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June 25, 2019 | General

The initiative will drive awareness about the issue and protect Canada’s most vulnerable citizens

EDMONTON, Alberta (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Today, Edmonton International Airport (EIA) announced its official partnership with the #NotInMyCity movement – an anti-human trafficking initiative founded by Canadian humanitarian and country music superstar, Paul Brandt.

#NotInMyCity serves to educate the public about the realities of child sexual exploitation and trafficking while simultaneously uniting Canadians in the fight to protect some of our most vulnerable citizens. EIA becomes the second major airport in Canada to partner with #NotInMyCity, following the Calgary International Airport.

Human trafficking is one of the fastest growing crimes in Canada with 93 per cent of Canada’s trafficking victims coming from within the country. According to a recent report, more than a quarter of victims are under the age of 18 and, despite being only four per cent of Canada’s population, Indigenous Canadians represent half of all human trafficking victims. Data shows that identifying and investigating this crime will be considerably more effective when the public and community leaders are armed with the most cutting-edge information.

“We all have a voice and the power to share the message that child sexual exploitation and trafficking is wrong. Today’s partnership demonstrates the power of community and the collective stand we are taking to identify and ultimately prevent human trafficking in our country,” said Paul Brandt, who, among his many musical accolades, is also a former Alberta Children’s Hospital Registered Nurse, and a nationally recognized humanitarian and philanthropist. “We are proud to have EIA as a strong #NotInMyCity Ally as we work together to put an end to sexual exploitation and sex trafficking.”

EIA will be a key partner in this initiative as they create additional awareness and education amongst guests, volunteers and staff on how to identify possible human trafficking victims, as well as taking a visible stance to show that child sexual exploitation and trafficking is not acceptable at the airport, or anywhere in Canada. The partnership will also focus on launching public awareness campaigns to promote #NotInMyCity imagery and messaging throughout the airport, including the prominent yellow rose that signifies EIA as an ally against sexual exploitation and trafficking and a safe space for those who may need it.

“With more than 8.2 million passengers travelling through our airport annually, it is important for our guests to see, hear, and know that EIA is a safe place for all,” said Tom Ruth, President and CEO, Edmonton International Airport. “The presence of the yellow rose and our official partnership is our way of letting guests, volunteers and staff know that we will not allow these actions to take place at our airport, in our cities or across Canada.”

Since its inception in 2017, #NotInMyCity has made substantial progress in drawing awareness about the issue and bringing key stakeholders together to engage, commit and collectively build an action plan to prevent and end child sexual exploitation and trafficking.

Community leaders and stakeholders from across Alberta, including municipal officials, First Nations, representatives from Police, Justice, Children’s Services, Health and Education, and not-for-profit community agencies, have also committed themselves to finding integrated solutions around this important cause.

Today’s announcement united various members of the Edmonton community including Ward 5 Councillor Sarah Hamilton, City of Edmonton; Deputy Mayor Kelly Vandenberghe, Leduc County; City Councillor Beverly Beckett, City of Leduc; Assistant Commissioner John Ferguson, RCMP; and Chief of Police Dale McFee, Edmonton Police Service. All stood together as they shared a communal message that human trafficking is not tolerated here, or anywhere. The #NotInMyCity leadership team will continue to work with these partners to gather support from influencers and institutions across the country, encouraging the pooling of resources, expertise and perspective as they identify and mobilize a strategic direction to bring about transformational and sustainable change at the grassroots, practice, policy and legislative levels.

“With this partnership, EIA is taking the first step in ensuring the Edmonton public is aware of and educated about human trafficking in our city,” said Sarah Hamilton, Ward 5 Councillor, City of Edmonton. “The City of Edmonton is dedicated to working with the #NotInMyCity team and EIA to find integrated solutions around this important cause.”

At this moment in time, there are more people enslaved through human trafficking than there have been in human history. For more information about #NotInMyCity, or to support this important cause, please visit www.notinmycity.ca.

About #NotInMyCity
#NotInMyCity is an initiative championed by humanitarian and country music star, Paul Brandt, geared toward raising awareness and collective action on Human Trafficking in Calgary, Alberta and moving across Canada with a focus on Sexual Exploitation and Sex Trafficking. Since 2017, #NotInMyCity has been working with community partners to bring awareness and collective action to this issue. The movement continues to unite key stakeholders locally, provincially and nationally to engage, commit and collectively build an action plan to prevent and end sexual exploitation and sex trafficking.

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#NotInMyCity