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Joy Smith wins Distinguished Christian Leadership Award
Joy Smith was recognized with the Distinguished Christian Leadership Award during Providence Theological Seminary’s graduation exercises on April 22.
Smith, the mother of six children and a math and science teacher for 23 years, entered politics at the provincial level in 1999 and then represented Winnipeg’ Kildonan-St. Paul riding from 2004-2015.
She first became aware of human trafficking from her son, a police officer who was working in an Integrated Child Exploitation Unit (ICE). Over the years she has helped many young victims who have been exploited or trafficked by their abusers.
Smith is the only Member of Parliament in Canadian history to have amended the Criminal Code twice as a Private Member, both times to better combat human trafficking.
She says this: “Human traffickers are empowered by public apathy and emboldened by despair. So let us shake off the shackles of indifference and refuse to be complacent. Let us work together to bring an end to this injustice as we rescue the victims of modern-day slavery.”
It was Smith’s faith that brought her to answer the call of God on her life regarding this cause. She is known worldwide as a leading advocate against human trafficking and as a champion of women’s rights.
In 2011 she founded the Joy Smith Foundation, where she tirelessly volunteers her time combating human trafficking and fighting for the rights of women in Canada and around the globe. Among numerous, previous awards she has been honoured with both a Winnipeg Police Service Commendation and the Winnipeg YMCA/YWCA Women of Distinction Award.


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