Students safer from human trafficking thanks to program

TORONTO, March 21, 2013 /CNW/ - Children and youth who are vulnerable to sex trafficking will get information that will keep them safer, thanks to a program initiated this month by All Saints Anglican Church-Community Centre at the corner of Dundas and Sherbourne Streets in Toronto.

The church launched the pilot phase of a program called Providing Resources, Offering Support (PROS) for students in Grade 8 and their teachers, warning about the dangers of domestic human trafficking. Two facilitators are visiting 26 schools of the Toronto District School Board in priority neighbourhoods, offering curriculum kits and a 90-minute workshop to teachers, and making presentations to students. The Toronto Catholic District School Board is also participating, having invited PROS to give training to its social workers and guidance counsellors.

"All of PROS' material has been prepared in consultation with experts who are informed by years, and in some cases decades, of first-hand experience working with people who have been trafficked for sex domestically," says Carly Kalish, a social worker who runs All Saints' Friday morning drop-in for female sex trade workers.

"We have drawn on the knowledge and experience of police officers, school administrators and social workers who are committed to assisting those who are commercially exploited," she continues. "We are also immensely grateful to a group of youth who have shared with us their lived experiences of being trafficked specifically to inform our work." The idea for PROS came out of Ms. Kalish's work with the women at the drop-in, some of whom had a history of having been trafficked.

The pilot project will be completed on March 31, when PROS will report on outcomes to the Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services, which provided PROS with a Safe and Vital Communities grant. The program will continue for another year and is expected to reach all Toronto schools. It will be funded by a grant from the Anglican Diocese of Toronto.

SOURCE: Anglican Diocese of Toronto

For further information:

Media Contact:
The Rev. David Opheim
All Saints Anglican Church-Community Centre
Tel: 416-697-7768


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