The Ontario Native Women’s Association (ONWA) Releases Paper on Sex Trafficking of Indigenous Women & Girls

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The Ontario Native Women’s Association has released a paper on the sex trafficking of Indigenous Women and Girls. The paper calls for increased research and funding to better understand the domestic and international sex trafficking of Indigenous women and girls in Ontario and beyond. ONWA underscores the need for this research to occur within a gender and culture-based framework. ONWA also calls upon the Government of Ontario to develop a Provincial Anti-Trafficking Strategy as Ontario has been identified as a hub for trafficking. ONWA argues that the provincial and national governments have an obligation to protect vulnerable individuals, and Indigenous women and girls have repeatedly been identified as especially vulnerable. Combating the trafficking of Indigenous women and girls requires prosecution, protection and prevention efforts that are culturally-responsive, collaborative and gender-specific. Efforts must address the root causes of the vulnerabilities, and empower Indigenous peoples. ONWA is a leader in addressing violence against Indigenous women and girls. ONWA’s policy development and research initiatives are well recognized for not only raising awareness initially about the violence facing Indigenous women and girls, but providing concrete and substantive recommendations for ending that violence. As well, ONWA is engaged in a multitude of frontline support initiatives to address the issue. Currently, ONWA is providing support for the families and loved ones of Indigenous women who have lost their lives or been disappeared, during a pre-Inquiry process across Ontario. This pre-Inquiry process will lead up to a national Inquiry on Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women for which ONWA’s research, policy and frontline expertise can be of great benefit. As an Indigenous women’s organization with a mandate to address violence against Indigenous women, ONWA is deeply concerned about the safety of Indigenous women and girls and the disproportionate numbers of Indigenous victims of trafficking. It is ONWA’s hope that this paper will bring greater attention and collaborative efforts in research, policy and programming to address the issue of sex trafficking of Indigenous women and girls.

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