Canada's Anti-Human Trafficking Newsletter
Training, Programs & Events
Public Safety Canada is currently leading a formal horizontal evaluation of the National Action Plan to Combat Human Trafficking (NAP), which is expected to be completed in June 2017. Federal departments involved in the NAP are contributing to the evaluation process. The results of the evaluation, alongside information gathered from annual stakeholder consultations will help to inform the government's way forward in combatting human trafficking in all its aspects.
While the evaluation is underway, Public Safety Canada continues to be actively engaged in important initiatives to combat human trafficking. Recently, a representative of Public Safety Canada, participated in the inaugural meeting of the North American Working Group on Violence against Indigenous Women & Girls, held in Washington, D.C., in October 2016. This meeting follows up on a commitment made at the North American Leaders Summit in June 2016 to increase measures to address violence against Indigenous Women and Girls. Topics of discussion included thematic breakout sessions on criminal justice responses, victim services, data collection tools, and the need to prioritize Indigenous women and girls in multilateral affairs.
A summary of the meeting has been published and can be found at: https://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2016/10/26/inaugural-meeting-north-american-working-group-violence-against-indigenous-women-and.
A list of key deliverables for the Inaugural Meeting of the North American Working Group on Violence against Indigenous Women and Girls can be found at: https://www.aadnc-aandc.gc.ca/eng/1476459238612/1476459316520.
Public Safety was also actively engaged in the planning of the annual meeting for the Tri-lateral Working Group on Human Trafficking, which took place in Mexico on November 14-15, 2016. This meeting between Canada, Mexico and the United States focused primarily on the prevention of human trafficking. Topics for discussion included:
- challenges faced by non-government actors in the prevention of human trafficking;
- public awareness campaigns;
- best practices for victim detection and prevention, including preventing human trafficking in supply chains;
- trilateral cooperation and coordination to bring cases before court; and
- future opportunities for trilateral cooperation.
The Government of Canada remains committed to combatting human trafficking both domestically and abroad. Public Safety Canada will continue to reach out to stakeholders across the country on this important issue, in keeping with the value the government of Canada places on the collaborative nature of its relationship with stakeholders, including law enforcement, non-governmental organizations, other levels of government and the private sector.
Series of Webinars and New Training
Beginning in November 2016, the MSIC Languages, with funding from the Government of Ontario, will be delivering a series of stimulating, informative and interactive webinars that will describe the experience of human trafficking as observed through the eyes of:
- Legal Professionals
- Law Enforcement Officers
- Healthcare Workers
- Professionals Working with Children
The webinar series will provide participants the opportunity to connect live with subject matter experts specialising in industry-specific topics. During the webinars, participants will listen to the presenters' captivating story and have the opportunity to ask questions.
The webinars will also introduce participants to four new industry-specific human trafficking trainings. The new trainings offer a condensed version of the “Online Initiative to Address Human Trafficking” and take two to three hours each to complete.
Those interested in participating in the webinars can register by going to the following link: http://www.helpingtraffickedpersons.org/events/.
The new training is available at the following link: http://helpingtraffickedpersons.org/training/login/index.php.
Resources & New Initiatives
The Griffon initiative
The Griffon Initiative aimed to raise awareness and prevent the recruitment and sexual exploitation of individuals through human trafficking. It also aimed to disrupt criminal activities related to sexual exploitation, in Montréal and at the Canada/United States borders in Quebec during the period of June 8 to June 11, 2016. The initiative was coordinated by the Montréal Border Integrity Program in partnership with the Service de police de la Ville Montréal (SPVM).
The initiative was carried out with support from the Champlain and Estrie Integrated Border Enforcement Teams (IBETs), the Valleyfield detachment of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA), the United States Attorney's Office (USAO), the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), the United States Border Patrol (USBP) and Customs and Border Protection (CBP). These organizations were present at numerous points of entry into Canada and the United States and at the international airport in Montréal (PET).
