Canada's Anti-Human Trafficking Newsletter
Training, Programs and Events
Save the Date – National Victims of Crime Awareness Week – May 28th to June 3rd
During National Victims of Crime Awareness Week, May 28 to June 3, 2017, AlterEgo, in association with the RCMP Human Trafficking National Coordination Centre, PACT-Ottawa and Crime Prevention Ottawa, will be presenting a number of special showcase performances of their highly-acclaimed awareness-raising play 'Chelsea's Choice' to children aged 12+ in schools, to parents and professionals. Throughout the week, the play will be performed in both English and French.
Since its first tour around the U.K. in 2011, 'Chelsea's Choice' has proven highly effective at raising awareness around the issues surrounding human trafficking for the purposes of sexual exploitation. The production has been seen by thousands of professionals, police officers, law makers, teachers, social workers and well over 600,000 young people throughout Great Britain and Northern Ireland.
It tells the story of a group of three students who discover the diary of a girl named Chelsea. Chelsea was a typical 15 year old girl who, having had a falling out with her friends and family, met Gary. Gary was kind, understanding, had a nice car, his own apartment and listened to her. Unfortunately, Gary was not who he seemed to be! Chelsea was very quickly isolated from her friends and family and a well-rehearsed and methodical combination of compliments, rewards, threats and punishments was used to groom her and then sexually exploit her. Chelsea's story is played out and examined by the three students who, along with their teacher, attempt to understand what happened to Chelsea and how it could have been prevented.
The 45 minute performance, based on real-life events, is followed by a 30 minute-long actor facilitated post-show talk exploring the issues raised in the play. AlterEgo has worked with the RCMP and PACT-Ottawa to adapt the content of the play for a Canadian audience to ensure that the stories and language used are relevant and effective.
All partners within the human trafficking community will be invited in an effort to facilitate engagement and develop continued partnerships for future productions throughout Canada. Invitations to this event will be sent out once the dates are confirmed. All scheduled production dates will be held in the Ottawa/Gatineau area during the week of May 28 to June 3, 2017.
Should you have any questions or suggestions of who to invite, please contact email@example.com
Ottawa Coalition to End Human Trafficking Upcoming Training Blitz
Each January (Human Trafficking Awareness Month) and June, the Ottawa Coalition to End Human Trafficking (OCEHT) offers train-the-facilitator sessions, as well as training to traditional and non-traditional service providers. The training sessions are provided completely free of charge at a venue arranged by the OCEHT (or at the location of a requesting organization) and are concentrated over an 8-day period. The next Training Blitz will take place June 3-10, 2017.
Deadline for registration is May 26, 2017, which can be done by completing and submitting a Training Request Form accessible at: http://www.endhumantrafficking.ca/training-request-form/.
Additional information can be obtained at: http://www.endhumantrafficking.ca/training-blitz/
Indigenous & Northern Affairs Canada's (INAC) Family Violence Prevention Program
INAC's Family Violence Prevention Program had opened a call for proposals for off-reserve prevention projects. Deadline to apply was March 10, 2017. Details can be found at: http://www.aadnc-aandc.gc.ca/eng/1485895303547/1485895360955 / http://www.aadnc-aandc.gc.ca/fra/1485895303547/1485895360955
INAC included vulnerability to violence associated with the transition between on- and off-reserve as a apart of the project themes to support efforts to combat human trafficking.
Stop Child Sexual Exploitation Awareness Week
- Tracia's Trust is Manitoba's strategy to combat sexual exploitation and human trafficking. This multi-sector strategy currently invests over $10 million annually for initiatives to prevent and intervene in the sexual exploitation and sex trafficking of children, youth and adults in Manitoba.
- In December 2008, Manitoba joined forces with British Columbia to declare and implement an annual Stop Child Sexual Exploitation Awareness Week in Manitoba.
- As in past years, Manitoba and British Columbia will observe Stop Child and Youth Sexual Exploitation Week and Awareness Day at the same time. This year, Stop Child and Youth Sexual Exploitation Week took place from March 6 - 12, 2017.
