Welcome to the Canadian Council for Refugees' (CCR) first 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 email@example.com. We also invite you to send us any feedback you might deem relevant on the content for us to consider for future issues.
We hope you will find this e-bulletin useful and interesting.
Bill C-10, the Safe Streets and Communities Act, Final Vote in House of Commons
Bill C-10, the omnibus crime bill introduced in September 2011, has passed the final vote in the House of Commons and received royal assent on March 13, 2012. The Bill includes a section relevant to trafficking: Protecting Vulnerable Foreign Nationals against Trafficking, Abuse and Exploitation. This section amends the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act to give immigration officials the power to deny a work permit to an applicant overseas, on the basis that the person might be exploited in Canada.
The government's Backgrounder to the bill is available at: http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/department/media/backgrounders/2011/2011-09-20.asp.
Evidence and minutes of the Standing Senate Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs, including a discussion on the section relevant to trafficking, are available at: http://www.parl.gc.ca/Content/SEN/Committee/411/lcjc/49343-e.htm?Language=E&Parl=41&Ses=1&comm_id=11.
Bill C-310 Review by Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights Successful, 15 March, 2012
Bill C-310 introduced by Joy Smith, Member of Parliament for Kildonan-St. Paul, Manitoba, on October 2011, was reviewed and passed by the Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights on March 15, 2012. The Bill will be reported back to the House of Commons for Third Reading on March 26, 2012 .
Introduced as a private member’s bill, this bill would amend the Criminal Code to allow Canadian citizens or permanent residents to be prosecuted in Canada for trafficking-in-persons offences committed outside Canada. It would also add factors that the Court may consider when determining what constitutes exploitation.
Further information about the bill is available at: http://www.joysmith.ca/main.asp?fxoid=FXMenu,9&cat_ID=27&sub_ID=112
Additional details on Bill C-310 can also be found here: http://www.parl.gc.ca/LegisInfo/BillDetails.aspx?Language=E&Mode=1&billId=5137989.
Border Action Plan: Canada-US Border and Law Enforcement Initiatives on Human Trafficking and Smuggling
A new agreement was signed at the Cross-Border Crime Forum in Ottawa on March 2, 2012 between the U.S. Human Smuggling and Trafficking Center (HSTC) and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police's (RCMP) Human Trafficking National Coordination Centre. The "Memorandum of Understanding" was regarded by participating officials as a renewed commitment to share information and both to prevent and address human trafficking and smuggling operations in both countries.
The "Memorandum of Understanding between The United States' HSTC and the RCMP on the Dissemination and Exchange of Information" is available at: http://www.dhs.gov/xlibrary/assets/opa/mou-hstc-rcmp-exchange-of-information.pdf.
The Cross-Border Crime Forum also focused on "Beyond the Border: A Shared Vision for Perimeter Security and Economic Competitiveness," an initiative announced by President Barack Obama and Prime Minister Stephen Harper on February 4, 2011. This initiative aims to build on the existing economic and security partnership between the United States and Canada by examining and further developing cross-border law enforcement operations and information-sharing strategies, among other efforts.
For more information, see:
Public Safety Canada, News Release: http://www.publicsafety.gc.ca/media/nr/2012/nr20120302-eng.aspx
Perimeter Security and Economic Competitiveness Action Plan: http://bit.ly/FQMfu5
International Information Programs (IPP) Digital, US Department of State:
"Canada, U.S. Cooperate to Fight Cross-Border Crime": http://bit.ly/FPXyAE
"White House Fact Sheet: U.S.-Canada Border, Regulation Reform": http://bit.ly/FQyEiv
Building an Agenda for Preventing Trafficking for Labour Exploitation
A recently published report explores challenges faced in developing effective preventative measures against trafficking in persons in the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) region, with a special focus on trafficking for labour exploitation. The report provides valuable insights on protecting the rights of migrant workers and implementing measures aimed at reducing workers' vulnerability.
The framework offered would come of use to Canada in strengthening efforts to develop measures that are guided by and respectful of the human rights of trafficked foreign workers.
"An Agenda for Prevention: Trafficking for Labour Exploitation", OSCE Office of the Special Representative and Co-ordinator for Combating Trafficking in Human Beings, is available at: http://www.ungift.org/doc/knowledgehub/resource-centre/OSCE/Annual_OSCE_Report.pdf.
