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Sudbury groups raise awareness about human trafficking


Frontline workers across northern Ontario attended a conference Friday raising awareness about human trafficking.

The conference was organized by Greater Sudbury Police Service, Shkagamik-Kwe Health Centre and N’Swakamok Native Friendship Centre.

Darrell Rivers with Greater Sudbury police said the goal is to offer education, awareness and prevention.

“To give them a preliminary how to, what is human trafficking, what are the next steps, once they’ve identified a potential individual who is unfortunately in that situation,” Rivers said.

Tiffany Pyoli York with Sudbury and Area Victim Services said it’s important to recognize the signs.

“It’s any change in baseline behaviour, so something that is out of the normal for the youth or teen or child that you’re dealing with,” said Pyoli York.

She added it’s important to trust your gut.

“Go with your gut. If something’s not right, and be open to having those conversations. Ask the tough questions.”

Pyoli York said Sudbury is considered a hub area for human trafficking due to the accessible highways.

“In a few moments you can be hopping on the highway to Toronto, the Sault, to North Bay, Ottawa and beyond,” she said.

“It’s quite easy for traffickers to use those highways to get out of town and circulate those victims.”

Another focus is the prevalence of human trafficking in Indigenous communities.

“It’s something that’s been in our society for so long,” said Geesohns Manitowabi with Shkagamik-Kwe Health Centre (SKHC).

“Coming together today is about bringing that awareness and making those stories told and shared with all of the communities and the city.”

Sudbury police will hold online summer educational sessions about human trafficking to continue the conversation. Top Stories

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