A Lethbridge non-profit group is making a first-of-its-kind impact in Mexico.
Not4Sale recently received that country’s first-ever license to operate a home for children directly impacted by the illegal sex trade.
The organization has been operating in Lethbridge for 14 years helping to support victims of human trafficking and the home in Mexico is their latest effort.
“We have locals on the ground who just have such a passion and a heart for these girls,” said Joy-Lynn Stickel, director of Not4Sale.
Stickel says the organization can house up to 10 girls at a time and provides a number of resources including drug detox.
“A lot of them obviously are not physically healthy and so we have doctors and psychologists that help assess them and get them to a place where they’re able to start growing and healing,” added Stickel.
Tanisha Stromberg, Not4Sale manager, says people need to know human trafficking occurs around the globe and is not limited to third world countries.
“They really miss the idea that this is happening in our own backyard. Personally, I know multiple people that have been trafficked and sex trafficked either as a child or as an adult,” stated Stromberg. “We’ve seen firsthand of that, people in Calgary (and) in Lethbridge. We know that those numbers are pretty big throughout Alberta.”
Plans are in place for future homes to be built closer to home.
“As it stands right now, we’ve been having lots of meetings with government officials, with local police, social services to be able to find out exactly what the need is, where our fit is, where we can come alongside to be able to meet the need in Alberta,” said Stromberg.
According to Statistics Canada, the country saw 3,541 police-reported incidents of human trafficking between 2011 and 2021.
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