Trafficking Bulletin Issue No. 6 - January 2013

Dear Friends,

Welcome to the Canadian Council for Refugees' (CCR) electronic bulletin on trafficking. This e-bulletin contains updates on trafficking issues, including different organizations’ responses to trafficking and other information and resources for non-governmental organizations and others working on these issues. This is part of a wider effort to share information, ideas and strategies across Canada.

The CCR e-bulletin on trafficking will be published every two months. If you would like to contribute to future issues, please forward your suggestions with related links and/or attachments to We also invite you to send us any feedback you might deem relevant on the content for us to consider for future issues. For previous issues, please visit:

We hope you will find this e-bulletin useful and interesting.



Upcoming CCR events

Webinar – French only: Les intersections de l’exploitation au travail : la traite et les travailleurs migrants, 2 February, 2013, 2pm EST

Winter working group meetings 2013, 22-23 February, 2013, Toronto

Quick links

CCR Trafficking Page:

CCR Electronic Bulletins on Trafficking:

CCR Database of Human Trafficking Resources:



Important Policy Developments on Trafficking

Canada Changes Refugee and Immigration System, New Rules Implemented as of December 2012 May Impact Survivors of Trafficking

On 15 December, 2012, new changes to Canada’s immigration and refugee system came into effect, including the creation of a list of allegedly “safe” countries of origin. “Designated Countries of Origin” (DCOs) are countries identified at the Minister’s discretion as having democratic institutions and low acceptance of refugee claims. Refugee claimants from these countries will have their case fast-tracked and will not be able to appeal the decision. In addition, these claimants will not be eligible for any federally-funded health benefits, other than for conditions relating to public health or safety.  Other significant recent changes to the refugee system include the designation of specific refugees as “irregular arrivals” subject to investigation, allowing for mandatory arrest and detention. Irregular arrivals cannot apply for permanent resident status, sponsor family members and obtain refugee travel documents.

These changes may have significant impacts for survivors of trafficking. In the past, some have been recognized as refugees after making a refugee claim, including some from countries that have been designated as “safe”.  How will the very short timelines affect trafficking survivors’ ability to present their case?

In addition, traffickers sometimes use the refugee claimant process in order to control their victims, forcing them to file a refugee claim and then abandon it or forcing them to make a false refugee claim that is destined to fail. This facilitates traffickers’ ability to threaten and control victims. Under recent changes, survivors of trafficking in this situation could be denied a Pre-Removal Risk Assessment (PRRA) which would provide an opportunity to assess their risk on the basis of information revealed after they escape their traffickers.

Trafficked persons could also find themselves among those designated as “irregular arrivals” because they are brought into Canada by organized crime or due to their lack of documentation, often withheld by traffickers. They would thus be subject to mandatory detention. No exceptions for survivors of trafficking have been made public to date.

For more information about these changes, please refer to:

Citizenship and Immigration Canada, Backgrounder – Summary of Changes to Canada’s Asylum System:

To read the CCR’s comments on the changes to IFH please see:

To read the CCR’s comments on the changes to the refugee determination system please see:

Media Reports:

Canada's controversial 2012 changes to immigration and refugee system, Toronto Star, 29 December, 2012:

Kenney names 27 countries as 'safe' in refugee claim dealings: Refugees will be fast-tracked with no right of appeal, CBC News, 14 December, 2012:

Kenney assertive on Roma refugees, but critics argue the details, Maclean’s, 14 December, 2012:

Overhaul of Canada’s refugee system takes effect Dec. 15: Immigration Minister, Globe and Mail, 30 November, 2012:



International developments

United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) Report on Trafficking in Persons 2012 Highlights Increase in Global Child Trafficking Cases

The UNODC 2012 report estimates that around 27 percent of human trafficking victims are children. This illustrates the vulnerability of children to trafficking, especially girls. The report found two thirds of child victims globally to be girls. One of the main findings of this report is that an estimated 16 percent of countries facing this issue have not had any convictions recorded between 2007 and 2010.

To read the full report, please see:

United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, Global Report on Trafficking in Persons 2012:



Sri Lankan Government Opens First Shelter for Female Victims of Human Trafficking

On 12 December, 2012 the Sri Lankan government opened the first government shelter for victims of trafficking. Through this new shelter, identified victims of human trafficking will receive assistance, safe shelter and the referral guidance needed to access medical and psychological services, as well as legal assistance.