Report: State of Immigrant and Refugee Women’s Status in Canada (2012)
A joint report, entitled “State of Immigrant and Refugee Women's Status in Canada – 2012”, has been compiled by the Ontario Council of Agencies Serving Immigrants (OCASI), the Canadian Council for Refugees (CCR), Metro Toronto Chinese and Southeast Asian Legal Clinic (MTCSALC) and Colour of Poverty Campaign.
The report identifies developments in federal policy from 2006 to 2011 that impact immigrant and refugee women in Canada. Part 2 of the report includes a section on trafficking in women.
The report is now available online at: http://www.ocasi.org/downloads/State_of_Immigrant_Refugee_Women_in_Canada_2012.pdf.
CCR Report on the National Networking Meeting on Trafficking and Workshop on Serving Trafficked Persons
The Report of the CCR National Networking Meeting on Trafficking and Workshop on Serving Trafficked Persons held from 23-24 November 2011 in Montreal, QC, is now available online in the CCR website at: http://ccrweb.ca/sites/ccrweb.ca/files/trafficking_meeting_report2012.pdf.
The National Networking Meeting on Trafficking was a pan-Canadian initiative led by the CCR, which offered a space for information-exchange and strategizing on protection, awareness-raising and services to trafficked persons. Participants of the meeting included representatives of service-providing, policy and other NGOs, academics and others involved in work on trafficking.
The report encourages organizations to work together to strengthen existing efforts to protect the rights of trafficked persons and to consider follow-up on the proposals for action raised during the meeting and the workshop, as well as to suggest other possibilities for action.
For more information about how to get involved with the CCR's anti-trafficking network, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Proposal to create Canada's National Human Trafficking Awareness Day
Last month MP Joy Smith called for the designation of Canada's own National Human Trafficking Awareness Day on February 22. On this day in 2007 Parliament adopted her Private Member's Motion M-153 to condemn human trafficking in Canada and abroad. This day marks the anniversary of the adoption of this Motion, but is also meant to bring Canadians together to take steps to prevent human trafficking and to raise awareness across the country.
The United Nations has also established a day to commemorate the abolition of the transatlantic slave trade and to focus on eradicating contemporary forms of slavery: December 2. This day has been designated by the UN as the International Day for the Abolition of Slavery, marking the date of the adoption of the United Nations Convention for the Suppression of the Traffic in Persons and of the Exploitation of the Prostitution of Others (resolution 317(IV) of 2 December 1949) by the General Assembly.
In recent years, some Canadian organizations have also been pushing for the establishment of a day to raise awareness about human trafficking in Canada and have embraced the UN-designated day to do so. Since 2008, PACT-Ottawa (Persons Against the Crime of Trafficking in humans) has been among the organizations that have effectively been encouraging the Canadian public to join forces on this day to raise awareness and to learn about actions they can take to stop human trafficking in Canada.
Further information about these initiatives is available at:
Joy Smith, Human Trafficking: http://joysmith.ca/main.asp?fxoid=FXMenu,13&cat_ID=27&sub_ID=113
Winnipeg Free Press: http://bit.ly/wlt851
Winnipeg Sun: http://bit.ly/wWbKTV
PACT-Ottawa, End Slavery Day: http://www.pact-ottawa.org/end-slavery-day---dec-2nd.html and http://www.pact-ottawa.org/media-advisory.html
UN, International Day for the Abolition of Slavery: http://www.un.org/en/events/slaveryabolitionday/
Media Releases on Human Trafficking
Domotor Case, Hamilton Human Trafficking Case
The Hamilton Spectator: http://bit.ly/x8Mydt
Toronto Sun: http://bit.ly/aynieG
Trafficking victim's impact statements have been published on the Toronto Sun and The Hamilton Spectator:
Need plan to fight human trafficking, March 2 2012, The Windsor Star: http://bit.ly/zKpbKS
Toronto man who bought kidney abroad is key witness in transplant sale trial in Kosovo, January 22 2012, The Star: http://bit.ly/zxYoir
Alleged pimp also charged with human trafficking, January 17 2012, CTV News Toronto: http://bit.ly/w2Kr17
Support Services for Trafficked Persons in Nova Scotia
As part of a joint project between the Nova Scotia Advisory Council on the Status of Women and the Government of Nova Scotia, an electronic map was launched in November 2011 to collect information about support services available to trafficked persons in Nova Scotia. The map and resource centre is accessible at: http://www.nsdomesticviolence.ca/resource-map/type/Human-Trafficking-Assets-Map.
More information about the Nova Scotia Advisory Council on the Status of Women's work on human trafficking can be found at: http://www.women.gov.ns.ca/trafficking.
