We are a collaboration of faith-based organizations, community groups, and individuals working to raise awareness about the spectrum of exploitation of human beings and to inspire action for structural and societal changes.
This Collaborative Network is administered by the Sisters of St. Joseph of Toronto (CSJ) and supported by a core working group which consists of:
- Leah Watkiss, Ministry Director (CSJ)
- Varka Kalaydzhieva, Program Director (CSJ)
- Luis Mata (FCJ Refugee Centre)
- Sarah Guinta (Coordinator, Office of Justice and Peace, Catholic Diocese of Hamilton)
- Ursula Witkowska (IBVM)
We collaborate with numerous networks and organizations. We are a member of the Toronto Counter Human Trafficking Network and part of the Anti-Human Trafficking Subcommittee of the Canadian Council for Refugees.
We have also met with numerous politicians and civil servants to discuss strategies and raise awareness about the exploitation of migrant workers. These include the previous Premier of Ontario and the current Ontario Minister of Labour (in her past position as Opposition Critic) as well as representatives of the Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services.
Our current project is the Migrant Workers Exercise.
It is an experiential workshop where people are invited to experience the multifaceted exploitation that many migrant workers are subjected to in Canada.
Our past projects have included campaigns and events that raise awareness and create dialogue regarding human trafficking and exploitation.
GIFT Box: 2015 - 2016
This was a massive awareness-raising event during the 2015 Pan and Parapan Am Games in Toronto. This walk-in art piece looked like a giant gift-wrapped box, but visitors would walk in to find information about human trafficking.
They could also sign postcards directed to Ontario’s then Premier Kathleen Wynne and calling for provincial action.
Click here to learn more about GIFT Box and how this art piece is available for organizations, coalitions and groups to borrow.
Symposium in 2017
This event on May 17, 2017 at St. Michael’s College in Toronto was entitled A New Dialogue on Human Trafficking: Exploring the Spectrum of Exploitation and served to broaden and deepen conversations about the subject.
Attendees from religious groups, service organizations and government agencies attended to discuss the spectrum of exploitation and how it extends beyond sex trafficking.
Click here to learn more about the Symposium.
The Collaborative Network is committed to working from the anti-oppressive framework created by the Toronto Counter Human Trafficking Network.
This framework calls for us to:
Be supportive allies.
Root our work in the voices and experiences of people with lived experience
Ensure that our actions do not negatively impact those who have been harmed or create further pain for other marginalized groups.