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Winnipeg author wins three awards for human trafficking book

Paul H. Boge (left) and Joy Smith (right) are long-time friends. Boge's book the True Story of Canadian Human Trafficking, follows Smith's fight against the human trafficking industry. It won three awards at the 2019 Word Guild.
Paul H. Boge (left) and Joy Smith (right) are long-time friends. Boge's book the True Story of Canadian Human Trafficking, follows Smith's fight against the human trafficking industry. It won three awards at the 2019 Word Guild.

A Winnipeg author has won the best book of the year after shining a light on human trafficking in Canada, and sharing the stories of victims trapped in this “modern day slave trade”.

Paul H. Boge wrote The True Story of Canadian Human Trafficking last year. Since then, the book has won three awards at the 2019 Word Guild, including Best Life Story, an award for social justice, and the Grace Irwin award for the best book of the year.

“Human trafficking thrives in a world of naivety, where we just don’t believe it’s happening,” said Boge. “So how do we stop this from happening? I think that it’s the education component.”

The book follows the life of Abby Summers, a high school student who is groomed by a trafficker and sold into the human trafficking industry in Canada. This is the backdrop of a larger issue, one that Joy Smith, former Member of Parliament for Kildonan-St. Paul, has been fighting against.

During her time in Parliament, Smith was able to pass two bills that created stricter penalties for both human traffickers and the “johns” (men who pay for sex) who fuel the industry.

The book chronicles the two women’s lives as they both fight against the deadly industry.

Boge said he spent three years interviewing victims of human trafficking. He said he found the victims are usually targeted around 12 to 14 years old. The grooming starts innocently enough: a simple message online or a visit at school. Boge says traffickers gain the child’s trust and then they take advantage of them.

This is what inspired Boge to start writing the book.

“Paul is a brilliant writer. There are not many people I would trust with this story. This is about the survivor’s stories, and he understood that,” said Joy Smith, who is a long-time friend of Boge’s. “It is the modern day slave trade, and it needs to be stopped.”

The award-winning book certainly adds to Boge’s impressive resume. The author has already written nine books. Boge says this book is important for parents, educators, religious leaders, politicians, and law enforcement to read.

“Think of the girls? This girl is being beaten to death. She has extension cords wrapped around her neck. She’s been locked in a freezer. She’s terrified. She’s on drugs. She just has to cope with the pain. What about her life?” Boge said. “We’re here to protect these precious young girls. And we can win this battle. We can win this battle.”

"The True Story of Canadian Human Trafficking"  is available at most book stores or it can be ordered through the Joy Smith Foundation website.

dunger@postmedia.com

Twitter: @dantonunger

Copyright Postmedia Network Inc., 2019

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