CCR calls on the government to step up protection for trafficked persons and migrant workers at risk

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Canadian Council for Refugees
Media release

For immediate release
19 February 2020

CCR calls on the government to step up protection for trafficked persons and migrant workers at risk

On the eve of Ontario Human Trafficking Awareness Day, the Canadian Council for Refugees (CCR) renews its call for the federal government to take action to protect non-citizens in Canada who have been trafficked.

Canada must amend its laws to provide effective protection for persons who have been trafficked, recognizing that trafficking can take many different forms. Stronger recourses, based on human rights, are essential so that trafficked persons can win justice.

‘’Canada’s policies don’t provide adequate protection for people who have lived through the ordeal of trafficking,” said Dorota Blumczynska, CCR President. “Survivors have to navigate an imperfect system just to get temporary protection in Canada, and the chances of permanence are distant. We need changes to immigration legislation to make sure the rights of trafficked persons are fully protected.”

People who have experienced human trafficking too often struggle to receive necessary services. Canada’s new National Strategy to Combat Human Trafficking (2019-2024) provides an opportunity to ensure a comprehensive and integrated response to human trafficking across all provinces.

Forced labour happens regularly in Canada, but too often goes unrecognized because the government and the courts are reluctant to acknowledge how people are deceived and coerced into situations of labour trafficking.

The recent experiences of more than 60 migrant workers caught in a network of labour exploitation in Wasaga∕Barrie highlight the scale of the problem. Ontario has the most reported cases of human trafficking in Canada. On February 21, the CCR is in Windsor, Ontario for an International Migrants Trafficking Forum that seeks to raise awareness about exploitation taking place in our communities.

The CCR invites other organizations to call on the federal government to adopt a holistic approach to human trafficking that addresses root causes, protects rights, provides permanent status and offers access to justice and to services.

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Read the Canadian Council for Refugees five central policy demands and anti-trafficking advocacy strategy: ccrweb.ca/en/anti-trafficking-advocacy

Contact:

Aude Lecouturier, Communications Coordinator, Canadian Council for Refugees, 514-277-7223, ext.1, 514-602-2098 (cell), media@ccrweb.ca