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This article was published 9/9/2016 (1906 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
Ending human trafficking between Manitoba and North Dakota is on the table at a round table discussion today between representatives from both the province and the U.S. state in Winnipeg.
About 50 representatives from both jurisdictions at the meeting at the Canad Inns Club Regent Casino Hotel will be brainstorming strategies for cross-border collaboration aimed at ending human trafficking as well as beginning to develop an international protocol for protecting and providing relevant services to survivors.
Human trafficking is happening right here in Manitoba, and is more widespread that many people are aware, said Diane Redsky, the executive director of the Ma Mawi Wi Chi Itata Centre Inc. in Winnipeg.
"The thing about human trafficking is that it happens everywhere. There's no city, town, province, state, that is immune from human trafficking," Redsky said in a telephone interview with the Winnipeg Free Press.
"We know that in Manitoba. We have the first provincial strategy to address the sexual exploitation and sex trafficking of people in our province. We know anecdotally from survivors that it is common," Redsky said. "Because it is such a profitable crime for criminals who are traffickers, borders mean nothing. It's about where they're going to make the most money and profit from the sexual exploitation of women and girls. We also have the labour trafficking which happens also cross border."
Redsky said authorities need to know more about what's happening in Manitoba and North Dakota to improve and strengthen collaboration in the law enforcement, government and community levels to respond to victims when they come forward.
Also being reviewed at the meeting are emerging practices in the areas of intelligence gathering, response and enforcement procedures, information sharing, safety planning, professional training, and leadership. State-of-the-art technology to seek out traffickers, buyers and individuals victimized by both will be demonstrated at the meeting.
One of the expected outcomes of the meeting will be a published report and recommendations for next steps.
"This important cross border collaboration between multi-disciplined stakeholders is the first of its kind," Barb Gosse, CEO of the Canadian Centre to End Human Trafficking, said in a statement. "With a view to ending human trafficking, this meeting will allow for detailed discussions on disrupting human trafficking efforts through innovations in intelligence efforts, response and enforcement, public education and awareness, as well as professional training for those in position to recognize the signs of human trafficking and respond appropriately."
Gosse said stakeholders at the meeting in addition to Canadian Centre to End Human Trafficking and the Ma Mawi Wi Chi Itata Centre include the Consulate General of the United States and the Provincial Ministry of Justice.