- March 9, 2017 is Stop Child Sexual Exploitation Awareness Day, a day Manitoba proudly proclaims in the Legislature of Manitoba and celebrates via an awareness event.
Experiential Women's Summit
In March 2017, the Canadian Centre to End Human Trafficking hosted the Experiential Women's Summit, a unique testimonial writing workshop for 18 Canadian survivors of human trafficking. Facilitated by the award-winning team at The Voices and Faces Project, the survivors were given intensive, hands on training on how to share their voices publicly with the goal of changing hearts, minds and public policies on human rights abuse. The goal of the workshop was also to convene a community of survivors to explore the ways that they can engage the Canadian movement to end human trafficking, deepen the connections amongst the survivor community and create a safe zone where they could think critically about how personal stories can influence policy change in Canada.
1st Canadian Human Trafficking Survivors Conference
In May 2017, the Canadian Centre to End Human Trafficking is hosting the 1st Canadian Human Trafficking Survivors Conference with the goal to equip individuals, empower communities, and engage front-line agencies, public sector policy makers and those who work in the private sector to support existing efforts, as well as create new action plans, to help put an end to the horrific and abusive practice of human trafficking in Canada. The conference will feature personal accounts of triumph and professional commitment by survivors and other field experts who are using their knowledge and experience to advise on anti-human trafficking policies and programs, advocacy, education and training, and victim-centered platforms and supports. It is hoped that this event will be a catalyst for change through sharing of information and best practices, networking and raising awareness, and addressing the need for more effective action to combat and end the practice of human trafficking in Canada.
This year, the Centre to End Human Trafficking is undertaking a Canada-wide effort to identify, link and map a comprehensive coalition of like-minded organizations working on human trafficking. This tool will assist organizations and individuals across various sectors in connecting with one another and sharing information, training materials and best practices. The network will include NGOs, law enforcement, government agencies, faith communities, etc. In addition, while cross-border trafficking remains largely anecdotal today, it is recognized that we need to build similar networks with our allies in the United States working in the field. For this reason, the coalition, will also expand to include international partners. Canadian organizations interested in becoming a coalition member are asked to fill out the application form on our website found here: http://www.canadiancentretoendhumantrafficking.ca/national-network/
Resources and New Initiatives
Ottawa Coalition to End Human Trafficking 2nd Annual Report on Accessing Services by Trafficked Persons
The Ottawa Coalition to End Human Trafficking (OCEHT) is currently finalizing its 2nd Annual Report on Accessing Services by Trafficked Persons in the NCR (Jan 2016-Dec 2016). The Coalition expects to release this report in English and in French in late March / early April. This report identifies barriers and gaps experienced in our community by persons who have exited or are exiting a trafficking situation with respect to access and availability of services, supports and resources.
The report emphasizes areas where service improvements, further service development or partnership may be required, or where services are simply non-existent and, therefore, require particular attention / action on the part of legislators, policy developers and/or funding schemes. These barriers have been observed beginning January 2016 up to and including December 2016 by members of the OCEHT.
The OCEHT aims to be transparent and to serve the public and community. The year 2016 saw a strengthening of its operations and an expansion of its partnerships. Accordingly, the report highlights key successes and provides a glimpse into new initiatives and projects planned for the year to come. The report will be accessible on the following Coalition webpage: http://www.endhumantrafficking.ca/human-trafficking/annual-report-on-barriers/
Ottawa Coalition to End Human Trafficking Website Available in French
The Ottawa Coalition to End Human Trafficking (OCEHT) is proud to announce that its website is now available in French!!! Please see: http://www.endhumantrafficking.ca/?lang=fr
The OCEHT would like to express its deepest gratitude to the collaborative efforts, creativity and technical services provided by MediaForce, free of charge. It is often through the generosity of corporate citizens, such as this one, that the work of volunteer organizations like the OCEHT, continues. Thank you! Nous parlons français aussi!
