Issue No. 13 - April 2014
Important policy developments on trafficking
Status of Proposed Ontario Immigration and Employment Legislations
Ontario has recently proposed two bills that would address some issues concerning migrant worker recruitment and exploitation. Currently, notable provincial legal models that pursue more proactive regulation and enforcement to protect Temporary Foreign Workers are those of Manitoba, Nova Scotia and Saskatchewan.
For an assessment of measures taken by the provincial and federal governments to protect the rights of migrant workers, and recommendations, please consult the CCR Migrant Workers Report Cards: http://ccrweb.ca/en/migrant-workers-report-cards.
Ontario Immigration Legislation, Bill 161
On 19 February, 2014, the Ontario Minister of Immigration tabled Bill 161 in the Legislative Assembly, Ontario’s first ever immigration legislation. The bill was last debated the 26 March at Second Reading. Among its provisions, the bill would allow Ontario to:
- Select immigrants to Ontario, in collaboration with the federal government, and set target levels for the number of individuals selected for Ontario;
- Establish a registry of employers (similar to Manitoba’s legislation) that would be eligible to make job offers to individuals elected under selection programs, including those who hire migrant workers from overseas (although this would be discretionary);
- Enact compliance and enforcement measures to protect people from fraudulent immigration services and to deter fraud in the immigration application process;
- Introduce a recruiter registry and penalties for violating registry conditions; and
- Improve access for internationally trained health professionals.
To follow the status of the bill, please consult: http://bit.ly/1hkIgES.
Some responses to the proposed bill:
New Ontario bill to protect migrants is doomed: Study, Toronto Star, 8 April 2014: http://on.thestar.com/1qyvqtF.
Ontario charts its own course with proposed Ontario Immigration Act, Maytree Conversations, 25 February 2014: http://bit.ly/1eFddU0.
OCASI Comments on Bill 161, Ontario's first-ever immigration legislation, Ontario Council of Agencies Serving Immigrants, 20 February 2014: http://bit.ly/1tx9Rw3.
Proposed Amendments to Ontario Employment and Labour Statutes, Bill 146
On December 2013, Ontario Minister of Labour presented Bill 146, the “Stronger Workplaces for a Stronger Economy Act”, proposing to amend five statutes that relate to employment and labour relations that would extend protection measures to workers employed by temporary help agencies, unpaid workers and temporary foreign workers. The Act passed First Reading and was last debated at Second Reading 19 February. Among its provisions, the bill seeks to:
- Require employers to be further attached and to be jointly and severally liable with the temp agencies they use to hire workers, particularly for unpaid wages;
- Extend protection to all migrant workers in Ontario;
- Prohibit employers and recruiters from charging recruitment and placement fees and from withholding personal documents from all migrant workers, not only Live-in Caregivers;
- Remove the costs associated with a temporary worker’s injury from the temp agency assigning them to the employer who hired the worker;
- Replace the 6- and 12-month time limit for a claim for unpaid wages by an employee by a single, 2-year time limit for all wage claims, eliminating the $10,000 maximum cap imposed on the amount an employment standards officer or the Ontario Labour Relations Board can award in a wage order.
To follow the status of Bill 146, please consult: http://bit.ly/1ibL8tE
Some responses to the proposed bill:
Migrant Workers Alliance for Change is available for comment on groundbreaking report on migrant worker recruitment, CNW, 7 April 2014: http://cnw.ca/bxLzr.
“What’s in Bill 146”, Migrant Workers Alliance for Change: http://bit.ly/1gP0MG6.
Ontario proposes sweeping new law to protect workers, Toronto Star, 4 December 2013: http://on.thestar.com/1i5IAwf.
Reports and media
Full Report of CCR Fall 2013 National Forum on Trafficking and Priority Issues Now Available
The full report of the CCR National Forum on Trafficking, held on 27 November, 2013 in Kitchener-Waterloo, is now available online at: http://ccrweb.ca/en/trafficking-forum-report-2013
, and is also available from the CCR Trafficking Campaign page, trafficking.ca
. It is only available in English.
The full report includes details on the challenges, emerging trends and concerns raised by participants and partner organizations working on trafficking across Canada. It also includes an overview of different organizations’ initiatives and strategies, as well as current concerns and priorities in the areas of policy development, service provision and awareness-raising on trafficking.
The priorities examined at the Forum and available in this report are meant to offer guidance to different organizations and sectors in their work against trafficking in persons. We hope they will be a useful tool to engage fellow NGOs, service providers, law enforcement and immigration agencies, as well as provincial and federal governments, among other groups, in moving forward.
