Human Trafficking, Sex Work Safety and the 2010 Games

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In relation to the Vancouver 2010 Olympics and human trafficking for the purpose of sexual exploitation, public statements were made which project an alarming increase in this human trafficking. These claims are inconsistent with the evidence in this research document, that trafficking and mega-events are not linked.

In 2007, Vancouver community organisations that work on issues related to sex work partnered with the Vancouver Police Department to establish the Sex Industry Worker Safety Action Group (SIWSAG). With a grant from the Government of British Columbia and support from the Vancouver Police Department, SIWSAG retained Frontline Consulting to produce a background study on the potential impact of the 2010 Olympic Games on the trafficking in persons for the purpose of sexual exploitation and on safety issues for sex workers. The study explores these issues though the experience of cities that have recently hosted mega sport events.

Recommendations (summary):

  • As with other recent public awareness campaigns associated with mega sport events, take steps to implement Canada‘s first broad-based public awareness campaign on trafficking in persons for sexual exploitation.  
  • To ensure enforcement responses do not increase harm and are balanced between enforcement and protection, work in collaboration with sex industry partners to design training for emergency responders
  • Ensure funding stability for delivery of key 2010 safety net services including: homelessness and housing access services; translation services; crisis support and safe places of respite for sex industry workers and women and children who have experienced violence.
  • Utilise the unique opportunity of the 2010 Games to further develop knowledge around sex work, trafficking and hallmark events by conducting community-based research projects during the 2010 Games. Events would inform the national and international trafficking/sex work academic discourse. 

You can download this 150 page PDF document above. This resource is in English.