Trafficking Bulletin Issue No. 4 - September 2012

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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 traffickingbulletin@ccrweb.ca. 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.

 

 

Upcoming CCR events

Webinar: Intersections of Labour Exploitation: Human trafficking and migrant workers, September 19, 2012, 2 - 3pm

National Forum on Trafficking and CCR Fall Consultation, November 28 - December 1, 2012

Quick links

CCR Trafficking page: http://trafficking.ca

CCR Database of Human Trafficking Resources: http://ccrweb.ca/en/trafficking-resources

E-BULLETIN CONTENTS

 

Important Policy Developments on Trafficking

Temporary Foreign Worker Visas for Employment in Sex Industry Restricted

On July 4, 2012, the Government of Canada announced regulatory changes in the provision of temporary work permits to women intending to work in businesses linked to the sex trade, including strip clubs, escort services and massage parlours. As of July, Human Resources and Skills Development Canada (HRSDC) began to issue negative Labour Market Opinions (LMOs) for applications submitted by employers connected to the sex industry in order to prevent these businesses from hiring temporary foreign workers. Starting July 14, 2012, Citizenship and Immigration Canada also ceased the processing of new work permit applications from temporary foreign workers applying for work in related businesses.

According to HRSDC, “In addition to businesses in those sectors, the new restrictions on LMOs will apply to other businesses linked to the sex trade, particularly if there is a heightened risk of abuse or exploitation of workers.”

Further details are available at:

Human Resources and Skills Development Canada:

News Release, 4 July, 2012: http://news.gc.ca/web/article-eng.do?nid=684419.

Temporary Foreign Worker Program – Notice to Employers: Sex Trade-related Businesses: http://bit.ly/PsNEwj.

To read more about different responses to the changes, please see:

Ottawa brings down curtain on foreign strippers, The Globe and Mail, 5 July, 2012: http://bit.ly/MXwo0w

Smith: Battling exploitation in our country - Workers in sex-related businesses, Winnipeg Sun, 19 July, 2012: http://bit.ly/MyCnuH

 

The “Protecting Children from Sexual Predators” Component of the Safe Streets and Communities Act Comes into Force, August 9, 2012

On August 9, 2012, the “Protecting Children from Sexual Predators” component of the Safe Streets and Communities Act (Bill C-10) came into force, adding the following offences to the Criminal Code:

  • Mandatory prison sentences for seven existing Criminal Code offences such as luring a child, sexual assault, and aggravated assault;
  • An increase in mandatory prison sentences for nine sexual offences involving child victims, including possessing, making, accessing or distributing child pornography and sexual exploitation;
  • An increase in maximum penalties for four child sexual offences;
  • Making it illegal to: a) provide sexually explicit material to a child for the purpose of facilitating “grooming,” or committing a sexual offence against a child; and b) use any form of telecommunications or digital network to communicate with another person to agree or make plans to commit a sexual offence against a child;
  • Requiring judges to consider forbidding those suspected or convicted of committing a sexual offence against a child from having unsupervised contact with a child under the age of 16, or from using the Internet or other digital network unsupervised.

For further information, please see the Department of Justice website:

News Release, 9 August, 2012: http://www.justice.gc.ca/eng/news-nouv/nr-cp/2012/doc_32777.html

Backgrounder - Safe Streets and Communities Act: Better Protection for Children and Youth from Sexual Predators: http://www.justice.gc.ca/eng/news-nouv/nr-cp/2012/doc_32778.html

 

Alberta Provincial Government Modifies Legislation to Improve Oversight of Employment Agencies

As of September 1, 2012, new regulations have been implemented by the Alberta provincial government in an attempt to improve the monitoring of employment agencies and to legally protect Canadian as well as temporary foreign workers and job seekers throughout the province. These regulations add measures to the existing Employment Agency Business Licensing Regulation, which currently prohibits agencies from charging fees for recruiting or finding employment opportunities for workers. Such agencies are currently required to be licensed under the provincial government.

The recent modifications will additionally require employment agencies to:

  • Clarify and expand their record keeping;
  • Operate in their licensed name;
  • Register their agents;
  • Enter into written agreements with employers and job seekers;
  • Employment agencies recruiting internationally will be required to provide a $25,000 security before September 30.