ACT Alberta's “Hidden in Plain Sight” Campaign
Human trafficking is a complex issue that is often misunderstood, ignored or sensationalized. In 2016, the Action Coalition on Human Trafficking (ACT Alberta), with generous support from the Advertisement Club of Edmonton, developed and launched “Hidden in Plain Sight”, a campaign to raise awareness about all forms of human trafficking. This campaign aims to raise awareness about human trafficking as a crime that occurs in Canada, engage members of the general public and encourage concrete action. For more information on the campaign, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org
“Holding Tight to a Double-Edged Sword”
In December 2016, the Action Coalition on Human Trafficking (ACT Alberta) was please to release the final report of the study, “Labour Trafficking in Edmonton: Holding Tight to a Double-Edged Sword”.
This study, the first of its kind in Canada, explores the hidden intricacies of labour trafficking in Edmonton. Through interviews and focus groups with local experts, criminal justice representatives, government officials, and service providers, this study has produced a local body of knowledge on the realities of labour trafficking in Edmonton.
This study found that the Temporary Foreign Worker Program is the primary vehicle by which labour trafficking occurs in Edmonton. Recruiters and employers manipulate this program and traffic workers both into and across Canada. Many businesses in Edmonton reap immense profits off the backs of victims of labour trafficking, who often work and live in deplorable conditions.
“Many people, who are trafficked, walk and live among us in plain sight,” says Andrea Burkhart, Executive Director of Act Alberta. “They are paid so little they often cannot feed or house themselves. We need to work together to protect victims and stop this abuse from happening.”
This project was funded by Public Safety Canada and Tammy Johnson. Read the full report here: http://www.actalberta.org/uploads/112916_Nw7T9fXW3Wbh4d_134135.pdf
Voices of Survivors Booklet
Human trafficking is a crime that often leaves victims disempowered, unheard and disbelieved. With support from the Department of Justice Canada's Victims and Survivors of Crime Week, ACT Alberta created a booklet that explores the impacts of human trafficking through the voices of survivors. The resource is intended to highlight the complexity of human trafficking and draw attention to the needs of survivors and victims of this crime.
Download the resource here: http://www.actalberta.org/uploads/053016_KyCCm39B2Ygh3_133035.pdf or email email@example.com for physical copies of the booklet.
The Canadian Centre to End Human Trafficking Working with Polaris Hotline in U.S.
Human trafficking knows no boundaries; it is a high profit, low risk crime that is occurring across Canada. The United States Trafficking in Persons Report, 2016 identified Canada as a source, transit and destination country for human trafficking. Canada is the only nation in North America that lacks a national human trafficking hotline where victims can call for help and be connected to appropriate services and where the public can report tips to a trusted source. A national hotline will identify trafficking hotspots for which law enforcement and service providers can concentrate their resources, illuminate patterns, networks and typologies of trafficking in Canada and, importantly, help provide a more concrete picture of trafficking statistics nationally. This year, the Centre will be working closely with the Washington, D.C.-based Polaris Project, which is the leading agency on the development of human trafficking hotlines. Both the U.S. hotline and the hotline operated in Mexico are powered by the North American regional data hub built by Polaris. The ability to join the North American data hub will assist in identifying international trafficking cases, victims and networks and will also provide a comprehensive tri-lateral picture of human trafficking in and between the three nations.
Choices: Addressing the Needs of Prostituted and Sex-Trafficked Women and Girls in London, Ontario
The Choices program, funded by the Department of Justice Canada, is a collaboration between the London Abused Women's Centre and the Salvation Army Correctional and Justice Services. The program serves women and girls over the age of 12 who are being, or have been, prostituted and/or sex-trafficked.
