Sexual Exploitation Working Group


Current Program Priorities (2021-24)

Together, we are committed to understanding and taking action on the nature of gender-based violence, casting a vision to restore mutuality between women and men. 

Prostitution and trafficking are a form of violence against women. The majority of those being sold are female and overwhelmingly the buyers are male. The act of renting a woman’s body stands on the continuum of violence against women including domestic abuse and sexual assault. The Sexual Exploitation Working Group (SEWG) is committed to public advocacy, action and monitoring of issues related to all forms of sexual exploitation including pornography, prostitution and human trafficking. 

Together, we are committed to theological reflection on the dynamics of commercial sexual exploitation. 

Together, we are committed to understanding the linkages between sexual exploitation and missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls, children in care, and other disproportionately affected groups.

Indigenous women are overrepresented in prostitution and the foster care system. The violence and dehumanization of colonization have left Canada plagued with systemic racism against Indigenous people.

Our Resources

Cover of sexual exploitation in canada publication, featuring a group sitting at a meeting table in discussion

Sexual Exploitation in Canada

A leadership and learning kit for churches.


About the Sexual Exploitation Working Group

In April 2008, the Commission on Justice and Peace established this as part of a strategic planning process that identified human trafficking as a common interest among several member churches.

In January 2016, the Commission changed their name to the Sexual Exploitation in Canada Working Group to reflect our focus on and commitment to broader issues surrounding sexual exploitation. Our purpose is to lead an ecumenical response to sexual exploitation, including pornography, as a justice and human rights issue that primarily affects women and children.

A background image of chains

As people of faith

we believe in the human rights and the emancipation of persons everywhere.

Current Members (2021-24)

  • Susan Johnson (chair), Mar Thoma Church
  • Rev. Brenda Mann, Canadian Baptists of Ontario and Quebec
  • Rev. Deb Stanbury (co-chair), The Presbyterian Church in Canada
  • Nancy Brown, Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops
  • Glendyne Gerrard (observer), Defend Dignity/The Christian & Missionary Alliance
  • Rev. Karen Stepko, Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada
  • Julia Beazley (guest), Evangelical Fellowship of Canada
  • Jennifer Lucking, Reformed Church in America
  • Savelia Curniski, Orthodox Church in America
  • Rachele Lamont, Salvation Army, Canada and Bermuda Territory
  • Penny Rankin (observer), Montreal Council of Women
  • Kelly Crawford, Orthodox Church in America
  • Paul Gehrs (Commission on Justice and Peace), Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada
  • Sister Donna Geernaert (Commission on Justice and Peace), Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops
Last updated: July 2023
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