THE MANITOBA ADVOCATE’S STATEMENT OF CONCERN ON CHILD SEXUAL EXPLOITATION
13 March 2023
THE MANITOBA ADVOCATE’S STATEMENT OF CONCERN ON CHILD SEXUAL EXPLOITATION In recognition of Stop Child Sexual Exploitation Awareness Week, taking place March 13 to 17, 2023, the Manitoba Advocate for Children and Youth (MACY) is calling attention to the ongoing violence perpetuated against children and youth through sexual exploitation, and the work which remains to be done to address and prevent. [...] As acknowledged and documented by the province in its 2019 report titled Collaboration and Best Practices to End Sexual Exploitation and Sex Trafficking in Manitoba, the sexual exploitation of children and youth continues to be a significant problem in Manitoba, with young people being victimized daily. [...] These co-occurring systemic issues include: the ongoing mental health and addiction crises; high rates of apprehension and child welfare system involvement; high rates of missing children and youth, high rates of incarceration and justice system involvement, as well as Manitoba having the highest rate of child and family poverty among the provinces.4 These issues are disproportionately experienced. [...] This propels the work of our office, mandated by The Advocate for Children and Youth Act (ACYA) and guided by the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC), to protect and promote the rights of children so they may be safe from harm and supported to grow to their fullest potential. [...] The sexual exploitation and sex trafficking of children and youth is a grave violation of children’s rights, undermining the safety and well-being of our most vulnerable citizens, which threatens our collective future.