Okay. Well, thank you.
First of all, the Canadian Women's Foundation's task force is deeply concerned about what we learned of what's happening in Canada, particularly to vulnerable youth. Youth are specifically targeted by traffickers. The more vulnerable you are, the more you're targeted. I would also say that any girl can be at risk for trafficking.
We've learned through our consultations with the 260 organizations and 160 survivors that what is common is that they were first recruited and lured and trafficked as young as 13 years of age. That is critically important to the work that we're doing.
There's also this misconception in Canada that young women and girls who are forced into prostitution are to blame for their own sexual exploitation. That's part of the big shift that also needs to happen.
We also learned that there's a huge opportunity to look at the child welfare system, and have that consistent across Canada, because that contributes to the little or no safety net for minors when we're looking at safety and protection.
We did release a campaign yesterday. I just want to read one of the voices of the campaign. It is a campaign to donate your voice called Give My Voice. This is a campaign to raise awareness of the realities of sex trafficking. We focused on minors because they are the most vulnerable, and we all really need to have all hands on deck when it comes to protecting young people.
The campaign is designed with quotes given that people can read. This is one of the quotes. This a common reality for young people:
I met him on a subway last year at the beginning of grade 9. He was cute. We started going to parties and I tried drugs with him. Then one day he told me I had to repay him for everything. I didn't have any money, so he forced me to do things with other men. I didn't want to do it, but he says he'll hurt my family if I don't.
The importance of that is to raise awareness about the complexity of the coercion and the force and the intimidation that young people, as young as 13, are experiencing at that age, and which then carries on.
I'll quickly comment on the funding piece, because that is critically important. The Canadian Women's Foundation, since we started working on sex trafficking in Canada just three years ago, has invested $800,000 into the issue. We learned a lot about what's there and what's not there. We know that a $20-million investment may be the beginning, but it's not enough.
Also, we see it as an opportunity for the Canadian Women's Foundation to partner with governments and other foundations. In fact, we were doing that as we were going along the way. While the $20 million sits there—and we would love to see more of it—it is not just a government issue but an issue that affects all Canadians. There's an opportunity for the private sector and other funders to be involved on this issue to end sex trafficking in Canada.