An estimated 63% of female youth living on the street have been asked to participate in prostitution.
In Alberta the Child Welfare legislation was amended in 1997 to classify the hiring of prostitutes under the age of 18 as child abuse.
The United Way of Calgary and Area defines vulnerable youth as being on a spectrum. At one end of the spectrum are youth who are becoming disengaged from school and community life, experimenting with risky behaviours, lacking supports and supervision, and/or whose basic needs are not always being met. At the other end are youth living on the margins, including young people who are incarcerated and disaffected “street youth” who survive through illicit activities such as gangs, prostitution and drug trafficking.
In the Calgary Homeless Foundation’s Youth Plan, it is suggested that sexual exploitation is a major problem that youth experiencing homelessness deal with, as 13% of males and 45% of females are recorded as being forced into the sex trade (prostitution). On top of that, approximately 56% of the young people surveyed about sexual exploitation stated that they were forced into the sex trade between the ages of 13-16.
We offer a continuum of services available to youth who have been sexually exploited. There are very few other programs in Canada similar to those offered by BGCC for these youth.
86% of youth in residential care learned self-care skills and have increased hope for their future.
- In 2019, Boys and Girls Clubs of Calgary supported 47 young people who were being sexually exploited across the province of Alberta.
- 100% of girls in Hera, a specialised school program with therapeutic supports said the program taught them how to recognize when someone is sexually exploiting them.
- 70% of girls were successfully transitioned to a mainstream school setting.
“What I like best about Hera is that when I wake up I’m happy an excited because I know were doing something new and that I’ll be safe. I can trust people.”
Calgary Homeless Foundation
Plan to End Youth Homelessness