In addition, recent modifications emphasize that it is illegal for businesses to “mislead temporary foreign workers about their rights or their chance of becoming a Canadian citizen; pressure workers to lie to Canadian officials; intimidate or threaten individuals seeking work; mislead job seekers or misrepresent employment opportunities; or require workers to provide a performance bond.”

For more details, please see:

Alberta Government, Information Bulletin: http://bit.ly/QK2hwz.

Employment Agencies Tipsheet: http://servicealberta.gov.ab.ca/pdf/tipsheets/Emp_Agencies_Tipsheet.pdf.

For comments on the measures, please see:

Province cracks down on unscrupulous employment agencies - New rules to protect temporary foreign workers, Edmonton Journal, 31 August, 2012: http://bit.ly/P5BCad.

 

International Developments

Inter-Agency Coordination Group against Trafficking in Persons (ICAT) to Publish Issue Papers on Key Issues, 2012 – 2013

The Inter-Agency Coordination Group against Trafficking in Persons (ICAT) will publish a series of five issue papers between 2012 and 2013 on key issues identified by ICAT’s member organizations as essential challenges in responding to trafficking in persons to be faced by the international community in the upcoming ten years. The five key issues involve:

  1. The international legal framework relating to trafficking in persons;
  2. Evaluating anti-trafficking responses;
  3. Preventing trafficking in persons by addressing demand;
  4. Preventing trafficking in persons by addressing vulnerabilities;
  5. Providing effective remedies for trafficked persons.

ICAT is a policy forum established to “improve coordination among UN agencies and other relevant international organizations to facilitate an integrated approach to preventing and combating trafficking in persons.”

For more information, please see:

“The next decade: Promoting common priorities and greater coherence in the fight against human trafficking,” ICAT Overview Paper: http://www.ungift.org/doc/knowledgehub/resource-centre/ICAT/ICAT_overvie....

About ICAT: http://www.ungift.org/knowledgehub/en/icat/about.html.

 

United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) Releases New Campaign

The latest campaign of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), “Transnational Organized Crime: Let’s put them out of business” brings attention to the various aspects of transnational organized crime, including a strong focus on human trafficking. The campaign highlights the important financial and social costs of human trafficking, as well as the immense profit earned by organized criminal groups from the exploitation of human beings. The campaign offers a variety of interactive resources for outreach and awareness-raising, including videos, maps, graphs and publications and promotes the use of social media to share information and increase public participation in global initiatives.

For further information, please see: http://www.unodc.org/toc/en/crimes/human-trafficking.html.

UNODC Transnational Organized Crime Campaign website: http://www.unodc.org/toc/.

 

Reports and media

RCMP Charge Nine More in Human Trafficking Investigation, RCMP News Room, 07 September, 2012: http://www.rcmp-grc.gc.ca/on/news-nouvelles/2012/12-09-07-hamilton-eng.htm.

Project OPAPA nets nine new charges, Hamilton Spectator, 07 September: http://bit.ly/Ng6QwY.

Province cracks down on unscrupulous employment agencies - New rules to protect temporary foreign workers, Edmonton Journal, 31 August, 2012: http://bit.ly/P5BCad.

Accused sex trafficker back in jail for breaching bail conditions, The Vancouver Sun, 16 August, 2012: http://bit.ly/UKgmt3.

Canadians fight back global sex trafficking on their soil, The Washington Times, 03 August, 2012: http://bit.ly/N8zaPe.

Peters, Alicia. Broadening the Lens on Human Trafficking, American Anthropological Association, 02 August, 2012: http://huff.to/OM1g4s.

Technology versus traffickers: Nobbling nasty networks, The Economist, 01 August, 2012: http://econ.st/NIATho.

Ottawa to crack down on fraud, human trafficking among international students, Calgary Herald, 01 August, 2012: http://bit.ly/UKeBw2.

Exotic dancers, sex industry, targeted in new immigration rules, Postmedia News, 04 July, 2012: http://bit.ly/PiEcrN.

 

Announcements

Language Interpretation Services for Trafficked Persons Offered by the Barbara Schlifer Clinic, Toronto, ON

Language interpretation services for trafficked persons are available at the Barbara Schlifer Clinic in Toronto. Interpretation for services assisting trafficked clients in Toronto is free of charge. For situations in which the client is a potential victim of human trafficking and where the status of the person is in the process of being determined, the first session will be free of charge.

For more information, please contact Interpreting Services Toronto, by phone, (416) 323-9149, Ext. 263, or by email: ist@schliferclinic.com.

