Human trafficking expert Cathy Peters addresses students at Fernie Secondary School. Kimberley Vlasic/The Free Press

Students wise up on internet safety

Fernie students have been schooled in ways to protect themselves from child sex traffickers.

Fernie Secondary students have been schooled in ways to protect themselves from child sex traffickers.

Cathy Peters is an expert on the topic and addressed Grade 7-12 students, parents and teachers at Fernie Secondary School last Thursday at the special request of Mayor Mary Giuliano.

“I think it’s an important message for kids to be aware of,” said principal Linda Christenson.

Peters is a former secondary school teacher who has dedicated the past five years to raising awareness about human trafficking, which she describes as “modern day slavery” affecting between 100,000 to 200,000 children across Canada.

“You are an army that can stop this crime that is growing so fast here in Canada and it’s targeting your age group,” Peters told students.

“I’ve learned about the crime of human sex trafficking and child sex trafficking, that is the buying and selling of women and children for sex, and that’s what I want to stop in British Columbia.”

Peters said the digital world made it easier for children to fall victim to traffickers.

“With one click of a device you can end up in very dark places and meet a world of strangers,” she warned.

Students and parents watched two short films about real-life victims of child sexual exploitation in the UK.

They were also given ways to protect themselves.

Peters urged students to be wary of anything that required secrecy and not to get involved in “sexting”.

“Never send nude pictures online, you can never retrieve them,” she said.

“They are also considered child pornography, which is illegal.”

Her second piece of advice was to get help with any issues they were currently dealing with.

“Recruiters look for victims that are struggling, by getting help you reduce your risk,” she said.

Thirdly, students should always come forward with information about traffickers.

“They’re criminals, not you… Find someone you trust to tell,” said Peters.

Pornography goes hand in hand with human trafficking, according to Peters, who warned students not to watch it.

“Porn is highly addictive and will completely twist and destroy your views of men and women’s relationships,” she said.

Peters also presented to delegates at the 2018 Association of Kootenay & Boundary Local Governments Convention on Thursday.

Fernie Secondary students and parents will receive more internet and social media safety training when educators from the Victoria-based company, The White Hatter, visits the school on May 9.

 

Just Posted

Elkford councillor Joe Zarowny remembered

The District of Elkford today announced the passing of long time councillor,… Continue reading

‘Police are ready’ for legal pot, say Canadian chiefs

But Canadians won’t see major policing changes as pot becomes legal

Fernie arena tragedy “wake up call” for global refrigeration industry

Technical Safety BC’s incident report shared across 60 countries, reaching as far as Poland

Lake Koocanusa under the microscope

Wildsight, Sierra Club BC, Headwaters Montana and U.S. university launch water sampling program

Province offers support ahead of Fernie arena tragedy anniversary

Loss of three men in workplace incident motivates Labour Minister to make B.C. safer

Legal pot price must be ‘competitive’ with black market: Blair

Bill Blair shared final words on journey to legalization ahead of official day Wednesday

Meet the City of Fernie candidates

Voters in Fernie will vote for one Mayor, six Councillors and one School Board Trustee on October 20

Meet the District of Sparwood candidates

Voters in Sparwood will vote for one Mayor and six Councillors on October 20

Meet the District of Elkford candidates

The Elkford Chamber of Commerce will host an All Candidates Forum on October 4

Mayor of Kamloops says ‘history has been made’ with vote on B.C.’s lone pot shop

The store to be run by the province in B.C.’s Interior is opening Wednesday as pot sales become legal across Canada

New bus route to ‘replace’ Greyhound along Trans-Canada Highway

Rider Express Transportation says they will soon begin a bus service from Winnipeg to Vancouver

U.S. pot firm urges Trump to deny Canadian producers ‘competitive advantage’

The challenge for U.S. firms lies in the fact that while recreational cannabis is legal in nine states and medicinal pot in 22 others, it remains illegal under federal law

Government says imprisoned Canadian terror suspects must face consequences

Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale showed little sympathy Tuesday for such individuals who now want to return to Canada

How rules for inmate segregation in Canada will change under Bill C-83

Federal government proposing changes to rules around inmates in federal correctional institutions

Most Read