We fight for these outcomes: 1) for decriminalization of the person being sold 2) for criminalization of the pimps and sex buyers and 3) to mandate stalwart funding for sex workers seeking to exit the sex industry. We believe implementing approaches similar to that of the Nordic Model is the best course of action to take to ensure the prevention and annihilation of sex slavery. Legalizing prostitution will not pave the way for an industry with reduced ramifications for sex workers. It will only perpetuate unruly conditions which threaten the lives of all involved, no matter what “protection” may be guaranteed. Will you join and contribute your presence and voice to stand up against human trafficking and ending the slave trade in Canada? We’d love to have you.

Register for the walk in:

Toronto: www.freethemwalk.ca

Ottawa: www.freethemwalkottawa.ca

Come join us!

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