Trafficking Bulletin Issue No. 22 - January 2016

In this issue: Government of Canada launches missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls pre-inquiry survey and meetings, Freedom Collaborative launched, recent reports and upcoming Public Safety-Canadian Women's Foundation anti-trafficking forum…

Issue No. 22 - January 2016



Important policy developments on trafficking

Government of Canada launches missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls pre-inquiry survey
On 5 January 2016, the government launched an online survey so as to receive input on the design and scope of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls. The online survey complements cross-Canada meetings scheduled to consult survivors, family members, National Aboriginal Organizations, provincial and territorial representatives, and front-line workers on the inquiry. The information gathered will be made available online.

Details about the inquiry and online survey are available here.

Meeting summaries to date are available here.

Government of Canada News Release, 5 January 2016:


CCR Calls for Changes for Migrant Workers in Canada to Access their Rights
To mark International Migrant’s Day, on 18 December 2015 the CCR called on the new government to make meaningful changes to give migrant workers in Canada access to their rights.

Among the fundamental changes proposed are opening migrant workers' work permits so that they are not tied to the one employer that brought them to Canada.

Employer-specific work permits place migrant workers in a situation of vulnerability to exploitation and trafficking. Tying their immigration status to a single employer causes migrant workers to risk deportation if they leave their job. This limits complaints and the prospect of seeking alternative job options in case of mistreatment and unpaid wages.

Find more about migrant workers’ conditions and risks to abuse as a result of tied work permits here.
Freedom Collaborative Online Platform Launched in Canada
The Freedom Collaborative, a partnership project between Chab Dai and Liberty Asia, is an online platform for organizations and individuals working to address exploitation and trafficking. This resource has now been launched in Canada and aims to foster collaboration and knowledge exchange. Organizations and individuals are required to register in order to access tools and information about other member organizations.

The Freedom Collaborative is now available online:

For more information, please contact:

Reports and media

Report of the Ontario Select Committee on Sexual Violence and Harassment
On December 2015, the Select Committee on Sexual Violence and Harassment of the Legislative Assembly of Ontario released its final report. The Committee’s report builds from the Ontario government’s It’s Never Okay: An Action Plan to Stop Sexual Violence and Harassment, launched in March 2015, with a view to improve Ontario’s response system and prevention of sexual violence and harassment in the province. It includes basic facts about the issues at hand as well as recommendations.

Among the issues raised, the report identified human trafficking as a significant problem in Ontario. To improve the province’s response to trafficking, the Select Committee recommends that the government of Ontario:
  • Provide resources to develop a coordinated approach to help victims of human trafficking, allowing providers of support services and the criminal justice system to share information and work collaboratively;
  • Develop a multi-ministerial, province-wide strategy on human trafficking.

The final report is available here (in PDF here).
Handbook: Our Spirits are NOT for Sale, Native Women’s Association of Canada (NWAC)
NWAC has published a handbook that primarily aims to provide information on sexual exploitation and sex trafficking to Aboriginal women who are either at risk of sexual exploitation, or who consider that they are being sexually exploited. It also seeks to provide front-line workers who work with exploited Aboriginal women and girls an overview of best practices so as to better support them.

The handbook is available for download here.


Second Year Status Report on British Columbia's Action Plan to Combat Human Trafficking
The B.C. Office to Combat Trafficking in Persons (OCTIP) released its Second Year Status Report on B.C.’s Action Plan to Combat Human Trafficking in October 2015, highlighting the actions completed in the second year of the 3-year provincial action plan. The action plan is currently in its third year.

