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News Release - Manitoba

March 14, 2013

Manitoba Builds on Community Partnerships to End Child Sexual Exploitation


Everyone Has a Role to Play in Ensuring Our Children are Protected: Howard

The Manitoba government is building on its work with community groups across the province to end the sexual exploitation of children and youth as part of Tracia’s Trust:  Manitoba’s Sexual Exploitation Strategy, Family Services and Labour Minister Jennifer Howard announced today as she proclaimed March 11 to 17 Stop Child Sexual Exploitation Awareness Week.

“We all have a role to play in helping protect our children,” said Howard.  “Our government’s firm legislation, combined with the ongoing efforts of community organizations, helps us confront the perpetrators who are sexually exploiting them.”

Today, the province, along with the Winnipeg Sexually Exploited Youth Community Coalition, is hosting the fifth annual forum, All Children Matter:  Protecting Sacred Lives, at the Radisson Hotel, 288 Portage Ave.  Hundreds of community groups will be planning increased awareness, prevention and intervention initiatives at the forum. 

Forum organizers anticipate around 350 people in attendance and keynote speakers include Melanie Mark, associate deputy representative, advocacy, Aboriginal and Community Relations Office of the Representative for Children and Youth, Province of British Colombia; Nahanni Fontaine, special advisor on Aboriginal women’s issues for the Manitoba Aboriginal Issues Committee of Cabinet; and Jordan Masciangelgo, Lynne MacDonell and Tanay Little, speakers with personal experience on the issue.

With an annual budget of more than $10 million, Manitoba continues to lead the nation in support and programming under the Tracia's Trust, said Howard.  Initiatives under the strategy include the creation of a Sexual Exploitation and Trafficking Act, the designation of two Crown attorneys to co-ordinate and prosecute sexual exploitation cases, criminal property forfeiture legislation and an expanded Victims’ Bill of Rights.  Tracia’s Trust regional teams have also been established in 12 Manitoba cities and towns to raise awareness and counter local sexual exploitation, the minister said.

Various initiatives throughout the week hosted by Tracia’s Trust regional teams include:

  • the Grandmothers Protecting Our Children Council will participate in outreach activities on Winnipeg streets, meeting with young women to raise awareness and form relationships;
  • the Flin Flon team is hosting a youth event in partnership with local schools and will also host a community education session to raise awareness of sexual exploitation;
  • the Westman regional team held a display booth at Brandon’s Youth Career Symposium where team members handed out brochures, pamphlets and bracelets that say ‘I’m Off Limits’;
  • The Pas team is conducting a drive to raise awareness with team members handing out brochures and posters at the local mall and post office throughout the week; and
  • the Parkland team hosted a one-day youth forum in partnership with local schools in Swan River.

More information on Tracia’s Trust – Manitoba’s Sexual Exploitation Strategy is available at www.gov.mb.ca/fs/traciastrust/index.html.

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