The SPVM conducted targeted operations against those procuring the services of minor-age prostitutes on the Island of Montréal and visits to bawdy houses and strip clubs. RCMP members from the Montréal Border Integrity Program provided their support to the SPVM in cases where there was an international element related to human trafficking or offences under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act.
On June 23, 2016, a meeting was held with the partners to assess the impact of this initiative in terms of preventing and disrupting criminal activities related to sexual exploitation through human trafficking.
The RCMP prepared a post mortem report on all operations, considering all actions and stakeholders involved in the Griffon Initiative. Following are the highlights of the initiative's results:
- The RCMP, SPVM and CBSA visited 31 massage parlours, identifying 11 clients and 62 sex workers, and making two arrests.
- The RCMP and SPVM visited 11 strip clubs, identifying 1,002 customers and 284 dancers, and making four arrests.
- Advertisements for escort services published by the SPVM were consulted by 123 clients, leading to the identification and arrest of three subjects: two clients who had engaged with a minor (SPVM undercover officer) and one pimp who tried to recruit the undercover officer.
- Surveillance of escort sites/sexual ads by the SPVM determined the age of 27 sex workers posing as minors, and six people accompanying the young sex workers.
- Surveillance of the offer of sexual services during the Montréal Grand Prix by RCMP criminal analysts concluded that the offer of services had at least doubled, or even tripled, at some ad sites.
- Checks with American authorities at the CBP, HSI and USBP, in collaboration with the RCMP and CBSA at the Champlain, Rouses Point and Highgate Springs points of entry stopped 10,966 vehicles, 48 buses, 438 Amtrak passenger trains (NY-Montréal), and 121 secondary references for more in-depth inspections.
- Checks conducted by the CBSA at the international airport in Montréal (PET) targeted two possible cases related to sexual exploitation and follow-ups were conducted accordingly.
- The media component of the prevention and awareness campaign resulted in six television reports, five newspaper headlines and one radio interview.
Recommendations were submitted for future events.
CNN Freedom Project: Canada's Stolen Daughters
In May 2016, members of the Winnipeg Police Service, Counter Exploitation Unit, were interviewed as part of a documentary, the CNN Freedom Project, specifically the series entitled “Canada's Stolen Daughters”.
“Canada's Stolen Daughters” focuses on Aboriginal people who have inhabited northern Canada for thousands of years, Today, many indigenous communities are still located on native lands in the sparsely populated far north. They are few in number, indigenous people make up only 4 percent of the Canadian population – yet they represent 50 percent of all sex trafficking victims in Canada. What makes indigenous women and girls so vulnerable to exploitation? CNN's Paula Newton introduces us to the activists, the advocates and the survivors who are working hard to change the narrative.
The documentary can be viewed here:
Project Deliver Home: a collaborative project between StreetReach and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police
Since July 2010, StreetReachNote 1 has collaborated with law enforcement on special projects to identify children and youth being sexually exploited and trafficked, to locate missing children, and to return them to safety.
The latest project, Project Deliver Home, took place on August 24-25, 2016, and was carried out in collaboration with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, Thompson Detachment.
RCMP and StreetReach successfully located and returned 14 high risk youth to safety.
Aurora House accepting referrals for housing and support
Toronto's long-anticipated Aurora House: a long-term transitional housing project for people who are new to Canada and have been trafficked for forced labour, forced marriage or forced crime is now open and accepting referrals. Aurora House has seven beds. Its location is kept confidential. Along with housing, Aurora House offers support services including case management, basic needs, long-term trauma and other counselling, language and vocational training, ethno-cultural, immigration, legal support and education services.
Aurora House is a member of the Toronto Counter Human Trafficking Network and is working closely with many stakeholders in Canada to help ensure a commitment to anti-oppression and other best practices to combat human trafficking.
Aurora House can accommodate:
Referrals can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org or contact 1-877-935-8656 x1. For more information please visit www.aurorahouse.ca or write to email@example.com.
Fund created to assist survivors of commercial sexual exploitation
Defend Dignity has created a Survivor Support Fund to provide accessible financial support to individuals, age 16 and over, who have experienced sexual exploitation in Canada in any form, including prostitution, sex trafficking, escorting, working in massage parlours and/or strip clubs, survival sex, and/or involvement in pornography.
Survivors can access this fund through a referral from a church or a non-profit agency. The maximum amount that could be accessed would be $2,500 per person per year.
More details and the application form can be found at http://defenddignity.ca/survivor-support-fund/. The next round of applications will close on April 1, 2017.
Defend Dignity works to end sexual exploitation in Canada.
CHT's new transitional housing program for sex trafficking survivors now open
The Rogers Home, Covenant House Toronto's new transitional housing program for young, female sex trafficking survivors recently opened its doors to residents.
Seven young women, aged 16 to 24, will be able to stay for up to two years and access wraparound services at Covenant House and through community partners.
In addition to stable housing and life skills training, the program provides residents with community-based trauma counselling and addiction treatment as well as educational and vocational assistance. Residents also have access to the agency's community apartments and aftercare when they are ready to leave the house.
The house is staffed 24/7 with trauma-informed youth workers and a live-in mentor who engages residents in activities or discussion and provides companionship.
Covenant House has partnered with more than 10 leading youth-serving organizations expert in trauma and addiction, police and legal professionals and hospitals to help deliver the wraparound support.
As an important pilot project, the agency will evaluate the program model and develop resources to be shared through an online hub.
Covenant House Toronto, Canada's largest homeless youth agency, provides the widest range of services under one roof to at-risk, homeless and trafficked youth.
A virtual tour of The Rogers Home can be found at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HNDsCPS9B24&feature=youtu.be
Covenant House Toronto's new transitional housing program for sex trafficking survivors now open. Here volunteers stand in for young women who will have stable housing for two years and receive wraparound support including learning life skills such as cooking, meal-planning, budgeting and time management to prepare them for independent living.
Living Hope: Life and Living Skills Program
Living Hope: Life and Living Skills Program is a unique, specialized program to support survivors of human trafficking to build back human capacity and recover from their experience. As the only program of its kind in Canada, it focuses on areas of growth unique to survivors, including practicing sleep hygiene, rebuilding healthy relationships, holistic nutrition, accessing victim services, processing grief and loss, art therapy, and much more. This is accomplished through weekly programming, classroom instruction, outings and fieldtrips, and one-on-one assessments. It runs through the confidential locations of The Salvation Army Deborah's Gate in British Columbia, a high security residential rehabilitative program for survivors of human trafficking identified from across Canada.
Thanks to the support of Public Safety Canada, this pilot program (launched in 2014) has been able to continue and expand, including developing Refresh: Barista Employment Training Program under the Living Hope umbrella of supports. Developed in partnership with a Red Seal Chef and a local coffee shop business, survivors engage in three weeks of employment training and a community based practicum, learning both the practical skills of food services, along with the soft skills such as employment rights, dress code, code of conduct in a workplace, and how to speak up about harassment in the workplace. It has been specifically designed with and for survivors, and will run multiple times through the year.
In September 2016, the program celebrated its first Refresh graduates who are now pursuing their next entry level employment equipped with training and skills to navigate the workforce safely. For more information about this program, referring survivors to services, and the Anti-Human Trafficking Programs of The Salvation Army, please visit www.deborahsgate.ca.
To Submit Items
If you have anti-human trafficking related activities, events, news or stories that you would like to share, send your suggestions to: HTT.GTTP@Canada.ca
For more information on the newsletter, or to be included in the email distribution list, please send an email to: HTT.GTTP@Canada.ca
This newsletter is being offered up to three times yearly by the Serious and Organized Crime Division at Public Safety Canada with content provided by anti-trafficking stakeholders from across Canada. Its relevance depends on the information received from our partners. The content and information provided in the newsletter does not necessarily reflect the views of the Government of Canada or Public Safety Canada.
Note: StreetReach is an initiative under Phase 2 of Tracia's Trust: Manitoba's Strategy to Combat Sexual Exploitation and Human Trafficking. It includes representatives from child welfare, law enforcement and non-governmental organizations.
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