Prevent Sex Trafficking Through Youth Awareness

by Aura Freedom International
Prevent Sex Trafficking Through Youth Awareness
Prevent Sex Trafficking Through Youth Awareness
Prevent Sex Trafficking Through Youth Awareness
Prevent Sex Trafficking Through Youth Awareness
Prevent Sex Trafficking Through Youth Awareness
Prevent Sex Trafficking Through Youth Awareness
Prevent Sex Trafficking Through Youth Awareness
Prevent Sex Trafficking Through Youth Awareness
Prevent Sex Trafficking Through Youth Awareness
Prevent Sex Trafficking Through Youth Awareness
Prevent Sex Trafficking Through Youth Awareness
Prevent Sex Trafficking Through Youth Awareness
Tashin Rodoshi, Project Manager
Tashin Rodoshi, Project Manager

Hello friends!

The past few months have been filled with ups and downs, locally and across the globe. During this time, it is even more important that we come together to support those in need, while ensuring we fill our own cups as well. I hope that wherever you find yourself, you are doing well, healthy, and staying safe. 

We have new updates for you regarding our Sex Trafficking Prevention work! Before I tell you all the amazing work we have done, I want to take a moment to thank you for your continuous support. None of the work we do would be possible without you and we are so fortunate you choose to support us. Thank you!

In July, 2021 the Ontario Government mandated that school boards address sex trafficking in classrooms. This is a huge step forward towards preventing sex-trafficking among youth and one many advocactes like Aura Freedom have been speaking about for years. If you would like to learn more about this new mandate, you can read Aura Freedom's statement here.

This new mandate has resulted in an increase in requests for both our youth and frontline workshops. We have been busy presenting our Human Trafficking and Sexual Prevention 101 Youth and Frontline Training virtually and in person across Toronto. We have conducted these workshops for Universities, secondary schools, police services, sexual assault centres, community youth programs, refugee centres, and so much more. Through these workshops, we are providing the knowledge and tools for young people to empower themselves and prevent trafficking in their own lives. Workshops are also providing frontline workers with the resources and knowledge to support the youth they work with. 

We know that as we continue educating youth and frontline workers in our community, we will begin seeing positive impacts and empowered youth who know what trafficking looks like and what they can do to prevent it. 

February 22nd was the second ever National Human Trafficking Awareness Day in Canada! In honour of this important day, we re-launched our new Human Trafficking Info Hub - a grassroots virtual hub of information and resources to end human trafficking. Here, you can find definitions, statistics, resources for support, the luring and grooming process, risk and protective factors, and more. This Info Hub is already getting great traction and has been featured on many of our colleague's social media, networks, and forums. 

This Info Hub is a living website that will be updated with information as we continue our work. We are grateful for all the support that made this Info Hub possible!

As we look forward to the next quarter and as Ontario begins to re-open following the pandemic, we are excited for what is in store for our prevention work and for the community. 

Lastly, if you are able, it would mean so much if you shared our work on your social media. When you share, you help us spread awareness, reach more people, and make an even bigger difference. 

Thank you for all of your support and donations towards this prevention work. Remember, no matter how small your contribution may seem, the impacts it has are immeasurable and will impact the lives of youth for years to come. 

In solidarity, 

Olivia Allen

Development Manager

olivia@aurafreedom.org

Tashin Rodoshi, Online Workshop
Tashin Rodoshi, Online Workshop
Tashin Rodoshi, In-Person Workshop
Tashin Rodoshi, In-Person Workshop
Tashin Rodoshi, Online Workshop
Tashin Rodoshi, Online Workshop
Visit the Info Hub on our website
Visit the Info Hub on our website
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Visit our Info Hub on our website
Visit our Info Hub on our website

Dear Friends, 

I hope you are well, healthy, and enjoying the holiday season. At Aura Freedom, we have so much to be grateful for: our health, our dedicated team members, and you - our amazing supporters!

Since we last checked in, we have been busy creating new resources and learning opportunities for people in our community. These resources are important because when people are educated on what human trafficking is and what it looks like, they can be empowered to prevent trafficking in their own lives. 

During COVID-19, we have pivoted from in-person awareness presentations and have moved these presentations online. In order to ensure virtual presentations are just as engaging and informative as they are in person, we use break out rooms, group activities, discussions, and have a trained trauma counsellor on every call who is available for one-on-one support through the private chat function or in a private break out room. By doing this, we have been able to provide awareness and education presentations to many frontline workers, teachers, and youth in a way that is COVID-19 safe while still preventing human trafficking. 

By making this change, we have been able to provide crucial anti-human trafficking information as guest presenters for organizations like The Learning Network’s webinar on Human Trafficking: Innovative Responses Created By and For Youth and Indigenous Communities, the Freedom Collaborative's event Preventing Human Trafficking by Advancing Equity and Unpacking Root Causes, and MCIS Language Solutions' event Aura Freedom's New Human Trafficking Info Hub. 

