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The Canadian Federation of Business and Professional Women


Anti-Human Trafficking

Human Trafficking Standing Committee Chair: Kelly Tallon Franklin

REGISTER TODAY for the BPWC Human Trafficking Webinar Series; Anti-Human Trafficking Priority Theme.

We are pleased to share this update from the Anti-Human Trafficking Priority Theme Taskforce and participating Business and Professional Women Clubs.

This is your invitation into Conversations vital in addressing: Human Trafficking and Sexual Exploitation in Canada. An informative series, you will hear actual incites, current trends, survivor lived experiences, and professional stakeholder conversations vital to our personal and organizational understanding. Learning together we are excited to present esteemed experts who will give real time recommendations to empower women in their participation to end one of the most egregious forms of violence, control, and manipulation of women and girls known in history.

Hosted by: Business and Professional Women Canada Task Force and Clubs

What to Expect:
*Survivor ADVOCATES & EXPERT Panelists
*Experiential Leaders & Educational Advocates
*Program and Community Development Experts
*Safety Housing and Peer Support Specialists
*National Organizations and Industry Specialists

Webinar Series – SAVE THE DATES and REGISTER using the links below:

Session 1: Sunday April 7th 6:30 pm EST Health & Supports.
Host Club BPW North Toronto – Pauline Platt.
Registration Link:

Session 2: Sunday May 5th 6:30 pm EST Housing & Programs.
Host Club BPW Bowmanville – Tina Jordan.
Registration Link:

Session 3: Sunday June 9th 6:30 pm EST Legal Landscapes.
Host Club BPW Hastings & Prince Edward – Jennifer May-Anderson.
Registration Link:

Session 4: Sunday July 28th 6:30 pm EST Eradicate Challenge Party.
Host Club TBA.
Registration Link:

Session 5: August 9th 9 am ADT
In person at the Crowne Plaza Hotel, Moncton, NB
Registration – TBA

Email: [email protected] for support. Webinar courtesy protocol is in place.

For security, you need to register for each meeting separately. 

Please share widely with your colleagues, after you register yourself first, as we have limited space—first come, first reserved. *Public Attendees from all Sectors Welcome.

After registering, your zoom link and passcode will be sent. Please refrain from sharing your passcode.

We look forward to receiving your registration and full participation in support of this timely Business and Professional Women Canada priority theme series.




BPW Canada and Courage for Freedom are working on this national campaign along with other concerned people. The campaign follows last year’s huge success of the #ProjectMapleLeaf campaign in Ontario. Over 1600 Ontarians celebrated with us on July 30, 2019. This historic event caught the attention of politicians and Ontario now has an Anti-human Trafficking Strategy. The success of the campaign is dependent on getting the word out. This is part of what BPW Canada members can help with. Just think what can happen in Canada.

The Facts

  1. Evidence suggests over 90% of Canada’s trafficking victims come from within Canada’s borders.
  2. Canada has become a hotbed for human sex trafficking of minor-aged children. 60% of all of Canada’s human trafficking can be linked in some way to activities that occur along the 401 corridor. The 401 corridor is considered the ‘gateway’ to communities. In 2016, the rate of human trafficking in Ontario was more than one and a half times the national rate.
  3. According to police-reported data collected between 2009 and 2016, 72% of victims of human trafficking were under 25 years of age.
  4. In Canada, a 2013 RCMP study reported the victims of all domestic sex trafficking cases prosecuted in Canada between 2007 and 2013 have been female.
  5. On February 22, 2019, Human Trafficking Awareness Day, #ProjectONroute was launched, a historic provincial human trafficking awareness campaign. #ProjectONroute was inspired by a 16-year-old survivor of sex trafficking who wanted to change the way victims of trafficking were portrayed in the media. In 2020, the campaign expanded across the Nation and rebranded as #ProjectMapleLeaf.

Join the #EradicateChallenge

Add your voice to ours by joining the #EradicateChallenge.

  1. Click here to download and print the instructions and sign (colour and black and white).
  2. Follow the instructions and/or watch this short demo video by Johanna Downey, Peel Region Councillor.
  3. Create your photo, video or both and wear your organizational scarfs, hats, t-shirts, etc.
  4. Include #CanadaBPW and your club/organization hashtag and tag @canadabpw and Courage for Freedom.

Save the Dates – February 22 and July 30

February 22:

On February 22, Canada’s National Human Trafficking Awareness Day, we asked all Canadians to join together coast to coast to coast to spread the virtual #EradicateChallenge and send a strong polarized message that we want to “end the buying and selling of girls and boys, children in Canada”.

Karin Gorgerat, President, BPW Canada joining the #Eradicate Challenge

July 30:

July 30 is the UN World Day Against Trafficking in Persons and in Canada we will celebrate #ProjectMapleLeaf and the #EradicateChallenge. Courage for Freedom will disclose the party location to each Province and participant closer to the date. Until then, BPW Canada and Courage for Freedom will work on research, building the movement, training industry sectors and communities and creating greater awareness and comradery.

Join the movement. Together we can raise awareness and eradicate human trafficking.
Join the #ProjectMapleLeaf Campaign: Click here and this will make sure you stay informed.

As you can well imagine this is an exciting undertaking. We are still recruiting volunteers to help with various parts of the campaign. Please email BPW Ontario President, Heather Ellis, if you can help in any way. Many hands make for light work.

