There are very few full-time students who are also committed to solving large-scale problems such as human trafficking. Currently finishing her last year as an undergraduate majoring in English literature and minoring in French literature, Brittany Davis hopes to continue on with a career in law. Her goal is to become a human rights lawyer, focusing on issues such as human trafficking, while working alongside non-governmental organizations (NGOs).
Human trafficking is a worldwide, multi-billion industry, and Davis is committed to spreading awareness. Davis became passionate about human trafficking because of the influence of friends who were part of an anti-human trafficking track force encouraged her to join ‘Montréal Love146 Taskforce’ (Love146).
“Love146 tries to provide solutions to human trafficking through the empowerment of love, and helping victims of human trafficking,” Davis said. “[Love146] also encourages prevention as well, giving full resources in order to avoid such situations, and especially giving more resources to police. Finally, [our organization works to] understand the causes [of] human trafficking […] and make sure there is a reinforcement of laws and a creation of further laws to prevent human trafficking around the world.”
One of Davis’ main aims is to spread awareness on the reality of human trafficking throughout McGill’s campus, and eliminate myths linked to slavery—debunking the myths through facts, such as the actual number of enslaved people present in Canada.
“You don’t hear of as many human trafficking cases in Canada, but it doesn’t mean they don’t exist and are not a reality,” Davis said.
She recalls a few resonant issues within cases of human trafficking that particularly stuck with her.
“One big issue that we find is that once victims are freed and saved from their situation of slavery, there isn’t enough after-care provided for them,” Davis said. “Dealing with the trauma once the situation has been resolved is excruciatingly difficult, and a lack of help can lead to terrible consequences, such as suicide.”
The complexity of human trafficking makes the issue incredibly difficult to deal with. Some prostitution cases are evidence of the blurred definition human trafficking can have.
“Indeed, some girls will go into prostitution ‘willingly,’ but then will find themselves forced to stay in it by their pimps [due to] drugs and other incentives,” Davis said. “When this happens, the cases are seen as human-trafficking cases.”
Another issue that has recently sparked Davis’ interest is the feminist movement that procured a lot of buzz in the media recently. Davis said that she appreciates the publicity that celebrities like Emma Watson and Sheryl Sandberg have spurred for the feminism movement. Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s ‘We Should All Be Feminists’ essay was particularly inspiring to Davis.
Davis’ enthusiasm for this topic encouraged her to start writing for FIERCE Magazine, a feminist and women’s online magazine started by a friend from McMaster University. Davis is the director of interviews, and her next feature for the upcoming issue coming out Dec. 19, will focus on gender binaries. She was able to meet the transgender, Montreal based comedian, Tranna Wintour, as well as Andrew Bailey, known for his monologue on male rape. Finally, she has written a piece on ‘IAmElemental,’ a business that creates solely female action figures, hoping to encourage a positive re-interpretation of the traditional female action figures.
Davis credits her time at McGill to shaping her identity and determination to create change for the betterment of the world.
“McGill has helped me [to have] an open mind thanks to all the classes I’ve taken [and] the conversations I [had]with my peers,” said Davis. “It’s been an awesome environment to grow in and I will take what I learnt here with me in the future.”