PACT-Ottawa to launch TruckSTOP Campaign in April 2012
The TruckSTOP Campaign is part of Persons Against the Crime of Trafficking in humans, PACT-Ottawa’s human trafficking awareness initiative. The purpose of the campaign is to raise awareness about human trafficking among members of Canada’s trucking industry, as well as members of the public who utilize truck stop facilities in the course of intercity travel.
For updates on new materials and reports related to the TruckSTOP Campaign, visit: http://www.pact-ottawa.org/truckstop.html
For media releases on the campaign visit:
CBC News Ottawa: http://bit.ly/x5F0Ag
Sustainable Development and Human Trafficking, a Quebec Initiative, June 2012
The Comité d'action contre la traite humaine interne et internationale (CATHII) and partners are expecting to launch a campaign in June 2012 addressing the need to include issues pertaining to the rights of trafficked persons and victims of labour exploitation into discussions of sustainable development.
This campaign aims to add a social focus to sustainable development agendas, and in particular to the International Labour Organization (ILO) - UN Social Protection Floor (SPF) Initiative. In January 2012, CATHII's members and supporters strongly embraced this initiative as an important effort to reduce existing levels of poverty and absolute poverty, in recognition of the fact that such contexts create fertile ground for the growth of both human trafficking and forced labour. This campaign seeks to contribute to international discussions, namely at UN conferences, by raising these concerns and making sure they are considered in sustainable development analyses.
More information about CATHII's campaign, "For a sustainable development without human trafficking," is available at: http://www.cathii.org/campagne-deacuteveloppement-durable.html (in French).
CATHII website: http://www.cathii.org/
ILO Social Protection Floor: http://www.socialsecurityextension.org/gimi/gess/ShowTheme.do?tid=1321
CCR Call for Action: Protect trafficked persons in Canada
The CCR is calling on Parliamentarians to take action to protect the rights of trafficked persons in Canada, particularly through legislative amendments.
A Proposal to amend the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act has been developed to advocate for legislative changes that would ensure the unconditional protection of trafficked persons' rights, as well as the provision of temporary and permanent protection to trafficked persons. The CCR is calling on Parliamentarians to turn this proposal into law.
To endorse, share and promote the CCR Proposal for Legislative Amendment to Protect Trafficked Persons, visit: http://ccrweb.ca/en/proposal-legislative-amendment-protect-trafficked-persons.
CCR comments on Omnibus Crime Bill (Bill C-10) and Trafficking
The CCR has commented on the trafficking-related provisions in Bill C-10. The amendments contained in the bill would give immigration officers discretionary power to deny a work permit to applicants overseas on the grounds that they may be exploited in Canada. The Backgrounder to the bill refers to exotic dancers and low-skilled labourers, suggesting that they may be “vulnerable to humiliating and degrading treatment.” The bill proposes to address the problem of exploitation by refusing such people, who are mostly women, work permits.
The amendments contained in the bill fail to address the root of the problem: the existence in Canada of jobs that humiliate and degrade workers. The bill fails to protect the rights of trafficked persons abroad and of trafficked persons already here in Canada.
The CCR's comments are available at: http://ccrweb.ca/en/comments-bill-c10-trafficking.
Research Release and Training Event: Developing a Calgary-based Response to Human Trafficking, March 23, 2012
ACT Alberta and The Centre for Criminology and Research at Mount Royal University will be inaugurating a research release and training event on Friday March 23, 2012, 9:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. at Ambrose University College, 150 Ambrose Circle SW, in Calgary, Alberta.
This research on developing a Calgary-based response to human trafficking, represents the first Canadian study to document how a major urban centre is addressing the rights and needs of trafficked persons. The study will inform the response to human trafficking in Calgary and across Canada.
Forum: "Human Trafficking and Migration: Building Community Response", April 24, 2012 - FCJ Refugee Centre
FCJ Refugee Centre will hold a national forum Human Trafficking and Migration: Building Community Response in Toronto, Tuesday April 24, 2012.
The forum will focus on internationally trafficked persons and existing barriers to services and protection for them. It will highlight the situation of migrant victims, such as seasonal workers, international students, and sponsored persons, living in Canada with precarious immigration status.
The event will bring together international experts and national stakeholders from multiple sectors including legal, law enforcement, health and human services. Participants will be engaged in panel discussions and workshops surrounding the services, assistance and laws in place to address the needs of the internationally trafficked persons.
Information and online registration are available at: http://www.fcjrefugeecentre.org/?p=2284.