Joy Smith committed herself to the fight against Human Trafficking, working to raise awareness and rescue victims, when she discovered a tragedy that parents of trafficking victims know all too well—Canada was considered a haven for predators. Setting out to change this, Mrs. Smith entered the political arena, and became a Member of Parliament in 2004. Since then she became the only Member of Parliament in Canadian history to have amended the Criminal Code twice as a Private Member, both times in order to better protect victims from Human Trafficking.
A mother of six, and former math and science teacher, Mrs. Smith was moved to action by personally meeting victims of Human Trafficking, and coming to understand that Human Traffickers prey on children from every demographic, community, and neighbourhood in Canada. Sustained by her faith, she continues to work with victims, advocates, and law enforcement through the Joy Smith Foundation by raising awareness and providing tangible support to organizations dedicated to ending Human Trafficking.
"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.” – Joy Smith
Recognizing Women’s Efforts to End Human Trafficking: Joy Award (2013)
Presented by the Soroptimist International of Edmonton on March 10, 2013, the Joy Award acknowledges women who, through their personal or professional activities, work to improve the lives of women and girls, specifically in the area of Human Trafficking.
Winnipeg Police Service Commendation (2012)
Presented by the Winnipeg Police Service on June 25, 2012 in recognition and appreciation of her support and commitment to helping law enforcement officers in the rescue and protection of children.
Winnipeg YMCA-YWCA Women of Distinction Awards: Circle of Inspiration (2012)
Presented to Joy Smith, Dianna Bussey, and Diane Redsky on May 2, 2012 for their work to combat human trafficking and sexual exploitation. These women of distinction have stood up to fight for women and children who are vulnerable and at risk.
UN Women Canada Recognition of Achievement Award (2011)
Presented on October 3, 2011 by UN Women Canada, National Committee, for her contributions to gender equality through her advocacy of anti-trafficking legislation.
Ceremonial Red Shawl and Stand Firm Award (2011)
Presented on January 19, 2011 by First Nations Women’s Council of the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs (AMC) for her ‘outstanding leadership and commitment to combating the sexual exploitation of First Nations People’.
Ratanak Wilberforce Award (2010)
Presented by Ratanak International Founder, Brian McConaghy, on December 2, 2010 for her dedication to ending the practice of the modern day slave trade. The Wilberforce Award is inspired by William Wilberforce, a British MP in the early 1800s, who sacrificed his personal and political life to end the Atlantic Slave Trade.
i Stand Award (2010)
Presented by [FREE-them] on October 3, 2010 at the Toronto Stop Child Trafficking Walk for her ongoing efforts to combat human trafficking.
Glendene and Jessie Foster Award (2010)
Presented by Walk With Me on April 15, 2010, for her relentless work to implement human trafficking related policy and legislation.
MY Canada Hero Award (2009)
Presented by MY Canada on November 16, 2009 for resisting the injustice of human trafficking in Canada and abroad.
Victor Award (2008)
Presented by the Temple Committee Against Human Trafficking on April 13, 2008. The Temple Committee presents the Victor award each year to a Canadian who has made significant contributions to combating human trafficking.