Trafficking Bulletin Issue No. 27 - March 2017

In this issue: changes to federal trafficking legislation, new anti-trafficking legislation in Ontario, CCR project to access justice for trafficked persons, U.N. reports on global trafficking trends, legal resources on trafficking, and more.…

Issue No. 27 - MARCH 2017


Policy developments on trafficking

Government of Canada re-introduces human trafficking legislation
On February 9, 2017, the Government of Canada retabled legislation that was passed in Parliament two years ago. Now put into force, Bill C-452 makes human trafficking easier to prove and makes it less likely that trafficking survivors would need to testify in courts. However, the new bill excludes tougher sentencing provisions in the original legislation. Read more.

Ontario government brings in anti-trafficking legislation
On February 22, 2017, the Ontario Government introduced the Anti-Human Trafficking Act, aimed at increasing protection for trafficking survivors and raising awareness about human trafficking. The legislation is part of the Ontario Strategy to End Human Trafficking. Read more.

CCR provides policy input on trafficking
As part of an evaluation by Public Safety Canada, the CCR provided an assessment of the National Action Plan to Combat Trafficking in consultation with members of its Anti-Trafficking Committee. The CCR also provided input on the upcoming Trafficking in Persons Report by the U.S. Department of State. In both cases, the CCR highlighted the need to increase protection of trafficked persons and those potentially trafficked through better support for service providers, increased access to permanent status for vulnerable populations, and more awareness and training on trafficking for all stakeholders.

Federal Budget includes promise to improve Temporary Foreign Worker Program
In the 2017 Federal Budget, the Government of Canada restated plans to address shortcomings that create vulnerabilities for migrant workers. Plans to improve the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP) were announced in December 2016. The 2017 budget does not mention any measures that would enhance access to permanent status, which is the best way to protect people from exploitation.

Read more on CCR's recommendations for improving the TFWP:

Quebec sexual violence prevention strategy
Last fall, the Quebec government announced a $200-million, five-year strategy to prevent sexual violence. The plan allocates $6.4 million for a special police unit targeting sexual exploitation. Read more.

Resources & announcements

CCR National Forum on Human Trafficking – Highlights Report
A Highlights Report of the CCR’s National Forum on Trafficking, held November 2016, is now available online at:

With over 60 participants from across Canada, the forum facilitated dialogue between representatives of non-governmental organizations (including anti-trafficking and social justice advocates), service providers, academics, as well as representatives of different levels of government. Discussions focused on common challenges in raising awareness and providing adequate services to trafficked persons, and examined existing efforts, best practices and useful strategies for improving prevention and protection measures in Canada. The forum was also a space to analyze policy directions and set key priorities for moving forward at local, provincial and federal levels.

The full report of the forum will be available soon at:

CCR work on access to legal justice for trafficked persons
Over the next year, the CCR will be working to support the capacity of lawyers to identify and respond to the needs of trafficked persons or those potentially trafficked. Activities will include conducting a needs assessment with immigration and refugee lawyers, developing a training methodology, and implementing face-to-face and on-line training workshops. For more information, or to take part in the needs assessment, please contact

Hidden in Plain Sight: Labour Trafficking and Migrant Workers in Canada
The West Coast Domestic Workers Association has produced and released a short documentary on labour trafficking in Canada. Watch it here.

New UN Report on trafficking cases
The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime has released its report, Evidential Issues in Trafficking in Persons Cases Case Digest. The Case Digest aims to assist criminal justice practitioners in trafficking cases. It is also a useful resource for policymakers, legislators, researchers, service providers, and other anti-trafficking stakeholders interested in developing best practices in the response to trafficking.

Human Trafficking: Emerging Legal Issues and Applications
Released in 2017, this book explores various approaches to addressing human trafficking and providing remedies for survivors. It looks at situations in the United States, Australia, and Europe that may also be relevant for Canada and elsewhere in the world. Read more.

International developments

Global Action to Address Trafficking in Persons and the Smuggling of Migrants (GLO.ACT)
On March 3, 2017, in Lao People's Democratic Republic, GLO.ACT held its second meeting to consult stakeholders on activities to implement over the next three years. GLO.ACT is a joint initiative of the European Union (EU) and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), it is being carried out by the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF). Read more.

UNODC, Global Report on Trafficking in Persons 2016
Released in December 2016, the Global Report looks at trends in trafficking in persons around the world, including sexual exploitation, forced labour and other forms of trafficking. It notes a dramatic increase in the number of countries that have criminalized most forms of trafficking as set out in the UN Trafficking in Persons Protocol. At the same time, the number of trafficking-related convictions remain low due to the short time that trafficking law has been on the statute books. In Canada, there are 10-15 convictions per year compared to 60-100 in Mexico and 150-200 in the U.S. The report takes a thematic look at how migrants and refugees can be vulnerable to trafficking. Read more.

Trafficking events in Canada

Webinar - Trafficking: a Legal Professional`s Perspective
March 31, 1:00 PM EDT

Multilingual Community Interpreter Services (MCIS) is hosting a webinar that will examine indicators of human trafficking from a legal perspective. It will also provide tips on conducting interviews with trafficked and potentially trafficked persons, and using a trauma-informed approach to address the needs of trafficked persons.
Register here.

In the news

  • Canadian banks, police following money trail to target human trafficking, Globe & Mail, 21 February 2017 –
  • Human trafficking law starts from scratch, without tougher sentencing provisions, CBC News, 9 February 2017 –
  • P.E.I.: Public forum shines spotlight on migrant workers' rights, CBC News, 27 March 2017 -
  • Nova Scotia: Warrant issued for Dartmouth, NS man wanted in Toronto-area human trafficking investigation, Globe & Mail, 7 February 2017 –
  • Nova Scotia: 'I'll see you': Convicted human trafficker threatens teen victim on way out of courtroom, CBC News, 21 December 2016 –
  • Quebec: RCMP educates future educators on dangers of human trafficking, Montreal Gazette, 14 February 2017 –
  • Ontario: Conference aims to end sex trafficking,, 17 March 2017 –
  • Ontario: Man and woman charged in Peterborough human trafficking investigation, Globe & Mail, 2 March 2017 –
  • Ontario legislation would give human trafficking survivors power to sue, Globe & Mail, 22 February 2017 –
  • Ontario boy accused of forcing girl into the sex trade, Globe & Mail, 17 February 2017 –
  • Ontario: Fighting human trafficking in Sault Ste. Marie, Soo Today, 16 February 2017 –
  • Ontario: Ottawa man accused of luring teens faces 13 new charges, CBC News, 6 January 2017 –
  • Ontario: Thunder Bay Police charge two with human trafficking, CBC News, 17 January 2017 –
  • Ontario: 'Anyone can be a victim': Canadian high school girls being lured into sex trade, CBC News, 29 January 2017 –
  • Ontario: Mississauga man convicted on human trafficking-related charges, Globe & Mail, 21 December 2016 –
  • Manitoba: Police visit airport-area hotels to raise awareness of sex trade, CBC News, 10 March 2017 –
  • Manitoba: Woman allegedly forced to work as an escort in Winnipeg: police, Globe & Mail, 17 December 2016 –
  • Alberta: Edmonton police charge 26 'johns' in sex-trade enforcement effort, CBC News, 14 February 2017 –
  • Alberta: Man charged with human trafficking, assaulting two women in Edmonton, CBC News, 30 December 2016 –
  • Alberta: Canadians slowly becoming aware of human trafficking epidemic, Calgary Sun, 13 December 2016 –
  • British Columbia: Child trafficking trial a lead up to polygamy charges, Townsman, 14 December 2016 –