For further information, please refer to:

International Organization for Migration (IOM), Press Briefing Notes, 11 December, 2012:



The International Organization for Migration (IOM) to Lead an Interagency Program to Provide Assistance to Vulnerable Migrants in Transit in Mexico

More than a 100,000 migrants from Central America enter Mexico with the intention of reaching the United States. During their unsafe journey they might face kidnapping, theft, rape and extortion. The IOM will lead the implementation of an interagency programme financed by the UN Trust Fund for Human Security to improve assistance to vulnerable migrants in transit.

For more information, please visit:

IOM, Press Briefing Notes, 7 December, 2012:



Reports and media

Free Medical Clinics in Toronto Overcrowded After Changes to the Interim Federal Health Program

Following the changes to health-care coverage for refugees that came to effect in June 2012, free medical clinics in the Greater Toronto Area are experiencing overcrowding.

Following revisions to IFH, which took effect on June 30, 2012, a trafficked person who has received a Temporary Residence Permit (TRP) is entitled to “expanded health-care coverage,” including: hospital services; services of health care professionals licensed in Canada; and laboratory, diagnostic and ambulance services. They may also receive “supplemental health-care benefits,” including: prescribed medications; limited dental and vision care; prosthetics and mobility devices; home care and long-term care; counseling by a clinical psychologist and health assessments.

By contrast, benefits available to a trafficked person who is a refugee claimant will depend on whether their claim is successful and whether they are from a country listed by the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration as a “Designated Country of Origin.”

GTA clinics overwhelmed with refugees, The Globe and Mail, 28 December, 2012:



New Study Examines Links between the Legalization of Prostitution and the Rise of Sex Trafficking

A study led by a professor at the London School of Economics and Political Science analyzes the correlation between the legalization of prostitution and the inflow of human trafficking in different countries by looking at a global sample of 116 countries. The study’s main finding is that while the legalization of prostitution has had a positive effect on the working conditions of legally employed sex workers, it may also increase demand as a collateral consequence on countries’ human trafficking cases.

Legalized prostitution significantly increases human sex trafficking: study, Life Site News, 12 December, 2012:



Foreign Diplomats in the U.S. Immune to Human Trafficking Charges

As diplomats in the U.S. continue to face immunity from human trafficking charges, a rising number of cases have recently brought the issue to discussion again. In 2008, the Bush administration attempted to prevent the abuse, exploitation and trafficking of domestic workers by foreign diplomats in the U.S. by certifying that workers were notified of their rights and had detailed contracts. Despite the efforts of both the Bush and Obama administrations to create laws to prevent abuse, the problem continues as a diplomatic issue.

Diplomats immuned to charges of human trafficking, Washington Times, 13 December, 2012:



Canadian Council for Refugees (CCR) National Forum on Trafficking Held, 28 November, 2012

On 28 November, 2012, the CCR hosted a National Forum on Trafficking in Toronto in conjunction with the Fall Consultation. The Forum provided an opportunity for non-governmental organizations to share ideas in assisting trafficked persons in Canada and to develop recommendations on policy.

A summary report of the Trafficking Forum will be available soon on the CCR trafficking page, and on the CCR library page,

We invite you to browse through the CCR database of human trafficking resources available online at:

For further information, please contact Samanta García-Fialdini, CCR Trafficking Project Coordinator by email at:



Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) Launches “I’m Not For Sale” Youth Outreach Campaign

In November 2012, the RCMP launched the “I’m Not For Sale” youth outreach campaign. The RCMP’s Youth Outreach Campaign, “I’m Not For Sale,” is part of the National Action Plan to Combat Human Trafficking, released in June 2012. The campaign aims to achieve greater awareness about human trafficking among youth in Canada, provide tips to prevent and identify trafficking, as well as contact numbers to report suspected cases and seek counselling. An informative booklet is also available on the RCMP website.

For more information about the campaign, please visit:

“I’m Not For Sale” Booklet:

Other RCMP publications and reports on trafficking are available at:

Media report:

RCMP launches human-trafficking awareness campaign for teens, schools, Toronto Star, 23 November, 2012: .



PACT-Ottawa, the Ottawa Coalition to End Human Trafficking and St. Joe's Women's Centre to Deliver a Train-the-Trainer Session for Frontline Service Organizations and First Responders on Human Trafficking in Ottawa

The training session was developed by members of the Ottawa Coalition Steering Committee, which represents experts in the field of human trafficking in law enforcement and local NGOs with direct experience providing victim services and case management.