The comprehensive program includes:
- Long-term, trauma informed feminist counselling. This includes: safety planning; advocacy, referrals; transitional support; and system navigation of needed community resources, such as financial supports, addiction services, mental health supports, employment resources, and support with family reunification;
- Outreach supports, including crisis counselling, transportation to and support in attending appointments, (for example legal and medical), and the provision of basic needs;
- Group programming to at-risk women and girls who have been prostituted and/or trafficked. Topics include; recruitment tactics by traffickers; cyber-violence, such as online luring; the impact of trauma; and the interaction between trauma, mental health and substance use;
- Safety planning, advocacy and education for family members of girls and women who have been prostituted and/or trafficked; and
- Community outreach and education to at risk youth, girls and women regarding issues relating to sex trafficking, including recruitment tactics.
Since the initiation of this program in July 2015, 547 individuals have participated in the Choices program.
- 186 identified survivors of prostitution, sex trafficking and/or sexual exploitation have been provided with individual counselling or outreach services. Of these 186 women and girls:
- 158 women/girls have identified as being trafficked for the purpose of sexual exploitation;
- Six girls disclosed that they are under the age of 18;
- 28 young women disclosed they are between the ages of 18-24; and
- Two women have identified as transgender.
- 57 families have sought service through Choices because their daughters have been recruited into trafficking for the purpose of sexual exploitation. Of these 57 women/girls reported by family members, the following information is relevant:
- All families report seeing their daughters advertised on Backpage.com;
- Many families are following their daughters across Canada through Backpage.com; and
- Families report their daughters having been recruited from London by both Romeo/Loverboy pimps and organized crime.
- 90 prostituted, trafficked and/or at-risk women and youth have been provided with service through a specialized group addressing how pimps recruit women/girls, cyber-violence (including online luring), and the relationship between trauma, mental health and substance use. Some women/girls in group have identified as being sex-trafficked. These numbers were not collected until January 2017.
- 214 at-risk women and youth have been reached through community outreach, including on London city streets (homeless women/women living in poverty), in elementary, secondary and post-secondary schools, social service agencies, detention centres, and low income housing.
For more information about the program, please contact Program Manager, Heather Wharram, at the London Abused Women's Centre, 519-432-2204.
Programme Prévention Jeunesse de Longueuil
Youth Prevention Program is an initiative by the Ministère de la sécurité publique du Quebec. It provides five years of financial support to five chosen areas.
The purpose of the program is to:
- improve the prevention, support and protection services offered to youth in a given area;
- increase areas' capacity to respond to certain phenomena that compromise youth safety;
- help local actors manage problematic situations involving youth.
The Urban agglomeration of Longueuil is considered an important metropolitan centre and hub of the entire South Shore of Montreal. It is an urban environment that is conducive for the sexual exploitation of teenage girls in Monteregie. The area is characterized by the activities of several major and emerging street gangs, which all are involved in pimping to some degree. Environments frequented by youth have raised more and more fears and questions with respect to recruitment. It is in light of this situation that some community partners have mobilized to submit a grant application, which ensured that Longueuil was one of the five areas chosen. The Longueuil youth prevention program is specifically aimed at combatting the sexual exploitation of young girls in the context of street gangs.
The coordination mandate is to:
- set up a coordination structure aimed at promoting dialogue between partners and the exchange of information regarding the problem in the area;
- assess the status of the problem and the offer of service by drawing on approaches recognized as being efficient and on scientific and evidence-based data;
- enhance the offer of service already in place in the communities and improve it through new actions that are deemed relevant;
- implement targeted preventive actions with community partners for at-risk youth.
Here are some examples of actions that can be supported or developed by the program:
- awareness and prevention programs in schools;
- workshops to strengthen certain protection factors, such as self-esteem, the feeling of self-efficacy, school engagement, a good knowledge of the legal aspects related to consent and the sharing of intimate material, etc.
- information for parents of vulnerable youth or victims of sexual exploitation;
- training on the problem provided to the various actors in connection with the clientele;
- awareness campaign for prostitution “buyers”;
- actions that support the way out of prostitution by promoting housing, basic needs, return to school or employability;
- actions that support young victims in the legal process, etc.
Housing project: The Way Out
In December 2016, with the help of the Canadian government, the organization La Sortie-The Way Out began a mobilization and research project for developing a housing intervention model for victims of sexual exploitation in Quebec.