The B.C. action plan outlines short and long term initiatives to combat human trafficking provincially in five focal priority areas: outreach and awareness, training and education, community empowerment, culturally-appropriate service coordination, as well as research, policy and legislation. Some of the initiatives completed in the second year include:

  • Additional outreach and awareness raising among Aboriginal youth, teachers, and schools in B.C. communities.
  • Training of service providers on human trafficking through OCTIP’s online training course, Human Trafficking: Canada is Not Immune, including: Ministry of Social Development and Social Innovation front line workers; Community Safety and Crime Prevention Branch funded programs; victim service providers; legislative training for B.C. Crown Counsel, and police.
  • Development of community resource kits to assist with local prevention and awareness initiatives.
  • Partnering with communities (community agencies, schools, police and Aboriginal community members) to support the creation of local service models to assist trafficked persons, while considering culturally appropriate services for Aboriginal communities and new immigrant communities.
  • Supporting initiatives to raise awareness about labour trafficking;
  • Facilitating additional ‘Train the Trainer’ workshops and exploring partnerships to increase information and knowledge about domestic trafficking of Aboriginal youth and women in B.C.
The report is available here

Media Reports
Human trafficking case puts spotlight on refugee system, The Hamilton Spectator, 12 January 2016:

Ministers consult indigenous women on missing, murdered inquiry, CTV News, 6 January 2016:

Meetings ramp up ahead of MMIW inquiry, Global News, 4 January 2016:

Messaging Apps Help Combat Human Trafficking, Bloomberg Businessweek, 23 December 2015:

British Columbia
Vancouver man pleads guilty to lesser charge in nanny 'human trafficking' case, The Province, 7 January 2016:

Calgary woman sentenced to eight years for human trafficking of 18-year-old, Toronto Star, 23 January 2016:

“Human Trafficking and HIV in Canada,” by Karen McRae, HIV Edmonton, 21 January 2016:

Human trafficking still happening in Nunavut, researcher says, CBC News, 4 January 2016:

Brantford man faces human trafficking charge, met victim in Hamilton: police, CBC News, 28 January 2016:

Uncovering Human Trafficking, OPP say there is a degree of human trafficking in Orillia, Bayshore News, 25 January 2016:

Website launched to help victims of human trafficking, Windsor Star, 21 January 2016:

Covenant House launches campaign to help victims of human trafficking, CP24, 20 January 2016:

Inquiry must validate stories of indigenous women prostituted on ships: NWAC, CBC News Thunder Bay, 8 January 2016:

2 men face 30 charges in human trafficking investigation, CBC News Toronto, 16 December 2015:

Nova Scotia
Sentencing in North Preston human trafficking case delayed, CBC News Nova Scotia, 15 January 2016:

Human trafficking convictions remain challenging in Nova Scotia, CBC News Nova Scotia, 11 January 2016:

Duane Rhyno, Lower Sackville lawyer, cleared of human trafficking charges, CBC News Nova Scotia, 31 December 2015:

Doreze Marvin Beals's human trafficking trial hears defence case, CBC News Nova Scotia, 21 December 2015:

Trafficking-related events

Canadian Women’s Foundation and Public Safety National Anti-Trafficking Forum, 23 - 24 March, 2016, Toronto
A two-day National Anti-Trafficking Forum will be held jointly organized by the Canadian Women’s Foundation and Public Safety Canada. The Forum will discuss trafficking and anti-trafficking efforts in the Canadian context, including education and awareness components and visioning. The program will promote dialogue between stakeholders about emerging issues, promising practices, policy gaps, and steps to renew the national approach to addressing trafficking in Canada.

An invitation to register will be sent to those who completed their survey by 15 January 2016.

International developments

United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime and the European Union launch multi-year global initiative
The European Union (EU) and UNODC have launched a four year joint initiative to improve the global response to trafficking in persons and smuggling, entitled Global Action to Prevent and Address Trafficking in Persons and the Smuggling of Migrants.

The initiative is to be implemented in partnership with the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) seeking to support countries in the development and implementation of effective responses.

More information is available here.
Anti-Trafficking Review Call for Papers, Themed Issue: “Where's the Evidence?”
The Global Alliance Against Trafficking in Women (GAATW) has released a call for papers for the Anti-Trafficking Review journal. The issue will critically explore questions of evidence in both how human trafficking is characterized and how the value and results of anti-trafficking work are evaluated.

Deadline for submission is 1 July 2016 to be published in April 2017.

Details are available here.

Previous issues are available at: