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Sault airport joins fight to stop human trafficking


The Sault Ste. Marie Airport is doing what it can to stop human trafficking.

A partnership with #NotInMyCity, an awareness organization, has led to training among airport staff to recognize the signs of trafficking.

Airport CEO Terry Bos said joining the campaign was a "no-brainer."

“I’m not sure that anyone really realizes what the signs are and if it is all that obvious to people,” Bos said.

“Like it could be happening here now and we don’t even know it.”

#NotInMyCity was started by country music singer Paul Brandt five years ago.

Brandt said there are many signs people should know to spot a possible trafficking situation.

“It can ... be a person who’s not in control of their own documents or isn’t travelling with a lot of baggage and seems to be controlled in some way or watched in some way by another person,” he said.

The airport has a number of signs posted with a QR Code that will take you to the #NotInMyCity website.

It has a number of resources in addition to training similar to that being done by airport staff, and it only takes roughly 20 minutes, Brandt said.

Sault Ste. Marie Police are one of the partners. Spokesperson Lincoln Louttit said the more people who are able to detect signs of human trafficking, the better.

“Human trafficking investigations are very complex,” Louttit said.

“Obviously it’s difficult to identify witnesses and identify evidence to prosecute these cases properly. So by creating more awareness in the community, we hope to have more robust cases and a more successful investigative process in these types of investigations.”

Brandt said the public generally doesn't know a lot about human trafficking, which is one of the fastest-growing crimes in the country.

“The average age of being trafficked is 13 years old,” he said.

“Indigenous populations make up four per cent of Canada’s (population), but make up 50 per cent of trafficking victims in this country -- and it’s one of those things that we really can do something about.” Top Stories

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