“We are making historic investments to end all forms of violence and injustice, including this new investment to help eliminate human trafficking in Canada and abroad.” – MP Monsef
Peterborough-Kawartha – Human trafficking is an abhorrent crime that includes sexual exploitation and forced labour, which devastates the victims and survivors, their families and society. Most victims and survivors of human trafficking are women and girls, including Indigenous women and girls, and marginalized groups in Canada. The Government of Canada is committed to countering this scourge.
A first step was included in Budget 2018, which provided $14.51 million over five years and $2.89 million per year ongoing for the new Canadian Human Trafficking Hotline for victims and survivors in need of services and support. The hotline is a national, multilingual (200 languages, including 27 Indigenous languages), 24/7/365 service operated by the Canadian Centre to End Human Trafficking, a national charitable organization.
Building on that work, today, Maryam Monsef, Member of Parliament for Peterborough-Kawartha, on behalf of the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, the Honourable Ralph Goodale, highlighted the Government of Canada’s new National Strategy to Combat Human Trafficking supported by a further financial commitment of $57.22 million over five years and then $10.28 million a year on-going. The new Strategy takes a whole-of-government approach that will:
- empower victims and survivors to regain self-confidence and control over their lives;
- prevent more of these crimes from taking place;
- better protect those who are most vulnerable to trafficking;
- prosecute human traffickers for their heinous crimes; and
- embrace partnerships with other organizations to maximize our impact.
“Canadians expect their government to keep them safe at home, at work, and in their communities,” said MP Monsef. “We know that women and girls, and particularly Indigenous women and girls, are disproportionately more likely to experience gender-based violence, and are at the greatest risk of human trafficking. That’s why we are making historic investments to end all forms of violence and injustice, including this new investment to help eliminate human trafficking in Canada and abroad.”
To support this work, the Minister of Public Safety has appointed a new Special Advisor on Human Trafficking, retired RCMP Assistant Commissioner and member of the Mohawk First Nation from Kanesatake Shirley Cuillierrier. Ms. Cuillierrier will offer ongoing advice and recommendations to the Government on its efforts to combat human trafficking and bring awareness domestically and internationally.
“I have seen the distressing consequences of human trafficking first-hand through my work and as a community advocate,” said Cuillierrier, M.O.M., Special Advisor to Combat Human Trafficking. “I am very grateful for the opportunity to contribute to the Government’s efforts to combat human trafficking, in particular as it relates to empowering victims, and I look forward to working with likeminded stakeholders.”
The additional funding announced today will be used across government as follows:
- $10 million to Women and Gender Equality Canada to develop and deliver prevention programs aimed at vulnerable populations;
- $22.6 million to support the development of a national case management standard, public awareness activities, training tools, new contribution funding for support services, establishing an Advisory Committee and appointing a Special Advisor;
- $7.8 million to the Canada Border Services Agency for immigration enforcement processes and to establish a dedicated team of border officials to strengthen strategies;
- $8.9 million to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada to better detect and respond to suspected cases;
- $5.58 to Public Services and Procurement Canada ensure the federal procurement supply chain continues to promote ethical behaviours; and
- $2.49 million to the Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada to enhance Project PROTECT and increase capacity to produce financial intelligence on money laundering.
- In 2016, Canadian police services reported 340 incidents of human trafficking where it was the most serious violation. This represents the highest rate recorded since comparable data became available in 2009.
- The Royal Assent of Bill C-75 gave law enforcement and prosecutors new tools to help enforce human trafficking offences and protect victims and survivors.
- At last year’s G7 Security Ministers’ Meeting in Toronto, Ministers agreed to work together to combat human trafficking by strengthening procurement practices and information sharing.
- The Government of Canada is investing nearly $200 million, and over $40 million per year ongoing, for initiatives to combat gender-based violence, in addition to creating or repairing 7000 shelter spaces under the National Housing Strategy.
- Testimony from the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls has highlighted strong links between human trafficking and the disproportionately high rates of violence against Indigenous women and girls, noting that the extent of human trafficking and victimization of Indigenous women is grossly under-reported.
- On-going federal anti-human trafficking efforts include work by Public Safety Canada; the Canada Border Services Agency; Employment and Social Development Canada; the Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada; Global Affairs Canada; Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada; the Department of Justice; Public Service and Procurement Canada; the Royal Canadian Mounted Police; Statistics Canada; and the Department for Women and Gender Equality.
- Human Trafficking Consultation Report
- Statement by Ministers Goodale and Lametti on the Government Response to Human Trafficking Report
- Government of Canada engages stakeholders to counter human trafficking
- Roundtable on gender and trafficking in persons held in advance of G7 Security Ministers’ Meeting
- Public Safety Canada: Human Trafficking
- National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls
- 24th Report of the House of Commons Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights titled Moving Forward in the Fight Against Human Trafficking in Canada and accompanying Government Response
- Trafficking in persons in Canada, 2016 statistics
- Canadian Human Trafficking Hotline