White vans. Strangers lurking in dark spaces or online. Kidnapping. Victims in chains. Far away and out of sight. Never in my backyard.

Sound familiar? It’s what comes to mind for most parents, guardians, and educators when they hear the word sex trafficking. Hollywood and viral social media videos has fed into these unrealistic views of what sex trafficking is and who and how they’re typically targeted. Sensationalized and often off the mark.

At OneChild we’re here to share the truth about sex trafficking in Canada. To provide tools and resources to help protect the children in your life. Sex traffickers are often people your children feel safe with. People you may even feel safe with too.

The truth is, sex trafficking in Canada is happening in plain sight in our schools, bus stops, malls and even our own homes. Traffickers and their victims are getting younger with the average age of recruitment – 13 years-old. The COVID-19 pandemic has also fuelled a rise in issues such as sextortion, due to lockdowns and isolation where most connect with others online. Making them prime targets to lure and groom from #BehindTheScr3ens of their computers and in their own homes.

Sex traffickers look for vulnerabilities, identify what children are lacking and then target them. Slowly groomming and luring them into their world of sexual exploitation.

The kid bullied at school or online? They’ll be their friend.

The kid whose parents are too busy to check in? They’ll give them attention.

The kid with no self-confidence? They’ll flatter them.

THE CAMPAIGN

#Beh1indTheScr3ens is the first-ever, nation-wide, youth-led awareness campaign against child sex trafficking. It was created by youth to educate each other and the Canadian public about how predators like sex traffickers and sextortionist try to take advantage and exploit children, especially online.

When is it?

Now until Feb 22, 2022 which is Canada’s National Human Trafficking Awareness Day.

What does it involve?

#Beh1ndTheScr3ens is a 2-part anti-sex trafficking awareness campaign developed in partnership with Meta and focuses on building safer online communities for children.

PART 1

We’re releasing a series of videos over Facebook and Instagram, and in Ontario schools to help children understand that although the conversations that they might be having behind the screens may seem harmless at first; there’s danger and they can get help.

These videos were scripted in partnership with our Youth Advisory Squad (YAS) – our youth ambassadors and advisors aged 14-17, and in collaboration with Meta, sex trafficking survivors and cyber safety experts.These videos are great conversation starters for the children in your life. They provide hotlines to report cases and seek support.

It’s the perfect example of how children are working with businesses to help build safer online communities for themselves and their peers!

PART 2

We need your help!

To commemorate Canada’s National Human Trafficking Awareness Day on Feb 22nd, our YAS is challenging you, your family, students, and colleagues  – along with their peers – to write “13” across your mask in the a.m. and wear it throughout the day to make a powerful statement about 13.

Why 13? It’s the average age of recruitment by sex traffickers in Canada.

We want to get this critical message out to children and the public. So, mask up on Feb 22nd and show us your 13. Take a selfie, share it on social media and tag or DM us at @onechildnetwork with the hashtag #Beh1ndTheScr3ens. Be sure to pose the challenge to friends, and family.   For ideas on what to write in your captions, see here.

If you’re an educator, we’re supplying you with a YAS- created video called Why 13? to show to your students, and a toolkit to start the conversation.

Here’s your chance to be an agent of change and combat the sexual exploitation of all children in Canada. Join the challenge and pose it to your friends, colleagues, and family. By joining the challenge you’re telling predators such as sex traffickers and sextortionists they are on watch and you as a parent, guardian or educator won’t stand for it.

OneChild is proud to work in collaboration with those with lived experience.  We would like to thank Alexandra Ford, The Laughing Survivor for her expertise and guidance.

Contact Us

8865 Woodbine Avenue
Unit D3, Suite 124,
Markham, ON
L3R 5G1 Canada

OneChild Network & Support Inc. is a registered Canadian charity: No. 831160544RR0001

General Inquiries: info@onechild.ca
Youth Inquiries: youth@onechild.ca

1.905.886.2222

General Inquiries: info@onechild.ca
Youth Inquiries: youth@onechild.ca

1.905.886.2222