Saturday, September 22, 2007

Canadian anti-trafficking author/activist/jourmalist receives award

Victor Malarek, Senior Reporter at CTV's W-FIVE, was named recipient of the John Syrnick Award for Journalism, sponsored by the Ukrainian-Canadian Foundation of Taras Shevchenko. The award is named in honour of John Syrnick, who served as editor of Ukrainian Voice from 1947 to 1970.

Malarek is also the renowned author of five books of non-fiction. His most recent book, The Natashas - The New Global Sex Trade (Viking), was published to critical acclaim in 2003. In 2006, he was instrumental in CTV's production of a documentary W-FIVE: Forgotten Children which highlighted the plight of orphans in Ukraine.

With a keen eye for hard-hitting investigative journalism, Malarek has worked for The Globe and Mail, CBC television's Fifth Estate and currently for CTV. He has received a Michener Award for investigative reporting a record four times, most recently in 2001 for his exhaustive study of the Toronto police union. He received a Gemini Award in 1997 as Canada's Top Broadcast Journalist.

In 2003 UCPBA(O) invited Victor Malarek to do the Ottawa launch of his seminal book on the topic, The Natashas .... Working with community groups and government agencies, they helped organize the Forum on Human Trafficking in 2004. This year, working with the Embassy of Ukraine and community groups, they brought speakers from the Anti-trafficking Initiative of the Children of Chornobyl Fund to speak in Ottawa. It is gratifying to see the person who inspired such action recognized by the wider Ukrainian Canadian community.

Malarek was chosen from a short list of Canadian journalists who provide illuminating coverage of issues important to a readership of over one million Ukrainian Canadians. The Award was presented by Andrew Hladyshevsky, President of the Shevchenko Foundation in Toronto on May 14, 2007, at the Faculty Club, University of Toronto. Invited guests included Ontario dignitaries, leaders of the Ukrainian-Canadian community and the media.

More on Malarek's book The Natashas here.

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