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Dear Amy,

My name is Leanne and I am a political science/women's studies student at Carleton University in Ottawa, Canada. At Carleton I am an active member of our Womyn's Collective and an Amnesty International activist. I am very concerned and passionate about the issue of 'sex trafficking' and have done lots of research on the issue. I would like to connect with an organization or group that is already taking on the issue because I would like to start an anti-trafficking coalition here in Ottawa.

However, throughout my research most of the organizations I have found are based in Europe or in the United States. I would like to know if you know of any groups here in Canada and any advice you may have about starting such a coalition and generating interest among my fellow peers about an issue that does not usually directly affect them. Some of my fellow womyn's collective colleagues are concerned about tackling an issue that deals with organized crime because of security issues. Should this be something I should be concerned about?

Also do you know of any resources that deal with lobbying the government/courts in a Canadian context? Any insight or advice you could offer would be appreciated. Thank-you for taking the time to read my email. I must say that I absolutely loved Manifesta and Grassroots. It was so comforting that other feminists activists were feeling the same frustration.

Thank you for generating and sustaining such a dialog, it is inspiring.




Dear Lux --

The best organization that I know about is Equality Now -- they are based in the US, but work internationally and have several offices in other parts of the world, though I don't think Canada. They have done lots of research on the issue of sex trafficking, including lobbying the US government to pass legislation. They were also successful in New York City with shutting down one sex-tourism business. They also have a healthy perspective on the issue -- they are trying not to condemn the women.

There is also a group called Fair Fund, which works on many issues, but trafficking, mostly from Eastern European countries is one of them. They, too, are based in the US, but might have some thoughts. I know that it is a huge issue in Canada as I just read an article somewhere about how many women are trafficked through Canada.

I don't think that you have to be worried about the organized crime aspect -- that's only a small fraction of who operates these chains anyway.

I hope that helps.

Good luck,

-- Amy