In response to a growing concern about human trafficking in their community, Changing Together, a centre for immigrant women, conducted an environmental scan entitled “Trafficking of Women and Girls to Canada.”
Healthcare providers, social service agencies, law enforcement bodies, immigration and settlement agencies, as well as faith-based groups were consulted. Nearly half of respondents shared that they knew of human trafficking cases in the community.
Respondents were asking for training and education on how to identify victims of trafficking, what victims’ most pressing needs are, and the state of existing legislation on human trafficking in Canada. The results were clear: there was an urgent need for more training and awareness on the issue. That’s how a fledgling organization, the Alberta Coalition Against Human Trafficking (ACAHT), was formed.
The Action Coalition on Human Trafficking (ACT) Alberta was created out of ACAHT in 2010. Since this time, ACT Alberta has been critical in advocating for the rights of victims of human trafficking and providing front-line, direct services to victims/survivors.
With funding from Status of Women Canada and the Canadian Women’s Foundation, ACT Alberta developed a Community Action Plan to prevent and reduce sex trafficking of women and girls in Edmonton. The result was the report "Engaging Community: Addressing Sex Trafficking in Edmonton."
Read the Report
Under the supervision of Dr. Joanna Harrington, ACT Alberta partnered with the University of Alberta’s Law Department to undertake new research projects. The results were three critical white papers that highlighted the gaps in anti-trafficking service provisions across Canada.
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ACT received funding from Public Safety Canada and a donation from Tammy Johnson, a prominent advocate to end human trafficking, to undertake research into the intricacies of labour trafficking in Edmonton. The result was the report “Labour Trafficking in Edmonton: HoldingTight to a Double-Edged Sword.”
With the help of the City of Calgary’s Crime Prevention Investment Fund, ACT Alberta completed the Calgary Community Action Plan on Human Trafficking. The project was designed to improve the response to human trafficking across Calgary and surrounding regions.
Through the changing waves of the COVID-19 pandemic, every industry around the world felt the strain, especially those already experiencing hardship. ACT Alberta worked, and continues to work tirelessly to address the changes in the human trafficking landscape in Alberta, providing direct support to those who need it most.
Since COVID-19, we’ve re-committed to what matters most – the survivor. As a front-line agency, ACT's role is critical in getting victims and survivors of human trafficking on their path to safety. With this renewed focus and clarity of vision, ACT has evolved our brand to better reflect our experience, expertise, and empathy.
For over a decade, ACT Alberta has been steadfast in our vision of an Alberta free of human trafficking. We are a team of social workers, educators, and human rights advocates who are empowering and mobilizing our communities to end human trafficking. Guided by those who have lived experience, we provide judgement-free, essential services directly to victims and survivors of human trafficking. We also train and educate the public to recognize the signs of trafficking and know how to safely respond. Our passion drives us to help our clients find their pathway to safety and finally be the champion of their own stories.
We respect that not everyone wants to report their story. We respect that everyone’s path and story may look different.
Today we are partnering with organizations across the country to establish a community of safety for survivors, and a coalition of champions who will continue to disrupt and raise awareness about human trafficking. We believe that together, our vision of an Alberta free of human trafficking is within reach.