Youth Curriculum

Introduction to Exposing Exploitation

While sexual exploitation of youth has been an ongoing issue in Canada and our world for generations, there has been growing concern and need for better understanding of the issue in recent years. There is therefore a need for resources that speak specifically to the issue in our own country. For years, we have been utilizing resources produced in the United States, and while they have been helpful in raising awareness here in Canada, it is always preferable to have resources that are most relatable to viewers. Providing resources that mention American cities and states have the risk of subconsciously suggesting that the issue of human trafficking and sexual exploitation does not happen in our country, in our own communities. We are thrilled to be able to provide a resource that features strong Canadian role models and presents the issue from a distinctly Canadian perspective.

Who better to educate youth on this issue than you youth workers, teachers and pastors?  You already provide positive relationships, which are foundational to staying free from exploitation.  We hope that Exposing Exploitation will give you another tool in your tool belt as you come alongside the youth in your care.

Collaboration in this work is crucial. This is why “Partnership” is included in the internationally recognized “4 P” paradigm of addressing trafficking along with Prevention, Protection, and Prosecution. It was a very positive experience to be able to co-develop Exposing Exploitation as it allowed us to utilize the strengths of both of our organizations, coming together with a mutual need for a comprehensive resource and a common desire to see an end to the exploitation of youth.

Glendyne Gerrard
Defend Dignity

Jennifer Lucking
Executive Director

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Chapter Descriptions

What is sexual exploitation? An overview of the issue of sexual exploitation in Canada is provided. Teens will be introduced to definitions and gain a basic understanding of sexual exploitation through stories and facts. This chapter will familiarize youth with the topic and provide a pattern for how future chapters will proceed. At the end of each chapter a slide is included on what to do if you suspect you or someone else is being exploited.
How do youth become tricked and trapped by pimps and traffickers? Isn’t “pimp” just a word to describe something cool? In this chapter, you’ll learn more about how pimps target, recruit and groom a victim for sexual exploitation. By understanding how pimps target, recruit and exploit victims, youth will be able to identify red flags and be better equipped to prevent exploitation from happening.
How is online technology used to lure and recruit teens into prostitution? Youth will examine the role of social media and sexting to learn how easy these things can be used by exploiters to trap them. Sextortion will also be discussed. Youth may have experienced unconsented videos and pictures being posted of them online, so instruction from the Canadian Centre for Child Protection on how to remove these visuals is included. By recognizing the role technology plays in sexual exploitation, youth will be informed to avoid these situations.
What role does the demand for sexual services play in teens being sold for sex? If there were no demand, there would be no need of the supply of victims. This chapter examines how ‘johns’ (men who purchase sex) dictate the characteristics of those being sold. Pornography will also be discussed in the role it plays in sexual exploitation. Youth will understand that addressing the root cause of demand will be an excellent way of curtailing sexual exploitation.
Why are Indigenous women and girls the most at risk group of individuals for sexual exploitation in Canada? Youth will examine the factors that influence this reality. They will see and hear directly from Indigenous women who have been sexually exploited, learning about their experiences and how to stop this from happening. Understanding sexual exploitation of Indigenous women and girls will help youth to prevent it.
Sexual exploitation is a complex, difficult issue, so what kind of difference can I make? In this chapter, you’ll learn more about how individuals and communities can make a difference in preventing and stopping sexual exploitation. By exploring their own gifts, talents and interests, youth will be inspired and empowered to take a stand and make a difference.