Canada’s Dirty Secret

The trafficking and prostitution business in Canada is highly biased against aboriginal women because of “poverty, abuse, racism, and troubled historical relations.” According to Anupriya Sethi, aboriginal girls come from a trusting culture and when they leave to find jobs in the cities, they are easily lured by the promises of traffickers. Furthermore, study has shown that aboriginal women make up 90% of the teenaged prostitutes in the cities and that the average age for girls to be trafficked is 7 to 12. It is even estimated that around 75% of aboriginal girls have been sexually abused by the age of 18, including 50% by age 14 and almost 25% by age 7.

Part of the problem can be traced back to colonization and the problems that it has created for natives, including raising generations of parents with inadequate parenting skills and who have financial and drinking problems among others. In fact, aboriginal girls and women are not only targeted by those of other races, but by those in their own communities—there have even been instances of family members using incest in exchange for food and housing. On top of this, there are even aboriginal trafficking gangs in the cities that target these girls, and some of the traffickers claim to be female themselves.

The trafficking industry in Canada has become so racialized that aboriginal women are at risk just because of their heritage; there have been reports of aboriginal women who are not prostitutes being solicited by men just because they are on the street. There are no clear estimates of the number of trafficked aborigines, but rape/murder is currently the number-one killer of these women. At this point little is being done by the government to address this problem and without intervention the root causes of why aboriginal girls are trafficked will only multiply and continue to ruin these women’s life.

—by MIR

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