The CCR invites those involved in anti-trafficking work to consider the issues raised at the Forum and to reflect on how these can be followed up on in your organizations, sector, and/or communities.
To send further suggestions for action or any useful information or resources that may be of interest to the pan-Canadian anti-trafficking network, please send your comments to email@example.com
.“Profiting from the Precarious: How Recruitment Practices Exploit Migrant Workers”, by Fay Faraday, Metcalf Foundation
This report examines the experiences of migrant workers with abusive recruitment practices affecting particularly workers in “lower skilled” jobs. It analyzes the existing legal model and questions whether it can effectively protect low-wage migrant workers against recruitment abuse and exploitation.
The report is based on interviews with migrant workers in the Greater Toronto Area and southern Ontario, as well as with community organizers in Canada and abroad. Insights regarding policy recommendations are also provided.
report is available at: http://bit.ly/QnrPBt
and a summary
report here: http://bit.ly/1hRKxr4
.News releases on the report
Profiting from the precarious, Maytree Conversations, 11 April 2014: http://bit.ly/1qErhnT
Recruiters charging foreign workers in Ontario illegal fees as high as $12,000 for jobs that might not exist, report finds, Financial Post, 10 April 2014: http://bit.ly/1p3BsVW
Ontario laws failing to prevent migrant workers from exploitation, abuse, CTV News, 9 April 2014: http://bit.ly/1eFmQSJ
Nanny Recruitment Fees, CBC, 9 April 2014: http://bit.ly/1m2YcTS
Fighting human trafficking in Edmonton’s body-rub parlours, Metro News, 17 April 2014: http://bit.ly/1podFQx
Human trafficking: London police chief pitching new strategy for growing problem, Metro News, 16 April 2014: http://bit.ly/1jDablW
Human trafficking rare charge for Nova Scotia police, CBC News, 13 April 2014: http://bit.ly/1gP02AM
Sex trafficking, extortion charges laid against woman, CBC News, 11 April 2014: http://bit.ly/1qWUskD
Calgary police lay charges in human trafficking case, Metro News, 11 April 2014: http://bit.ly/RiIrvh
Durham police battle increase in human trafficking, Brampton Guardian, 9 April 2014: http://bit.ly/QCtLGw
Human trafficking: Why aboriginal women are targeted, CBC News, 28 March 2014: http://bit.ly/1qfC7i7
Winnipeg police unit talks to sex-trade workers, targets johns, CBC News, 26 March 2014: http://bit.ly/1hxMEjq
Ottawa escorts say ban on buying sex would be counterproductive, CBC News, 26 March 2014: http://bit.ly/OsTIHc
Human traffickers going unpunished in Canada, experts say, CBC News, 25 March 2014: http://bit.ly/1kDset9
Human trafficking law nets few offenders. No convictions in Saskatchewan: Statistics Canada, CBC News, 25 March 2014: http://bit.ly/1fXHQId
Ottawa police target human trafficking, a $26M industry, CBC News, 25 March 2014: http://bit.ly/1hUu6P2
Human trafficking in Ottawa, CBC Ottawa, 24 March 2014: http://bit.ly/1mzIrnt
Massage parlour business booming in Regina, CBC News, 24 March 2014: http://bit.ly/1ssVRmg
Text messages: Newest weapon against sex trafficking, Thomson Reuters Foundation, 20 March 2014: http://bit.ly/1h8W0qN
Partnership created to fight child sexual exploitation, Westman Journal, 19 March 2014: http://bit.ly/1mUz6qf
Program targets human trafficking of aboriginal women, girls, CBC News, 14 March 2014: http://bit.ly/1hlZlDV
What the Media Gets All Wrong About Sex Work, PolicyMic, 20 February 2014: http://bit.ly/1joaoen
New Resource: Labour Exploitation of Live-in Caregivers: Legal information and community resources, West Coast Domestic Workers’ Association (WCDWA)
The West Coast Domestic Workers' Association (WCDWA), in partnership with the BC Office for the Combat of Trafficking in Persons (OCTIP) have created a Clearinghouse (website portal) directed to Live-in Caregivers, their friends, and their networks of support in their community. The Clearinghouse offers legal information and links to online resources that may help in the prevention of human trafficking and the provision of community-based support for Live-in Caregivers in British Columbia. The Clearinghouse is a live resource and we will be adding content in response to the feedback, suggested relevant resources and website links received from visitors and users.
