Episode #26: Stay Awake Campaign: The Anti-Human Trafficking Program
As part of the Stay Awake Campaign, Shadi Shahkhalili, Anti-Human Trafficking – Migrant Case at FCJ Refugee Centre, talks about our Anti-Human Trafficking Program, which includes three main projects: the Migrant Workers Mobile Program, the Migrant Women’s Counter Human Trafficking Alliance, and the Youth Alliance Against Human Trafficking.
If you need support related to human trafficking and migrant workers, you can contact us through WhatsAppp: 647 971 2153.
Welcome to our new episode of the FCJ Youth Network Home is Here podcast. All uprooted youth are welcome.
MANUELA: Hi, everyone. My name is Manuela. I’m here with Shadi. She is the Anti-Human Trafficking case working in the FCJ Refugee Centre. Thank you, Shadi, for being here.
SHADI: Thank you, Manuela, for having me. Happy to be here.
M: What do you do in FCJ Refugee Centre?
S: I am, as you said, the migrant case worker in the Anti-Human Trafficking program. So we do case management with migrant workers who have faced abuse or exploitation by their employers in Canada, or for migrant workers who have experienced labor trafficking here in Canada. We help them, especially with immigration, but we also help them with other supports that they may need.
M: Thank you, Shadi. What is the Anti-Human Trafficking program?
S: Our program is specifically for victims and survivors of human trafficking, and particularly for international migrant workers. So we have a focus on international cases of labor trafficking here in Canada. We have a youth section of the Anti-Human Trafficking program, where we have services specifically for youth. We have a women’s coordinator in our program who works specifically for women, and we also have a lot of male clients. So we work specifically with migrant workers who are facing these difficult situations here in Canada, to support them.
M: Okay, Shadi, thank you. What service does FCJ offer for victims of human trafficking?
S: We primarily help them with their status, because many of them have serious challenges with their immigration status here in Canada. And, in order to be able to access support services and many basic social services, you need to have status in Canada. So primarily we support with immigration remedies, and we support with applications for different immigration applications that they may be eligible for. But we also are able to refer them to other supports that they may need, whether we can provide that here in our centre, like medical care, like our food program, or we refer them to supports outside of our centre. For example, mental health support, if they need support with clothing… Housing is also something we can support with here at the centre… So we can connect them with other supports as well.
M: It’s very good information. The people need to pay for this service, or it’s free?
S: No, our services are all free here at FCJ. So, regardless of what program in the centre the client is connecting with, all of our services are free, because we are a community organization and we don’t charge at all for our work.
M: Good. The people need some sort of status to access these service?
S: No. We work with many people who are out of status and we work with many people who have precarious status here in Canada. So there is absolutely no limitation in terms of status. We can work with anybody who needs our support. We just don’t work with people who have PR [Permanent Residence] and are citizens, because we specifically are working with the vulnerable population who are either out of status or surviving in Canada with precarious status.
M: What aspects do you think it is important for people to know about this program?
S: I think it’s important to know that we specialize in supporting people who are out of status or who have precarious status, or that should not be something that holds people back from contacting us. We are also able to support connecting victims of these kinds of crimes to the police authorities, because, many times, migrant workers who find themselves in these situations and are out of status or don’t have authorization to work, they are scared to approach the police, and because they are afraid that they will face deportation. So we are able to provide them with the correct information. And, in some cases, with people who are very vulnerable because of their status, or are very scared, we can support them to connect with the police if they need extra support, to feel comfortable coming forward, so that they can receive support. Victims of crime in Canada have rights here. So, that way, if they are able to come forward, they can also access the rights that they have and learn more about the rights that they have, so we can support in that way as well. And that’s something important to know, I think..
M: Thank you, Shadi. How can people contact for more information?
S: They can contact myself or the coordinator of our program, Jovana. Through our emails. My email is firstname.lastname@example.org. Also, your Jovana’s email is email@example.com. We also have a WhatsApp number that that migrant workers can contact us through, if they have an international number. For our WhatsApp number it’s going to be written down below this podcast when you are listening to it, so you can go there to access our WhatsApp number.
M: Thank you, Shadi, for being here and for all this good information that you’ve shared with us today. Have a good day, Shadi.
S: Thank you very much, Manuela. Thank you so much for inviting me. Thank you.
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