Last week, Canadians (and specifically Ottawans) were shocked to learn about a youth ‘pimping’ ring happening within a local community within Ottawa. In a case that even the RCMP had no comparison for; three female youths, aged 15-17, forced three other female youths, aged 13-15, into prostitution. This shocking turn of events has shed some light on the presence of human and sex trafficking within our country.
As some of you may know, inanutshell is proud to work in partnership with The Body Shop Canada as their products are some of our favourites and their values and ethics are top notch. Their last campaign, which spanned over the course of the last three years, focused on the global elimination of Sex Trafficking of Children and Young People. Because Canada is such a wonderful country, as residents, we tend to be naive about the presence of these types of crimes on our home soil. As the recent case of youth pimping demonstrates, Canada is not immune to these evils; youth and children (as well as adults who are primarily women) continue to be victimized by human and sex trafficking rings within our country.
Over the course of the last three years, The Body Shop Canada was able to collect more than 570,000 signatures on their petition to Stop Sex Trafficking. These signatures were publicly presented to our federal Public Safety Minister Vic Toews at an in-store event at The Body Shop in the Rideau Centre. Recently, Toews confirmed that Canada had developed a national plan of action to combat Human Trafficking in Canada, committing 25 MILLION dollars to the cause over the next four years.
I couldn’t be more proud to partner with a company that not only works to promote ethical business practices, but that also continues to support social causes and act on behalf of those who are voiceless.* Furthermore, this positive result has re-established my faith in the benefits of activism at all levels. Not all of us can spearhead NGO’s or activist campaigns, and it’s nice to know that sometimes, the smallest effort, like signing a petition, is beneficial in the end.
*The Body Shop has recently launched their latest activism campaign in support of the elimination of animal testing in cosmetics. The global pledge is available in 115 The Body Shop Stores in Canada (whose products are all cruelty free!) as well as 64 countries around the world. It is also available on-line at www.crueltyfreeinternational.org – Do your part and sign today!