The purpose of the training session is to train lead representatives of local community-based service organizations and selected stakeholders including educators, medical professionals, crime and gang prevention associations and other groups, on issues of human trafficking.  The session and materials are tailored to reflect the local face of trafficking in the National Capital Region as well as trends in the region encompassing Montreal, Northern Quebec and Nunavut and border communities.  Once trained, these organizational trainers will serve as in-house specialists and provide training to support workers, counsellors and volunteers.  

The trainers will strengthen the Ottawa Coalition network and will respond to requests for public presentations. They will be available to assist St. Joe's Women's Centre and law enforcement for service referrals and expedite the response for trafficking survivors.

The training session will be held on 27 February, 2013 in Ottawa at the St. Joe's Women's Centre Auditorium.  

For any inquiries please contact the project coordinator Helen Roos at (819) 568-2400 or



The City of Toronto to Finalize its First Report on Human Trafficking in 2013

The City of Toronto’s 2013 report on trafficking will reference a 40 page ‘Slavery Free Toronto’ proposal created for the City of Toronto by anti-human trafficking organization [free-them]. The report will include statistical data gathered from the 100th Grey Cup Festival and the event’s links to the increase of human trafficking in Toronto. Recommendations include awareness campaigns aimed at educating people about the different forms that human trafficking takes in Toronto, a campaign for victims of trafficking and information on how to get assistance. Also recommended is a training program for service industry providers on how to identify trafficking situations and possible victims of trafficking.

For more information, please visit the [free-them] website:



Trafficking-related events

CCR Webinar – French only: Les intersections de l’exploitation au travail : la traite et les travailleurs migrants (Intersections of Labour Exploitation: Human trafficking and migrant workers), 12 February, 2013, 2pm EST

Between 2007 and 2011, temporary foreign workers accounted for almost one in three new jobs created in Canada.  Yet components of the Temporary Foreign Worker Program give opportunity for labour exploitation with strong indicators of human trafficking.  Traffickers use these components - these federal policies - to control workers, to exploit their labour, and prevent them from accessing assistance.

In this webinar, Mélanie Gauvin and Louise Dionne will explore these policies as well as the labour exploitation and human trafficking issues facing migrant workers in Canada. The webinar will be held 12 February, 2013, 2pm EST.

For further information and to register for this webinar, please visit:

This webinar will be in French only. An English version of this webinar took place in September 2012. For resources from that webinar, please visit:  



“Journey to Freedom Gala,” Walk With Me Canada Victim Services, Toronto, ON, 27 January , 2013

Walk With Me’s third annual “Journey to Freedom Gala” will be held on 27 January, 2013, 4-8pm, in Toronto, to celebrate survivors of human trafficking. This fundraising gala celebrates human strength and seeks to raise funds in order to provide better care for victims.

For more information, please see:



[free-them] February – 28 Days to Love Campaign

Toronto-based, anti-human trafficking organization [free-them] designates February as a month to be a voice for freedom. [free-them] “February – 28 days to love” is a campaign to remind people of the freedoms they have and to invite them to exercise their freedoms by bringing awareness to the world about the 27 million people who are in situations of trafficking today. Every day of the month [free-them] will give the public something new to do on each day to raise awareness to fight human trafficking and to raise funds to rescue victims of trafficking in Canada. For example, DAY 15: VOLUNTEER with an anti-trafficking organization.

Are you in the Toronto area? Become a [free-them] volunteer. Email [free-them] at: For more information, visit the [free-them] website: and follow [free-them] on Twitter at @free_them.



Alliance Against Modern Slavery, Winter 2013 - Third Annual Conference, Toronto, ON, 23 February, 2013

The Alliance Against Modern Slavery is hosting a conference on 23 February, 2013, 9:30am-3pm in Toronto. The conference will focus on human trafficking in Ontario and around the world and invites NGOs, law enforcement, students, community members, survivors, researchers and others interested in trafficking to attend.

For more information and to register, please see:


Forum on Human Trafficking, Centre for Research and Education on Violence Against Women and Children, London, ON, 5 March, 2013

The Learning Network of the Centre for Research and Education on Violence Against Women and Children is hosting a Forum on Human Trafficking at the Hilton Hotel in London, on 5 March, 2013.

For further information and to register, please see:



Comité d’action contre la traite humaine interne et internationale (CATHII) Conference on Trafficking, Montreal, QC, 11-12 April 2013

Intervenir face à la traite: vers une action concertée! (Facing human trafficking: moving towards concerted action!) will consist of a day of study preceded by a public conference 11-12 April, 2013 in Montreal. This event is organized by CATHII in collaboration with the Social Service School of McGill University and Hans & Tamar Oppenheimer Chair in Public International Law. 

For more information about this event, please go to: