Trafficking Bulletin Issue No. 24 - June 2016

In this issue: Ontario passes anti-trafficking legislation, Questions about TRPs for trafficked persons raised in House of Commons, new anti-trafficking resources, and more…

Issue No. 24 - JUNE 2016




Policy developments on trafficking

Ontario passes anti-trafficking legislation
On February 17, 2016 the Legislative Assembly of Ontario unanimously supported Private Member's Bill 158 put forward by Laurie Scott, MPP (Haliburton Kawartha Lakes Brock) and PC Critic for Women’s Issues entitled "Saving the Girl Next Door". Toronto’s City Council voted to support Bill 158 in April 2016.

The Bill proposes a series of immediate steps to combat human trafficking in Ontario:
  • Create a multi-jurisdictional and coordinated task force of police services, Crown prosecutors, judges, victims' services and front-line agencies;
  • Create a Human Trafficking Awareness Day in Ontario;
  • Provide a framework that would stop a trafficker from contacting or approaching a victim for at least three years;
  • Allow for civil lawsuits against a trafficker ;
  • Amend the definition of sex offender to include criminal offences for trafficking of victims under the age of 18
Ontario Court of Appeal Decision 
A recent decision from the Ontario Court of Appeal (R. v. A.A., 2015 ONCA 558) is helpful in understanding how to apply and interpret human trafficking offences in Canada’s Criminal Code. For example, the court ruled that the benchmark for determining exploitation should include the consideration of psychological harm, not just physical harm.

Questions about temporary resident permits raised in House of Commons
On June 10, 2016, Martin Shields, Conservative MP for Bow River, Alberta raised questions about temporary resident permits (TRPs) for trafficked persons in the Canadian House of Commons. Hon. John McCallum, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) responded that for the period from November 3, 2015, to April 22, 2016, IRCC issued 12 TRPs to individuals "suspected to be victims of human trafficking". In that same period, no TRPs were renewed for potentially trafficked individuals.

Resources & announcements

MCIS online training initiative on human trafficking
MCIS Language Services has added new modules to the free online training program it developed for service providers working with survivors of human trafficking. The program is geared to healthcare professionals, law enforcement officers, lawyers and paralegals, and professionals who work with children. The resource is available in French and English.
Victim Justice Network webinar on human trafficking
Recorded on May 30, 2016, this webinar looks at how to support victims and survivors of human trafficking in Canada. Presenters include Rosalind Currie from the BC Office to Combat Trafficking in Persons, and Michèle Anderson, an Anti- Human Trafficking Advocate from Covenant House in Toronto. 

CCR holds successful Spring Consultation and national meeting on migrant worker issues in Saskatoon

The CCR successfully held its Spring 2016 Consultation in Saskatoon 2 - 4 June.

A workshop on trafficking discussed access to protection for trafficked persons focusing on issues affecting non-citizens, Aboriginal communities, and other individuals trafficked in Canada.

A national meeting on migrant worker issues was also held in Saskatoon bringing together migrant workers, advocates for migrant justice and labour activists.

Two resolutions were adopted by members at the Consultation’s General Meeting.


What's So Special About Canada? Understanding the Resilience of Immigration and Multiculturalism
By Daniel Hiebert for the Migration Policy Institute; this new report provides a comprehensive review of Canada’s immigration policies past and present. It is useful in understanding why economic migration trumps humanitarian concerns when it comes to immigration policy and narratives, and how this can be a challenge for seeking policies to prevent trafficking and protect trafficked persons in Canada.


International developments

openDemocracy launches Beyond Trafficking and Slavery e-syllabus 
Beyond Trafficking and Slavery (BTS) is an editorial partnership between openDemocracy and researchers from five continents. Recently published on openDemocracy, the BTS Short Course is the world’s first open access ‘e-syllabus’ on forced labour, trafficking, and slavery, with 167 contributions from 150 top academics and practitioners.

US House of Representatives Introduces New Legislation on Health Care and Human Trafficking
In June 2016, the U.S. House of Representatives introduced a bill ensuring that healthcare professionals get comprehensive training to help trafficked persons. The same bill was introduced in the Senate last year. The Polaris Institute is calling on the public to urge Congress to pass this legislation.

Anti-Trafficking Review focuses on human trafficking prosecutions 
This Special Issue of the Anti-Trafficking Review  looks at human trafficking prosecutions in Russia, U.S., the Balkans, and Western Europe and provides different takes on prosecutions and the impact on trafficked persons. 


 In the news across Canada

  • Manitoba: Manitoba needs better legislation to fight traffickers, advocates say, CBC News, 6 June 2016 –
  • Manitoba: It's getting worse: Winnipeg girls as young as 9 being lured into sex trade: expert, Winnipeg Metro News, 7 June 2016 –
  • Montreal: Heavy police presence during Grand Prix hurts sex workers, says Montreal group, CBC News, 12 June 2016 –
  • Montreal: Sex trade workers weigh in on Grand Prix weekend in Montreal, Montreal Gazette, 9 June 2016 –
  • Montreal: Buying sex is not a sport campaign launches ahead of Montreal Grand Prix , CBC News, 1 June 2016 –
  • Ontario: Scott Tables Human Trafficking Bill, The Times –
  • Toronto: Human trafficking in greater Toronto: 15 year old B.C. Visitor forced to sell sex and pay off debt with pimps, Inquisitr, 10 June 2016 –
  • Toronto: Man, woman charged by Toronto police in connection with human trafficking of girl, 16, Inside Toronto, 7 June 2016 –
  • Toronto: Human trafficking suspects face 15 charges, Toronto Star, 8 June 2016 –
  • Toronto: Second arrest made in connection with trafficking case,, 8 June 2016 –
  • Canada: In praise of Philip Roth and older sex clients, Now Toronto, 12 June 2016 –
  • Canada, a welcoming country? The unaddressed issue of labour trafficking,, 27 May 2016 –
  • Canada: Migrant worker program called worse than slavery after injured participant sent home without treatment, CBC News, 16 May 2016 –