Online course for children, adults on human trafficking prevention available soon from Sault College

Recognizing dangers, taking precautions will be taught in online microcredential course through Sault College

Beginning April 1, children and adults can make themselves more aware of the dangers of child and human trafficking – and how to prevent it – in an online Cybersecurity and Anti-Child and Human Trafficking microcredential course offered through Sault College. 

Human trafficking is the recruiting, transporting, or holding victims to exploit them, usually for sexual purposes or work. Traffickers get their victims to comply through different forms of coercion.

The college has partnered with xahive, a global cybersecurity organization in offering two cybersecurity and anti-child and human trafficking microcredentials.

There is one microcredential for children from Kindergarten to Grade 5 to take, another for children and youth from Grade 6 to 12 and adults, such as parents, social workers and teachers.

“We know that cybersecurity and human trafficking are going hand in hand moreso as the technology is growing and so we’ve been able to pull resources together to create two different microcredentials,” said Lori Crosson, Sault College continuing education and e-learning director in a presentation to the college’s board of governors Thursday.

“Our children are on technology all the time and don’t realize that saying one simple thing could lead to someone knowing where they live so ‘how do we protect these kids’ is the objective.”

The program contains important tips for children, such as people they may not know asking for a photo and how it’s not okay.

“The parents can have access to the training so that they can see what the kids are learning and the parents can also learn ‘how do I help my child from becoming a victim, how do I stop that from happening,’” Crosson said.

Crosson told the board that local school boards, agencies such as Algoma Family Services and Sault Police will be made aware of the microcredential course.

“Children are the most vulnerable and susceptible to become victims of human trafficking and it’s so critical that we provide opportunities for young children, with their families and their guardians to really educate them on this topic to ensure that we keep kids safe,” said Jennifer Mosley, Sault College E-Learning program manager.

“This is really important education for our young children. Fortunately we have a platform that allows us to reach a global audience.”

“We’re looking at things like being able to define sexual harassment, trafficking, cybersecurity and cyberbullying, the ability to describe diversity, equity, inclusion and access, looking at recognizing where human trafficking originates and the impact of human trafficking, providing examples of cyber bullying and sexual harassment as well as describe a case of child human trafficking being foiled,” Mosley said.

Crosson said that while the microcredential is constructed to reach a global audience, the course material can be adjusted and customized for local needs.

“It’s great to see this,” said David Orazietti, Sault College Dean of Aviation, Trades and Technology, Natural Environment and Business.

“I can’t help but think back to a previous role when I received briefings on human trafficking in Ontario and how horrific it was. The fact is two thirds of human trafficking that happens in Canada happens in Ontario and the average age of recruitment is 13 years old. What you’re bringing together today are the strategies about how we combat it. This is absolutely a great program.”

Upon completing the microcredential through a Sault College webpage, students will receive a digital badge and certificate from Sault College.

“Our department is working very hard on building our microcredential portfolio. We have a site with over 80 microcredentials currently on it and growing,” Crosson said.

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