Trafficking Bulletin Issue No. 28 - August 2017

In this issue: evaluation of Temporary Residence Permits, elimination of Conditional Permanent Residence, CCR Trafficking Forum Report, Trafficking in Persons Report, access to legal justice resources and workshop, UN Global Compact on Migration, and more.

Issue No. 28 - AUGUST 2017


Policy developments on trafficking

Evaluation of Temporary Residence Permits
In 2016, the federal government undertook an evaluation of Temporary Residence Permits (TRPs) to assess their relevance and effectiveness as an instrument that allows a person who is otherwise inadmissible to enter or remain in Canada. TRPs are issued under circumstances such as humanitarian and compassionate grounds and to ‘victims of human trafficking’ (VHTs). The CCR has raised concerns about the TRPs with respect to gaps in access to protection and rights for trafficked persons. The government evaluation affirms the ongoing relevance of the TRP as an instrument and acknowledges the need to address operational and policy issues and questions related to managing VHT cases. The CCR will continue to urge the government to address the gaps related to the protection of trafficked persons.

CCR welcomes the elimination of Conditional Permanent Residence
The CCR welcomed news that the federal government has eliminated conditional permanent residence for sponsored spouses and partners. Under the conditional permanent residence rules, the permanent residence of some sponsored spouses was conditional on their remaining in the conjugal relationship and living with their sponsor, for a period of two years. This stipulation had a devastating impact on women in abusive relationships, including potentially trafficked persons. The elimination of the measure comes as a direct result of the efforts of the many who mobilized against it. Read the CCR statement here.

Legal aid for refugees is essential and must be adequately funded
The CCR has called on the federal and provincial governments to provide increased and sustainable legal aid funding to represent refugees and vulnerable migrants in refugee and immigration proceedings. Recently, Legal Aid Ontario invited input on how cuts should be made to legal representation for refugees. There are concerns that other provinces might go down the same road. Denying legal representation to refugee claimants would contravene Canada’s international human rights obligations and rights guaranteed by the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Read the CCR statement here.

Resources & announcements

CCR National Forum on Human Trafficking Report
On 23 November 2016, the CCR hosted a National Forum on Trafficking in Persons in conjunction with the CCR Fall 2016 Consultation in Montreal. The comprehensive report addresses the challenges, promising practices, emerging needs, policy concerns and priorities moving for forward in anti-trafficking work across the country. The Forum was attended by non-governmental organizations (including anti-trafficking and social justice advocates), service providers, academics, as well as representatives of different levels of government.

The next Trafficking Forum will take place on 29 November in Niagara Falls. If you are interested in getting involved, please contact

CCR Spring 2017 Consultation Report
The report of the CCR’s Spring Consultation, held in Edmonton, includes a summary of workshops and plenary sessions, including the workshop, Difference Faces of Exploitation: Promising practices for service provision and policy change, organized by the CCR Anti-Trafficking Committee and the Migrant Workers Committee.

Thinking Outside the Box: Developing Case Law on Trafficking
In a webinar held in June 2017, federal Crown Prosecutor Michelle Ferguson addressed the limitations of existing trafficking laws and legal strategies to overcome them. Her presentation also referred to landmark trafficking cases.

Click here for resources from this webinar (for CCR members only)

Trafficking in Persons Report 2017
The latest Trafficking in Persons Report by the U.S. Department of State focuses on how to increase criminal accountability of human traffickers and address the challenges in prosecution. This year’s report recommends Canada step up its efforts to improve access to or funding for trauma-informed care and specialized services, as well as efforts to investigate human trafficking, especially forced labour. It also recommends Canada increase its efforts to prosecute and convict traffickers.

Visit the report page to view or download the full report, the Country Narratives with recommendations for each country, or Fact Sheets. The Canada Report is available here.

A Formidable Task: Reflections on obtaining legal empirical evidence on human trafficking in Canada
In this special issue of the Anti-Trafficking Review, this article explores the experiences, challenges and findings of two empirical research studies examining Canada’s legal efforts to combat human trafficking.

The Intersection of Exploitation and Coercion in Cases of Canadian Labour Trafficking
This article reports on a review of documented cases over the past fifteen years in Canada where labour exploitation intersected with coercion. Published in the Journal of Law and Social Policy.

Challenging Trafficking in Canada
This report presents information about human trafficking policy interventions as they impact sex workers, Indigenous women, migrants, youth, and other marginalized groups. Published by the York University Centre for Feminist Research.

Human Trafficking – An Annotated Bibliography
This annotated bibliography provides an overview of relevant academic and grey literature that addresses a range of related issues including forced labour, sex trafficking, violence against women, and issues that particularly impact specific groups including temporary foreign workers, non-status/undocumented workers and Indigenous women. Published by the York University Refugee Research Network.

International developments

UN Global Compact on Migration
This is a United Nations initiative to develop a global blue print for safe, orderly and regular migration. Through a series of global consultations, where member states and civil society organizations can attend, the UN will be address six thematic issues. The thematic consultation on the Smuggling of migrants, trafficking in persons and contemporary forms of slavery will take place on 4 September in Geneva. Read the UN issue brief on this topic here. Also read the Women in Migration issue brief here.

The Canadian Women’s Foundation organized a webinar with speakers from women’s and migrant serving agencies spoke about the relevance of the Compact on Migration and ways that civil society organizations may be able to inform the global process. View the recording by registering here.

The International Organization for Migration (IOM) has launched an anti-trafficking campaign penned as IOM X. Leveraging the power of media and technology, IOM X is described as an innovative campaign to encourage safe migration and public action to stop exploitation and human trafficking.

Trafficking events in Canada

CCR Legal Workshop at CARL Conference
The CCR will be organizing a legal education workshop at the 13thCanadian Association of Refugee Lawyers (CARL) National Conference on 16 October.
More details will be announced shortly.

In the news