A Toronto Sun crime reporter is being honoured for her work on exposing Toronto’s human trafficking industry

March 30, 2010Comments are closed.

Sun journalist honoured

By JENNY YUEN, Toronto Sun

Last Updated: March 28, 2010 1:09pm

A Toronto Sun crime reporter is being honoured for her work on exposing Torontos human trafficking industry.

Tamara Cherry, who has been covering the beat since January 2008, has won an award in the first annual Glendene and Jesse Awards Ceremony on April 15.

Held at the Yonge Street Mission, event honours police, social workers and jouralists who have made a difference in the lives of human trafficking victims.

Its (a topic) thats been begging for attention for a long time, but that no one wants to talk about, said Cherry, 25. Some of the most compelling stuff are women being forced to work through their periods and yeast infections and just fed all these lies and threats and the fear they feel months and years after escaping from their pimps and traffickers, who are put behind bars.

The awards are organized by Walk With Me, a Toronto organization founded by sex slave survivor Timea E. Nagy, who has previously worked with Cherry and had her story aired in public.

Nagy, 32, came to Toronto from Hungary, after responding to a newspaper ad seeking women to work in Canada. She said she was forced to become a stripper and perform sexual acts for two months, earning thousands of dollars for her traffickers. When she threatened to leave, they threatened to kill her and her mom.

Tamara is one of our biggest advocates across Canada, she said. Her stories have made a huge difference. Shes done a lot of great work. After she published my story, I got a lot of phone calls from parents concerned their daughters have gone missing. If it wasnt for my story, they wouldve never understood how it works.

Cherry hopes that by bringing these stories to the publics attention, people will push governments to build support programs for trafficking victims.

Theres nothing out there by the government that is set up to help these people, she said. Theyre basically left to fend for themselves. Theres been no acknowledgement by the government that this is a problem.