Kelly Tallon Franklin
#ProjectMapleLeaf Chair
BPW Canada Human Trafficking Ad-Hoc Committee Chair

Heather Ellis
#ProjectMapleLeaf Project Lead
President, BPW Ontario

Human Trafficking Day

On February 16, 2021, the All Political Party Group to End Slavery of Persons presented a motion, unanimously adopted, to make official February 22nd as the National Human Trafficking Awareness Day. February 22 will now be honoured as National Human Trafficking Awareness Day, each and every year, across Canada.

February 22 coincides with the 2007 declaration by the Canadian House of Commons to condemn all forms of human trafficking and slavery.

The House of Commons proclaimed February 22 as Human Trafficking Awareness Day to help bring awareness to the magnitude of modern-day slavery in Canada and abroad and encourage Canadians to take steps to combat human trafficking.

Letter to RCMP - Criminal Investigation of MindGeek/Voice of Survivors

March 15, 2021: Letter to RCMP Commissioner signed by 70+ Senators and MP’s representing all eight political parties and Senate groups supporting the voices of survivors regarding exploitation and Child Sexual Abuse Material (CSAM) on MindGeek.

Dear Commissioner:

We join the voices of over 100 survivors of sexual exploitation along with hundreds of non-governmental organizations to call for a full criminal investigation into MindGeek and its subsidiaries.

Over the past month, the Standing Committee on Access to Information, Privacy and Ethics has heard shocking evidence from survivors and child protection agencies that MindGeek has regularly made available content featuring child sexual abuse, sexual assault, and sex trafficking.

Even more alarming, we have heard evidence that MindGeek continues to make available material featuring child sexual abuse material and non-consensual acts as one survivor testified to the Ethics Committee on February 19, 2021: “Thanks to Pornhub, today is day 1,292 that I have been naked on these porn sites.”

The Complete Letter Voices of over 100 survivors, including BPW Canada’s Human Trafficking Ad Hoc Chair, Kelly Tallon Franklin and NGO’s across the world. Toronto Star article: More than 70 lawmakers call for criminal investigation of MindGeek, March 15, 2021. Ottawa.

National Strategy to Combat Human Trafficking: 2019 - 2024

Motion M-47

“That the Standing Committee on Health be instructed to examine the public health effects of the ease of access and viewing of online violent and degrading sexually explicit material on children, women and men, recognizing and respecting the provincial and territorial jurisdictions in this regard, and that the said Committee report its findings to the House no later than July 2017”.

Human Trafficking in Persons - BPW Canada's Resolutions & Advocacy

Human Trafficking in persons is an issue that BPW Canada has been addressing since convention 2000. A resolution was passed in the Sault Ste. Marie Convention after it came to BPW Canada members’ attention that young girls were being smuggled into Canada from Mexico, Thailand, India and the Philippines and other countries illegally, and were being held as sex slaves. Canadian laws prohibited the sexual procurement of children in Canada and in other countries in the world but these laws were not being enforced.

At the United Nations at the Committee meetings on the Status of Women in 2005, there were parallel workshops addressing the expansion of human trafficking and sexual exploitation of women and girls around the world.

World Cup Soccer in 2006

BPW became aware that Germany was setting up a football-size area where players and fans could have sex with prostitutes without being exposed to the public.  It was anticipated that women would be trafficked across Asia and Europe to fill the need.  BPW Clubs started writing letters and signing petitions, along with an extensive prevention campaign by immigration and law enforcement.  In the end, during the World Cup, Germany experienced a short-term increase in demand for prostitution, but instead, local prostitutes from elsewhere in the country were drawn in to host cities.  The next year, at the Athens Olympics, prevention efforts were poor.  Researchers found that there was a 95% increase in human trafficked victims during the Olympics.

A further resolution, Combatting Human Trafficking in Canada, was presented and approved at the convention in 2010 urging the Government to provide services to assist victims in Canada. Read the 2010 resolution.

Certificate of Appreciation – July 2012

Certificate of Appreciation Letter

In 2013, BPW Canada developed the resolution: Identification of Businesses and Individuals With a Risk of Sexual Exploitation to Combat Human Trafficking.


Learning Report, September 2012

Human Trafficking National Coordination Centre

  • The RCMP established the Human Trafficking National Coordination Centre (HTNCC) at RCMP Headquarters in Ottawa.
  • The Centre provides a focal point for law enforcement in their efforts to combat and disrupt individuals and criminal organizations involved in Human Trafficking activities.

Books on Human Trafficking

  • Malarek, Victor, The Natashas: Inside the New Global Sex Trade (Penguin Group Canada, 2003)
  • Malarek, Victor, The Johns: Sex for Sale and the Men Who Buy It (Key Porter Books Ltd., 2009)
  • Batstone, Davie, Not for Sale: The Return of the Global Slave Trade and how we can fight it. (2008)

#ProjectMapleLeaf 2019

BPW International President, Amany Asfor (BPW Egypt)
BPWC Immediate Past-President Jenny Gulamani-Abdulla (BPW Calgary) and Project Lead Kelly Franklin (BPW London)
BPWC VP Karin Gorgerat (BPW Trenton & District), Project Chair Heather Ellis (BPW Trenton & District), BPW Ottawa President Kaylie Chow
Giuseppina Seidita, BPW Italy
BPWI Immediate Past-President Yasemin Darwich (BPW Mexico)


Project Unveiling, July 30, 2019

BPW Canada President, Linda Davis (BPW London)
BPWC Human Trafficking Ad Hoc Chair, Kelly Franklin (BPW London), BPWC President, Linda Davis (BPW London)
BPW Trenton & District Members: BPW Ontario First VP, Heather Ellis, BPW Canada Vice-President, Karin Gorgerat

BPW Canada Briefs and Commendations