Our work is built on a model of vulnerability prevention and pursuit of sustainable outcomes that requires us to take a slower approach to anti-trafficking. This means that while we work in close partnership with enforcement agencies and service providers involved in rescue and relief efforts — we focus exclusively on community engagement, capacity building and the coordination of a comprehensive response to trafficking.
We are not an awareness campaign. We do not believe that awareness as a stand-alone effort, the propagating of victim testimony or sensationalized criminalization is sufficient means for the prevention of trafficking in persons.
We affirm the need expressed in the Canadian National Action Plan to Combat Human Trafficking for the development of an inventory of best practices specific to prevention. Our hope is to assist in the identification of effective prevention strategies through the inclusion of a broad base of community partners and the equipping of non-specialist groups to become viable partners to existing anti-trafficking efforts.
Our work aims to establish prevention as more than a latent priority of the trafficking agenda within each of the strategic pillars:
PREVENTION | We believe that the church has a critical role to play in deterring recruitment into trafficking and effectively realizing prevention measures at the local level. However, this demands that we move beyond the rhetoric of awareness campaigns and public fixation on victim testimony in order to recognize exploitation in everyday life. Our curriculum is designed to help the local church identify the subtle pressures that lead to risk-taking behaviour and to assist in building community resilience.
PROTECTION | We believe that in order to protect individuals already entrapped, we must ensure that all policies and protocols being developed are the conclusion of evidence based approaches and not the result of well threaded anecdote. There is a profound need for current strategies to be substantiated by both qualitative and quantitative data from all relevant sectors of service provision. This will require the formation of a common vocabulary, consistent practices and the use of participatory action research — we must also be willing to incorporate resulting data even where it undermines prevailing perspectives.
PROSECUTION | We refuse to celebrate the imprisonment of individuals as something synonymous with justice. While we fully grasp the need for certain individuals to be separated from society for a period of time and for penalties to be assigned to harmful actions; we also recognize that many of the same factors of vulnerability that lead to exploitation are also present in those involved in lives of crime. We advocate for a restorative approach to criminalization and believe incarceration should be seen as a form of intervention rather than a victory.
PARTNERSHIP | We believe that the evacuation of Christian witness within the anti-trafficking movement has contributed to the absence of articulated prevention strategies and has had a devastating impact on anti-trafficking efforts. As a ministry, we are dedicated to contextualizing the issue of human trafficking for the local church, leveraging existing ties to local community and maintaining the integrity of our Christian identity.
Simply put, we are a discipleship ministry working to address the costly effects of neglecting the great commission.