Montreal, June 1, 2016 - The Beacon of the Freed in collaboration with the YWCA Montreal, the Concertation des luttes contre l’exploitation sexuelle (CLES), the Comité d’action contre la traite humaine interne et internationale (CATHII) and the Centre intégré universitaire de santé et de services sociaux du Centre-Sud-de-l'île-de-Montréal, is proud to announce the launch of the “Buying Sex is not a Sport” campaign whose aim is to raise awareness among the general public and visiting tourists to sexual exploitation which increases at an alarming rate during big sporting events. This campaign is funded by the Secrétariat à la condition féminine du Québec and brings together a large number of signatories.
A few days before the Grand Prix, an international sporting event sadly recognized as one of the most harmful in terms of human trafficking, the campaign will begin combatting the normalization of sexual exploitation. The awareness campaign began yesterday, with the help of billboards placed in strategic areas of Montreal and its surroundings, notably on STM buses and expressways. An illuminated publicity truck will circulate in the city centre near to St. Catherine and Crescent streets in peak times and for the duration of Grand Prix festivities.
In a second phase, the campaign gets into full swing on social media thanks to the participation of public figures who will promote the message by lending their faces to support the cause. “It is imperative for the committee involved in this campaign to change attitudes. We must stick to our principles and not trivialize the issue as has been done with the commercialization of women’s bodies. Buying sex is not a sport, therefore contributing to the commercialization of sex should not be considered tolerable or acceptable entertainment. People must understand that slavery was not abolished in 1834; it still exists here and today. It is everyone’s responsibility to act”, states Nathalie Khlat, President and Cofounder of the Beacon of the Freed.
The Beacon of the Freed will raise awareness among governments, organizations and the general public, through concrete and comprehensive actions, so that this issue is acknowledged and that the fight to end it is organized and effective.