These events have allowed us to inform viewers about the root causes of exploitation and human trafficking and how to address them. We examined the systemic oppression of marginalized groups, including women and girls, Indigenous and Black women/youth, 2SLGBTQ+ youth, newcomers, and youth in foster care, among others. We also looked at definitions, trends, statistics, the luring and grooming process, risk and protective factors, myths, and much more.

You can view these recorded presentations below:

The Learning Network:

https://www.vawlearningnetwork.ca/webinars/recorded_resource_spotlights/RS_9.html

Freedom Collaborative:

https://freedomcollaborative.org/webinar-library/preventing-human-trafficking-by-advancing-equity-and-unpacking-root-causes

MCIS Language Solutions:

http://helpingtraffickedpersons.org/

We have also written analyses of important documents relating to human trafficking. Our analysis of the 2021 U.S. Trafficking in Persons Report compares how Canada stands up to other countries in the fight to eliminate human trafficking. We also analysed Ontario’s new mandate for schools to address human trafficking and discuss the importance of utilizing a gender lens, since human trafficking thrives in situations of inequity. 

You can read the Trafficking in Persons analysis at https://aurafreedom.org/aura-freedoms-analysis-of-the-2021-tip-report/, read our analysis of the school mandate at https://aurafreedom.org/ontario-mandates-anti-sex-trafficking-in-schools/, or take a look at some of our other work at https://aurafreedom.org/news/

We have amazing news! At the end of November, we launched a brand new educational resource that we have been working on for months. We could not be more excited that our Human Trafficking Info Hub is live! 

This Hub is so important to us at Aura Freedom. The Info Hub houses information on human trafficking, definitions, statistics, warning signs, risk and protective factors, myth busters, and so much more. The Hub incorporates principles of our anti-human trafficking training to provide in-depth resources that are easily accessible for everyone. The Info Hub can be used by educators, parents, youth, frontline workers, healthcare professionals, and anyone else who wants to understand more about human trafficking in a way that is user friendly, engaging, and informative.

We are so proud of this Info Hub and know that it will positively impact the lives of countless individuals. You can explore the Info Hub and learn more about how we address human trafficking by visting https://aurafreedom.org/relentless-resilience/human-trafficking-info-hub/. 

We could not have done this work without your support! You have made it possible for us to create resources that will be available for years to come. Your impact will be felt by the countless youth who are empowered to prevent trafficking in their lives and who are educated to recognize warning signs in themselves and others. The impact of your support truly goes beyond the resources we have created. Thank you.

No matter how small your contribution may seem, the impacts it has are immeasurable and will impact the lives of youth for years to come. 

We are so grateful for you and we cannot wait to see where your support takes us next. 


In solidarity, 

Olivia Allen

Development Manager

olivia@aurafreedom.org

Marissa Kokkoros, Learning Network presentation
Marissa Kokkoros, Learning Network presentation
Marissa and Tashin, MCIS presentation
Marissa and Tashin, MCIS presentation
Marissa during the Freedom Collaborative event
Marissa during the Freedom Collaborative event
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Educating youth on healthy relationships
Educating youth on healthy relationships

Dear friends,

Time has certainly flown by since we last spoke! During this time, there have been many changes in the world and at Aura Freedom. As the country begins to open up more, everyone seems to be filled with hope, excitement, and new life but we will begin to see the effects of the pandemic on our youth if we haven't already. The isolation, exploitation, and fear everyone has experienced - especially youth - will have an impact on the years to come. 

As you know, the Peer Prevention Project is unfunded and your support could not be more appreciated! Your continued support for this project has meant we can continue educating youth on human trafficking and empower them to prevent exploitation in their own lives. It has meant we can provide survivors with support and resources to live better lives of health and inclusiveness. Your support has meant we can continue to demonstrate what healthy relationships look like, how to identify red flags, and educate youth on what true consent is. This is especially important as 29% of people are trafficked by an intimate partner and 31% by a friend. When we educate youth, we are saving lives one presentation at a time.

Becuase of your gifts, we are able to continue providing life saving support to youth who are experiencing, or are at risk of experiencing, human trafficking. Because of your support we have provided anti-human trafficking workshops to frontline workers to identify and support survivors of human trafficking in their line of work. Because of you, we have been able to provide virtual presentations at Elizabeth Fry, Roden Public School, Halton Catholic School, Youth Rising Above, Women's Support Network, Women's Habitat, and more.

It is amazing what we have been able to accomplish because of your support! In a time when resources are scarce and youth are more at risk than ever, we have been able to provide life-saving education to those who need it. All thanks to you!

We have more exciting news - our online booking forum is live! This means that teachers, community support workers, leaders, etc who want to host an anti-human trafficking presentation can easily book, all with one click of a button! Having this forum means booking is easier, faster, and more accessible for everyone. As September quickly approaches and school resumes, we look forward to using the forum to schedule presentations and impact the lives of countless people in our community. We can't wait to see where this year takes us!

You can click here to view our selection of workshops, here to book a youth anti-human trafficking presentation, and here to learn more about our youth presentation. As always, please contact asha@aurafreedom.org if you have any questions about scheduling a presentation. 

As we look forward to the coming months, we are very grateful for your continued support. We know the last year and a half has not been easy for anyone and we are grateful to have you by our side. We could not do the work that we do without support from people like you.

Remember, no matter how small the contribution may seem, it has major effects on those it reaches. 

And we are so grateful for you.

As always, yours in solidarity.

Youth presentation at Youth Rising Above
Youth presentation at Youth Rising Above
Why Indigenous Communities Are Targeted
Why Indigenous Communities Are Targeted
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Dear friends, 

The past year has certainly presented challenges on an individual level as well as an organizational one. But if there is anything the last year has taught us, it is that we are stronger and more capable when we come together to support one another. 

And you have done just that! Despite the job losses, sickness, frustrations, and feelings of hopelessness, you have found something worth your hope, commitment, and resources. And we could not be more grateful. Your support has meant that we can continue fighting against human trafficking by educating and empowering youth across Toronto. 

Because of you, we have been able to continue supporting youth currently experiencing or at risk of human trafficking. As I am sure you know, youth are more at risk now than ever as they are spending more time online, isolated from community supports, and often stuck at home with those who exploit them. The Peer Prevention Project team has transitioned to delivering presentations online, allowing them to deliver presentations safely and to reach a wider range of people.

The Peer Prevention Project team has been hard at work on some new and exciting developments! In the last four months, the team has provided presentations for Youth Rising, Elizabeth Fry, homeless youth, marginalized groups, parent groups, and Toronto service providers to name a few. They have even presented to women and youth already involved in trafficking to provide them with tools to exit safely. The team has also provided an online teen drop in zone and supported the Toronto Rape Crisis Centre with frontline training.

The team has been busy and has done amazing work despite the Peer Prevention Project currently being unfunded. The HTPPP is more critical now than ever, and we are so grateful to have your support. It can be hard to understand the true impacts of these presentations as changes are internal, but the ripple effects will be seen for generations to come. 

In the coming months, we are going to be launching an online forum on our website where teachers, community support workers, leaders, etc. can easily schedule Peer Prevention Project presentations. This is an important development as it creates greater accessibility for those in our community.

Until this platform is ready, please contact asha@aurafreedom.org if you are interested in scheduling an anti-human trafficking presentation. 

As we look forward to the new developments in the coming months, we are grateful for those who support us through the good times and the bad. We could not do the work that we do without support from people like you. However small the contribution may seem, it has major effects on those it reaches. And we are so grateful for you.

As always, yours in solidarity.

Asha facilitating an online webinar
Asha facilitating an online webinar
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Keeping the HTPPP Sisterhood alive during COVID-19
Keeping the HTPPP Sisterhood alive during COVID-19

Dear friends and supporters,

Many things changed in 2020. All around us, we can see those changes in our daily routines, relationships and expectations. Yet, what remains the same is that youth continue to experience violence and exploitation during COVID-19.

The Peer Prevention Project is needed now more than ever as social services are limited and at-risk groups are isolated and stuck at home - a place that is safest for some but deadly for others. Women and youth/children are exposed to more violence at home and online - especially true for marginalized groups often neglected in programming and lacking social supports.

This is where the Peer Prevention Project comes in.

The Peer Prevention Project carries out workshops in schools, shelters, youth group homes and community centres aimed at preventing sexual exploitation and gender-based violence. From March 2019-March 2020, our Community Engagement Youth Team carried out 48 workshops and engagements, reaching over 2000 youth and service providers in Toronto and the GTA and supported numerous survivors of gender-based violence and human trafficking to access services and safety planning.

Because of you. Because of your support.

In response to COVID-19, we moved our in-person workshops to a virtual platform so that this powerful project could continue. Through this platform, we were able to host online programming in real-time for shelters, organizations and community centres. While adapting to virtual presentations, it was essential for us to have our trauma counsellor on the call to support youth virtually. Youth can also privately message the trauma counsellors for support and follow up services.

Gender-based violence is not new by any means, but COVID-19 has amplified youth’s vulnerability and has made them a target for online grooming. Awareness and education on human trafficking is essential.

And we can only do this work with your support. So, thank you. Thank you for your support.

We are so grateful.


To book a workshop for your school, shelter, youth group, agency please email asha@aurafreedom.org

In solidarity, 

Olivia Allen and the entire Aura Freedom team

 

 www.aurafreedom.org

Facebook.com/AuraFreedomInternational

Instagram and Twitter: @aurafreedom

The HTPPP Team and our Executive Director
The HTPPP Team and our Executive Director
Our Project Coordinator sharing her insights
Our Project Coordinator sharing her insights
The HTPPP Team doing their thing!
The HTPPP Team doing their thing!
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Aura Freedom International

Location: Toronto, ON - Canada
Website:
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Twitter: @AuraFreedom
Project Leader:
Marissa Kokkoros
Toronto, ON Canada
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