An advisory committee is currently being set up, and the research team consists of researchers from McGill University in Montréal. The project will initially be aimed at identifying the housing needs for victims of sexual exploitation in Quebec. The research results will then be used to develop a housing intervention model and housing protocols that will address proposals for customized components for certain target communities, such as youth, Indigenous peoples and the LGBT community. The project will also assess the feasibility of establishing working partnerships with existing shelters and including their participation in the housing models that will be developed.
The project will be carried out in four phases until March 2019, and will be completed through the development of an awareness plan for the population and other target groups.
For more information, you can send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.lasortie.org.
In January 2016, the Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre (FINTRAC) joined police and national security partners in Project PROTECT, a unique public-private partnership with Canada's major banks to help combat human trafficking and laundering of the proceeds derived from this illegal activity. Since Project PROTECT was launched, FINTRAC's disclosures to police regarding money laundering related to human trafficking have increased significantly.
Media Coverage of Project PROTECT: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/canadian-banks-police-following-money-trail-to-target-human-trafficking/article34093888/.
Recently, FINTRAC published an Operational Alert outlining indicators to help financial institutions recognize suspicious financial transactions that could be related to money laundering that is linked to human trafficking for sexual exploitation.
The Operational Alert can be found on the FINTRAC website and is available at the following link: http://www.fintrac-canafe.gc.ca/publications/operation/oai-hts-eng.asp.
Anti-Human Trafficking Coordination Office: Ontario Strategy to End Human Trafficking
On June 30th, 2016, the Ontario government announced the Strategy to End Human Trafficking, which included up to $72 million in investments aimed at:
- Improving survivors' access to services
- Increasing training, research, awareness and coordination
- Enhancing justice sector initiatives
Between February and June 2016, diverse stakeholders and partners across the sector were consulted on the development of the strategy, including survivors and members of existing advisory tables (e.g., the roundtable on Violence Against Women (VAW) and the Joint Working Group on Violence Against Indigenous Women (JWG)).
Ministry of Community and Social Services (MCSS) and the Ministry of Status of Women are the lead for Office which will oversee and coordinate the implementation of the Strategy to End Human Trafficking Initiatives across participating Ontario ministries (Ministry of Children and Youth Services – MCYS, Ministry of the Attorney General – MAG, Ministry of Labour – MOL, Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services – MCSCS, Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing in Ontario – MHO, Ontario Ministry of Health and Long Term Care – MOHLTC, Ministry of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation –MIRR, and Ontario Ministry of Education).
Throughout the months of January, February and March 2017, the Provincial Anti-Human Trafficking Coordination Office (the Office) met with community-based anti-human trafficking coalitions across Ontario (London, Windsor, Waterloo, Ottawa, Toronto, Peel, Halton, York, Durham, Hamilton, Thunder Bay and Kenora) to engage with the community and Indigenous communities on the design on the Community-Based Supports Fund and the Indigenous Led Initiatives Fund.
The 12 coalitions represent approximately 160 organizations and community groups, as well as survivors of human trafficking, other community members and Indigenous stakeholders. All of the coalitions had representation that spanned multiple sectors (social services, health, law enforcement and justice, child welfare, and education).
The Office heard similar themes from the community organizations that were consulted, including Indigenous organizations. The main themes that echoed were the need for both immediate and long-term safe places, the need for services to work collaboratively, greater awareness of HT, culturally appropriate services and the overall greater need for services to the victims.
The Office learned that the participants of the engagement sessions agreed with the proposed key priorities, outcomes and target populations. The Office also learned that evaluating outcomes for this population can be difficult and that creative evaluation methods would be needed to accurately reflect the impact of the projects.
