Trafficking Bulletin Issue No. 29 - September 2018

In this issue: consultations on new anti-trafficking strategy, CCR Trafficking Brief, training on labour trafficking, guide on human trafficking and the law, Migrant Workers Report Cards, Trafficking in Persons Report, National Forum on Human Trafficking, and more.

Issue No. 29 - SEPTEMBER 2018


Policy developments on trafficking

Consultations on new anti-trafficking strategy
Public Safety Canada is inviting stakeholders to provide input on the development of a new human trafficking strategy for Canada. Meetings will be held in Montreal, Winnipeg and Vancouver; input can also be given through an on-line questionnaire. The consultations will culminate in a National Summit in Toronto at the end of September. According to a federal discussion paper on the way forward to end human trafficking, a new national strategy will be announced in winter 2019.

The consultations come on the heels of an evaluation of the National Action Plan to Combat Trafficking, launched in 2012 and ending in 2016. Public Safety Canada concluded there is a need to set a new action plan, reinforce partnerships between the provinces and territories, and collaborate with Indigenous organizations, non-governmental organizations, front-line service providers, researchers as well as with the private sector and social service organizations.

The CCR welcomes these efforts and calls on the government to implement the recommendations made in its brief to the House of Commons Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights.

National study on human trafficking
Members of the House of Commons Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights traveled to Halifax, Montreal, Toronto, Edmonton and Vancouver – from March 18 to 23 – to learn more about human trafficking in Canada. The Committee heard from human trafficking survivors, front-line service providers, anti-trafficking advocates and other community partners. A draft report of the national study is expected to come out in the fall. The CCR submitted a series of anti-trafficking recommendations to the parliamentary committee in its brief, CCR Concerns: Human Trafficking in Canada.

National human trafficking hotline
In the last federal budget, Canada announced funding for a national human trafficking hotline. The federal budget earmarks $14.51 million over five years, starting in 2018-2019, to combat human trafficking with a new phone line. In August 2018, Public Safety Canada closed its call for applications seeking organizations interested in administering the hotline.

Cross-party platform to end human trafficking
A group of Senators and Members of Parliament from across political parties launched an anti-trafficking initiative on 26 April. The cross-party forum seeks to advance law and policy solutions to sex and labour trafficking.

Resources & announcements

New access to justice project
Over the next year, the CCR project, Collaborating for access to legal justice for trafficked persons, will build on the work started in 2017 to improve access to legal services and to justice for trafficked or potentially trafficked non-citizens. Funded by the Canadian Bar Association, Law for the Future Fund, the project seeks to engage and encourage collaboration between immigration and refugee lawyers, other legal practitioners and front-line service providers. For more information or to get involved, contact

Canada’s track record on trafficking at the Universal Periodic Review
In April 2018, the Comité d’action contre la traite humaine interne et internationale (CATHII) and Franciscans International presented their joint brief, Human Trafficking in Canada: Sexual Exploitation and Forced Labour, to the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva as part of the 2018 Universal Periodic Review of Canada’s human rights record.

Training on labour trafficking
MCIS Language Solutions (Multilingual Community Interpreter Services) has added an on-line course on labour trafficking in Ontario. The course aims to educate individuals on how to spot labour trafficking and what to do about it in their own communities.

A guide for legal practitioners
Human Trafficking & the Law: How to Protect Trafficked Persons is a CCR resource designed to help legal practitioners, especially immigration and refugee lawyers to:
  • Recognize the signs of human trafficking
  • Understand the provisions against human trafficking in Canadian law and the various legal remedies for supporting trafficking survivors
  • Understand best practices for respecting professional ethics
Trafficked Persons: Avoiding Collateral Harm
As part of its project to improve access to legal services and to justice for trafficked or potentially trafficked non-citizens, the CCR published a legal needs assessment. Immigration and refugee lawyers as well as other legal practitioners and advocates were consulted about legal challenges, gaps in services and legislation, and promising practices in representing trafficked and potentially trafficked persons in Canada. The report presents the finding of this consultation.

Envisioning Justice for Migrant Workers: A Legal Needs Assessment
The Migrant Workers Centre (MWC), formerly West Coast Domestic Workers Association, published an assessment of legal needs of migrant workers in British Columbia. The research project looked at how migrant workers in the province access legal information and services, and barriers in doing so. The report presents the research project’s findings along with recommendations for systemic solutions to accessing legal information and services in British Columbia.

Migrant Worker Report Cards
Evaluating Migrant Worker Rights grades the performance of provincial and federal governments in protecting the rights of migrant workers. Published by the CCR, the report cards analyze developments over the last five years and identify government policy solutions and practical responses for migrant workers in their jurisdiction. The report cards are a tool to advocate for better protection of migrant workers’ rights federally and in each province and to inform advocates and decision-makers of the policy landscape across the country.

2018 Trafficking in Persons Report
The U.S. Department of State’s Trafficking in Persons Report analyses how well 180 countries around the globe protect trafficked persons as well as prosecute and prevent trafficking. The latest report focuses on effective ways local communities can address human trafficking proactively and on how national governments can support and empower them. According to the report, Canada meets the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking. Among many suggestions, this year’s report recommends that Canada sets up and implements a new national anti-trafficking action plan.

Visit the report page to view or download the full report, the Country Narratives with recommendations for each country, or Fact Sheets. The Canada Report is available here.

International developments

Global Compact on Migration
The United Nations held a series of global consultations, attended by member states and civil society organizations. The consultations addressed six thematic issues, including the smuggling of migrants, trafficking in persons and contemporary forms of slavery. The General Assembly will hold an intergovernmental conference on international migration in December 2018 in order to adopt the Global Compact.

Trafficking events in Canada

SAVE THE DATE: CCR National Forum on Human Trafficking
The annual CCR National Forum on Human Trafficking will take place on Thursday, 29 November, immediately following the CCR Fall Consultations in Montreal. Anti-trafficking, migrant rights and other social justice advocates, as well as front-line practitioners, legal practitioners, policy makers, academics, and people with lived experienced are invited to attend. For trafficking forum updates, visit:

To find out more about our forums, read the 2017 CCR National Forum on Human Trafficking Report.