King’s University College is raising awareness about human trafficking using a bright yellow and blue box.
Sydney Phillips, President of the Social Justice and Peace Club and student volunteers arranged to have the UN Gift Box brought to Labatt Hall.
“King’s is committed to social justice and we are proud to be the first University campus to host the box,” David Sylvester, Principal of King’s University College said.
According to the UN Gift Box, between January 2011 and December 2013, there were 511 reported cases of human trafficking in Ontario.
“People might be in an unfortunate situation here in Southwestern Ontario,” Phillips said. “On farm work, which is a really large issue. On construction sites that they might be working in or nanny jobs, which are really popular in Canada. I think people forget human trafficking is a huge scale issue.”
Factors such as poverty, recently immigrating to a country, poor mental health and addiction to substances can lead to people into human trafficking.
“Any one of us at a particular moment in time could be caught in a situation, either discovering somebody who has been trafficked or even finding ourselves in a situation where we are being trafficked,” Sister Joan Atkinson, a member of the Office of Systemic Oppression with the Sisters of St. Joseph said.
Atkinson says that the Sisters of St. Joseph were able to help a Londoner that was brought to Canada under the assumption that she would be a folk dancer, but was forced to pole dance in various bars and clubs.
Phillips says the box is the first step to inspire students to take more action.
“Something as simple as taking a picture with a box and posting it with the hashtag: #StopTheTraffik or you can write a letter to your MP and MPP,” Phillips said.
Students will be able to interact with the UN Gift Box until Friday.