For a full list of Initiatives under the Ontario Strategy to End Human Trafficking: http://www.mcss.gov.on.ca/en/mcss/programs/humanTrafficking/overviewInitiatives.asp
Reaching Out to the Public – Please Tell us of Potential Abuse of Fraud
The Government of Canada is bringing forward meaningful changes to make the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP) work for Canadian businesses, for workers and for the Canadian economy. This includes stronger enforcement measures to better protect its integrity. The cornerstone of the compliance regime of the TFWP is employer inspections, which serve to protect TFWs from abuse and exploitation, and to protect the integrity of the Canadian labour market by encouraging employers to comply with TFWP conditions. When an employer fails to meet these conditions, or does not cooperate during an inspection, a range of consequences can be imposed, such as administrative monetary penalties, bans or revocations of Labour Market Impact Assessments (LMIAs).
As part of these stronger enforcement measures, the Service Canada confidential tips line and web portal was launched. Canadians, employers, temporary foreign workers (TFW), and any other organizations or individuals are encouraged to report any potential cases of abuse of the TFWP to Service Canada:
- Since the launch of these tools, more than 4 800 tips have been received and assessed, resulting in over 650 inspections and employer compliance reviews on employers using the TFWP. Over 300 allegations of abuse or serious mistreatment of TFWs have been referred to enforcement agencies, including the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, Canadian Boarder Services Agency and Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada.
Let Others Know about the Fraud Reporting Tool
If you are aware that someone has been misusing the program, please let us know.
Online Fraud Reporting Tool: https://www.canada.ca/en/employment-social-development/corporate/transparency/report-temporary-foreign-worker-fraud.html
Toll-Free Service Canada Confidential Tips Line:
By mail or in person at Service Canada Centre:
National Investigative Services
Integrity Services Branch
Gatineau, QC K1A 0J2
Legislative and Regulatory Updates
Implications of Bill C-38 on Human Trafficking
On February 9th, 2017, the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, the Honourable Jody Wilson-Raybould, introduced in the House of Commons Bill C-38, An Act to amend An Act to amend the Criminal Code (exploitation and trafficking in persons). This Bill seeks to bring into force all of the provisions in former Private Member's Bill C-452, An Act to amend the Criminal Code (exploitation and trafficking in persons), except for its mandatory consecutive sentencing provision.
Bill C-452 received Royal Assent on June 18, 2015 but has yet to be proclaimed into force.
The Criminal Code amendments that would be brought into force include a new presumption to facilitate proving human trafficking offences by allowing prosecutors to adduce evidence that an accused lived with or was habitually in the company of the victim to prove one element of the trafficking offence: that the accused exercised control, direction or influence over the movements of that person. This provision would respond to unique evidentiary difficulties that can arise in human trafficking cases: vulnerable complainants often fear reprisal from their exploiters and, as a result, are reluctant to come forward to denounce them.
The amendments would also extend the reverse onus for forfeiture of proceeds of crime for certain criminal organizations and drug offences to apply to human trafficking offences, and correct a discrepancy between the English and French definition of exploitation for the purposes of human trafficking offences.
Bill C-38 does not, however, propose to bring into force at this time Bill C-452's amendment that requires consecutive sentences to be imposed where an offender is sentenced at the same time for trafficking in persons offences and any other offence arising out of the same events. This amendment raises significant concerns under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, particularly when considered together with the mandatory minimum penalties for human trafficking offences enacted by former Bill C-36 (Protection of Communities and Exploited Persons Act) on December 6, 2014. This provision will be considered more fully as part of the broader criminal justice system review, which includes consideration of related mandatory sentencing provisions, such as those enacted by former Bill C-36.
The proposed reforms would supplement the existing criminal laws against human trafficking. Canada's Criminal Code carries severe sentences for human trafficking offences up to life imprisonment in certain cases, including lengthy mandatory minimum penalties (ranging from 1 to 6 years). Courts already have the discretion to impose consecutive sentences in appropriate cases. Judicial discretion is important in human trafficking cases since this offence captures a broad range of conduct (e.g., in the case of a former victim who engages in human trafficking conduct by recruiting other victims to escape exploitation and abuse by their traffickers).
Bill C-38 aims to strengthen Canada's criminal law response to human trafficking and exploitation in a manner that is consistent with the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
Department of Justice Canada
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.
- Date modified: