If slavery were a country, it would have as many inhabitants as Canada had in the 1990s − 27 million − and would boast an incredible $32-billion GDP annually.
In 2010, the issue was finally given a voice in Canada with the release of Benjamin Perrin’s book, the passing of MP Joy Smith’s Bill C-268 and her National Action Plan to combat human trafficking, as well as the First Annual Stop Human Trafficking National Awards. A year later, another milestone will soon be reached. On January 28-29, 2011, a new NGO, called the Alliance Against Modern Slavery (AAMS), will celebrate its launch by bringing together survivors of modern slavery, politicians, law enforcement officials, activists and academics.
AAMS was created by graduate students in York University’s Department of History to combat modern slavery in Canada. Its goal is to collect resources, build programs and create alliances among a network of local and global partners. “Modern-day slavery is arguably the most underpublicized human rights crisis of our time,” says Co-founder, President and CEO Karlee Sapoznik. “As a historian who studied the slave trade and the Holocaust, I was shocked to learn that practices that I thought died out centuries ago continue today. The more I learned about modern slavery, the more compelled I was to start doing something about it. The Alliance Against Modern Slavery targets this scourge on our society.”
- Freedom Concert
Keynote speaker: Kevin Bales, President of Free the Slaves, TED Speaker and consultant to the United Nations Global Program on Human Trafficking
Survivor testimony: Natasha Falle
Performers: Kate Todd, Jeff Gunn, Janelle Belgrave and Samba Elegua drummers.
When: January 28, 2011 (7-10 p.m.)
Where: Sandra Faire and Ivan Fecan Theatre, Accolade East Building, York University (Toronto, Ontario)
Admission: $19 – $14 (students). Tickets can be purchased at the York University Box Office, online or by calling 416-736-5888.
- Slavery in the 21st Century Conference
Presentations by Marty Van Doren (RCMP Human Trafficking Awareness Coordinator for Ontario), MP Joy Smith (Conservative – Kildonan – St. Paul, Manitoba), MP Glen Pearson (Liberal – London North Centre, Ontario – Video Message), Peggy Nash (NDP Federal President).
When: January 29, 2011 (9 a.m.-5:30 p.m.)
Where: Founders Assembly Hall, Founders College, York University (Toronto, Ontario)
To register, fill in the form here.
For more information on the Alliance Against Modern Slavery, visit the official Website.
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Cendrine Marrouat is a freelance writer/reviewer, blogger, published author and translator living in Canada. Official Website: http://www.cendrinemarrouat.com