 

Timea Nagy in Metamorphosis: Nobody’s Victim, CBC Radio

Timea Nagy, survivor of human trafficking and founder of Walk With Me, shares her story on CBC’s radio series, Metamorphosis. The episode, called Nobody’s Victim, explores Timea’s journey as a survivor of trafficking for sexual exploitation who now shares her voice to raise awareness and provide training about human trafficking, and provides direct, first response support services to victims of trafficking through a support group called Walk With Me.

To listen to Timea Nagy’s story on CBC Radio, please visit: http://www.cbc.ca/meta/episodes/2012/08/27/nobodys-victim/.

To learn more about Walk With Me’s work with victims and survivors of human trafficking, please visit: http://walk-with-me.org.

 

Support Services and Resources on Human Trafficking in Nova Scotia, Nova Scotia Advisory Council on the Status of Women 

The Nova Scotia Advisory Council on the Status of Women has produced a series of human trafficking resources in collaboration with the Nova Scotia Inter-Agency Group on Human Trafficking (NSIGHT), providing practical information on available support services for victims of trafficking in Nova Scotia and throughout Canada.

Resources available include:

Further information on the Nova Scotia Advisory Council on the Status of Women and NSIGHT’s work on trafficking may be accessed at: http://women.gov.ns.ca/trafficking.

 

Freedom Relays around Canada Mark September

Organizations in centres from St. John’s to Vancouver hosted the second annual Freedom Relay in Canada on September 15. The Freedom Relay is an effort to raise consciousness and mobilize local support to end human trafficking in communities across Canada. Funds raised from the event will be shared between international, pan-Canadian and local programs to assist victims of trafficking.

To find out more about the annual Freedom Relays, please visit:  www.freedomrelay.com.

Looking for ways to share your experience and photos from your local events? Follow the event on Twitter or Facebook.

 

Trafficking-related events

Upcoming CCR Webinar: Intersections of Labour Exploitation: Human trafficking and migrant workers, September 19, 2012, 2-3pm EST

This webinar will explore the intersections between human trafficking and the labour exploitation of migrant workers by examining the components of existing federal policies, namely the Temporary Foreign Worker Program, which facilitate traffickers' ability to control workers, to exploit their labour, and prevent them from accessing assistance. Advocacy strategies to assist survivors of forced labour in Canada will also be discussed. The webinar will take place on Wednesday, September 19 2012, 2 - 3pm EST.

For further information about this webinar and online registration, please see: http://ccrweb.ca/en/webinar/intersections-labour-exploitation.

 

Public Conference on National Action Plan to Combat Human Trafficking, Montreal, QC, October 10, 2012, 1pm

The Comité d’action contre la traite humaine interne et internationale (CATHII) is hosting a public conference on October 10, 2012, in Montreal to discuss the National Action Plan launched by the Government of Canada last June 6, 2012. The Annual General Assembly of CATHII will be held before the conference at 9am, and the conference will begin at 1pm.

For further details and to R.S.V.P. please contact: info@cathii.org

 

CCR National Forum on Trafficking and Fall Consultation 2012, Toronto, ON, November 28 - December 1, 2012

Representatives of NGOs involved in work on trafficking are invited to a National Forum on Trafficking on Wednesday, November 28th 2012 in Toronto. A day before the Consultation, this forum will provide a space for networking, information-exchange and strategizing among NGO's on best practices, emerging needs and policy development priorites to meet the needs of trafficked persons. A workshop will be held on the morning of Thursday, November 29 to allow for dialogue with government representatives, law enforcement and other interested parties. Join the CCR for both events!

Information about the Consultation is available at CCR Meetings.

Information about the forum is available at http://ccrweb.ca/en/trafficking-forum-2012. More information will be coming soon!

 

Collaborative International Summit on Preventing Human Trafficking, Together Let’s Stop Traffick, Ottawa, ON, November 4-7, 2012

From November 4 to 7, 2012, an international collaborative summit on preventing human trafficking will be held in Ottawa. Participants will include law enforcement, NGO and victim support specialists from around the world. The three-day summit will comprise of collaborative workshops and best practice information-sharing sessions. Organized by the FBI National Academy Associates (FBI NAA) Charitable Foundation, the summit is the first phase of a four-pronged program developed to build an International Resource and Coordination Centre on human trafficking.

For further information on the event and the registration process, please visit: http://www.togetherletsstoptraffick.org/.