This Clearinghouse is part of WCDWA’s "Public Legal Education and Information (PLEI) on Human Trafficking" Project for Live-in Caregivers in British Columbia, which delivers free interactive, participatory, and community-centered workshops and mobile clinics to numerous communities throughout British Columbia.
To access the Clearinghouse, please visit: http://preventionandsupport.wordpress.com.
To suggest a website, an online resource, or relevant content for the clearinghouse, please contact Angela Contreras, Project Coordinator by email at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Our Circle to Protect Sacred Lives: Program Launched in Manitoba and Northwestern British Columbia
In March 2014, a program entitled Our Circle to Protect Sacred Lives was launched in Manitoba and Northwestern British Columbia, aimed at preventing the trafficking of First Nations women and children.
Our Circle to Protect Sacred Lives partners urban-based community organizations with rural, isolated or remote First Nation communities, and other community based organizations for a three-day training session to help each community build knowledge, a community-based anti-trafficking plan, and a strong sustainable network for information sharing, training and partnerships.
Training participants will learn about:
- The impact of human trafficking on the lives of women and girls;
- Current recruitment, luring and control tactics traffickers use (especially in their local and regional areas);
- Community planning techniques to help girls and women stay safe in their communities and when they travel to urban areas; and
- Establishing a network model for on-going communication, support and sharing information.
The program model builds on community knowledge and strengths, and is specifically designed to honour the values and diversity of First Nation communities in which it operates. For example, community planning techniques involve Elders as wisdom keepers, Chief and Council for leadership, community members as helpers, and the use of culture, language and the land for healing.
The program is funded jointly by the Canadian Women’s Foundation (CWF) and the Manitoba government. The Manitoba program, run by the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs (AMC) will involve 20 First Nation communities across the province. The BC program, run by Nisga First Nation, will involve five communities (four First Nation and one non-First Nation community) from the Nass Valley in BC.
News release, 14 March 2014: http://bit.ly/RIm8Q0.
For more information on Tracia’s Trust, Manitoba’s Sexual Exploitation Strategy, please consult: www.gov.mb.ca/fs/traciastrust/index.html.
Ontario Ministry of Labour Launches Campaign to Educate Precarious Workers
The Ontario Ministry of Labour has launched a campaign targeting workers in precarious occupations, including temporary foreign workers, through a website that provides information about employment and labour legislation in 27 languages. An advertising campaign was organized for the month of March, which ran in ethnic and multilingual newspapers, on OMNI-TV, and on multilingual websites.
For more information, please visit: http://bit.ly/1rjLkGW.
MCIS Language Services New Online Training on Human Trafficking for Service Providers
MCIS Language Services has launched an online training for service providers on human trafficking developed with funding support from the Ministry of the Attorney General – Ontario Victims Services and with input from human trafficking survivors, law enforcement and front line service providers.
Service providers are able to take either all or parts of this 10 hour modular training. It is available online in both English www.helpingtraffickedpersons.org and French www.aiderlesvictimesdelatraitedepersonnes.org.
- 9 interactive online training modules followed by short quizzes
- Helping Trafficked Persons – A Handbook for Service Providers (available in PDF on the website)
- A Toolkit for Service Providers (available in PDF on the website)
- Numerous links to additional resources and information
- An online forum where training participants can discuss issues related to the training and network with other participants
A Certificate of Completion is issued to all participants who complete at least one of the online modules.
For additional information or technical support, please call 416-467-3096 or email email@example.com.
CCR Spring Consultation 2014, 29 - 31 May, Halifax
The CCR will be holding its Spring Consultation 2014, Gateways to hope, pathways to belonging
in Halifax the 29 - 31 May.
The consultation will explore questions affecting refugee protection and newcomer settlement, in order to build stronger and more welcoming communities together. It will include a workshop on the Trafficking of non-citizen women and gender-based trauma on Friday, 30 May.
Information about the consultation and online registration are available at: http://ccrweb.ca/meetings
Register before 9 May to take advantage of the reduced fees!
Alliance Against Modern Slavery, Fourth Annual Conference, 14 June 2014
The Alliance Against Modern Slavery will be holding its fourth annual conference, featuring Gulnara Shahinian, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Contemporary Forms of Slavery, on Saturday, 14 June, 2014 in Toronto.
For updates and more information about the conference, please consult: http://bit.ly/1h8TeSr