Jacqueline Linder, Executive Director and founder of Chrysalis Anti Human Trafficking Network speaks to the media on their current campaign against sexual exploitation of children
Credits: Perry Mah/Edmonton Sun/QMI Agency
EDMONTON - Critics say a satirical sex-traffic awareness campaign, that issued a fake callout for children to become sex workers, backfired.
But the organization behind the campaign is calling it a success.
Posters by Edmonton's Chrysalis Human Trafficking Network, read: "Now recruiting: Child sex workers."
The small print - "Start a rewarding career at sexwork4u.com" - drove many to call and tweet their disdain, and attracted police response from as far away as Winnipeg.
The Twitter feed was ultimately shut down.
"I'm very conflicted," said Mark Cherrington, an Edmonton youth court worker who admits his initial reaction to ads found in a variety of places around the city was one of jarring discomfort.
"It was inappropriate in the sense that it left you hanging," Cherrington said. "There was nothing to clarify, there was no context."
Jacqueline Linder, executive director of Chrysalis, said that was the point.
"It looked real and it was meant to look real," said Linder, adding the fake site received thousands of hits in the two days it was up, sparking conversation about the sexual exploitation of children.
"It's going on in Edmonton under our noses and has for years.
"We decided not to hide from the ugly truth so we showed people what the ugly truth actually is."
Phase two of the campaign has now begun with facts about exploitation being offered at stoptraffic.ca.