Advocacy Groups Denounce Salvation Army Anti-Trafficking Campaign

September 27, 2009 at 6:48 pm (Uncategorized)

FOR
IMMEDIATE RELEASE – September 24, 2009

 

Advocates
for sex workers’ and women’s rights are demanding an end to the Salvation
Army “The Truth Isn’t Sexy” campaign.

 

On
September 25, 2009, the Salvation Army is asking its supporters to
participate in “group prayers” where they will place mannequins in
tattered white dresses stained with fake blood outside strip clubs and
massage parlours.

 

In
2008, the Salvation Army launched the campaign with a series of shocking
public advertisements depicting women in situations of danger and
violence. The upcoming “weekend of prayer” will take place in cities
around the world and will involve actions targeting sex workers and their
workplaces. In May of this year, the
Salvation Army was forced to apologize for a similar campaign in
Australia

 

“Through
an aggressive misinformation campaign, the Salvation Army is trying to
create an unwarranted panic about human trafficking in Canada,”
says Katrina Pacey, Pivot lawyer and coordinator of the sex work human
rights campaign. “Even one instance of human trafficking is an
unacceptable tragedy but it is harmful and insulting to characterize all
sex workers as trafficking victims.”

 

Pivot
Legal Society, FIRST and other prominent sex workers’ and women’s
advocacy groups have joined together to speak out against the Salvation
Army and their campaign. Other coalition members include the BC Coalition
of Experiential Communities, Prostitution Alternatives Counselling &
Education (PACE) Society, WISH Drop-In Centre, the Naked Truth,
SWAN and the Sex Professionals of Canada.

 

“It
is completely unacceptable that the Salvation Army excluded sex workers
from the development of this campaign,” says Esther Shannon of FIRST. “It
is widely accepted that the expertise of sex workers is critical to
effective anti-trafficking campaigns. Failing to collaborate with sex
workers and other key stakeholders does nothing to further the safety and
rights of the women and children that are trafficked into Canada
each year.”

 

For further information, please follow the following
links to statements and reports on the reality of human trafficking in Canada:

 

• 
Letter from FIRST to Salvation
Army

•  Fact sheet about
trafficking in Canada (FIRST)

•  Human
Trafficking, Sex Work Safety and the 2010 Games: Assessments and
Recommendations (Front Line Consulting)
 

•  Trafficking
in Persons and the 2010 Olympics (Global Alliance Against Traffic in
Women). 

•  Salvation
Army campaign website

 

Media contacts:

Katrina Pacey (Pivot sex work human rights campaign)  tel. 604 729
7849

Esther Shannon (FIRST) tel. 604 254 9963

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