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The Canadian Federation of Business and Professional Women


Resourcing Actions Against Human Trafficking in Canada – 2019





Sub-Category: GENERAL

Resolution Number:











BACKGROUND: In 2006, The Future Group issued a report giving Canada a scathing review for the fact that it has “systematically failed to comply with its international obligations under the Trafficking Protocol related to the protection of victims of human trafficking.” Of the jurisdictions under review (USA, Australia, Norway, Sweden, Germany, Italy, United Kingdom and Canada), only Canada received a grade of F. Since this report was issued, Canada has undertaken a number of initiatives to combat human trafficking, and has since obtained a Tier 1 rating (Canada meets the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking) in a report by the United States Department of State. While this is encouraging to start, there is still much to be done.In 2010, Bill C268 – The Act to Amend the Criminal Code was introduced to provide minimum sentences for offenses involving trafficking of persons under the age of 18 years. Up to this point, there was no existing legislation for this offense related to this age range.
Based on the findings of this report and international pressures, in 2012 the Government of Canada established the National Action Plan to Combat Human Trafficking (“NAP-CHT”) and granted a budget of $25 million, $500,000 of which was to be used for supporting victims of Human Trafficking. In addition, the Government of Canada has enabled immigration officers to issue short term temporary resident permits and provide interim federal health care for victims. This plan expired March 2016 without replacement or increased supports for victims of human trafficking.
Since the 2012 announcement, the RCMP has also established a Human Trafficking National Coordination Centre in Ottawa for the purposes of combatting and disrupting individuals and criminal organizations involved in human trafficking activities.
Statistics Canada’s Uniform Crime Reporting Survey (2018) states that 95% of human trafficking victims in Canada are women and girls, 72% of victims are under 25 years old and 26% of victims are under 18 years old. The survey found that 2/3 of human trafficking victims in Canada are disclosed in Ontario.
Statistics Canada figures also highlight the fact that, while Indigenous populations makes up less than 5% of the total population, Indigenous people make up nearly 50% of the victims of human trafficking.
Statistics Canada has also identified that in the period between 2005 and 2018, there were 531 cases of human trafficking reported to the RCMP. Of these, only 143 resulted in convictions, with 316 cases still before the courts. These statistics may not reflect cases involving Provincial and local Police Forces. A significant number of these crimes are under reported. Additional resources are needed to appropriately train law enforcement and judges to ensure these cases are appropriately tried and the criminals convicted.
In 2018, the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) to End Human Trafficking was established to: Ensure the Government of Canada does all that it can to prevent and protect civilian populations from modern slavery, increase prosecution of traffickers and build partnerships with various organizations; Increase the flow of information and analysis to Parliamentarians about modern slavery; Pro vote understanding of the importance of long-term approaches to prevention of slavery; and Engage in communication and collaboration with like-minded bodies in civil society and other Parliaments in order to exchange information about strategies for the prevention of modern slavery and work in conjunction with the United Nations Special Advisor to Fight Human Trafficking, the International Criminal Court, and other organizations working in the field of slavery prevention.
Under provincial funding, there are gaps in funding to victims services. Trauma care resources provided to victims do not line up with the timelines those victims need to participate in the legal process.


THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED THAT BPW Canada urges the Government of Canada, the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG), Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, the Minister for Women and Gender Equality and Rural Economic Development, the Minister of Health, the Minister for Families, Children and Social Development, and the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, to work in conjunction with individual provinces, to increase resources (personnel and funding) for the purpose of providing nation-wide medical, psychological, trafficking trauma-informed counselling support, provision of basic needs (e.g. housing) and court support under the National Action Plan to Combat Human Trafficking or its replacement so that the range, quality and timely delivery of traffic specific services is consistent and universal across Canada; and
FURTHER BE IT RESOLVED THAT BPW Canada urges the Government of Canada to ensure that any current and new funding related to research and data collection has necessary funding for the resulting needs required to connect victims with community resources and provision of support resources; and

FURTHER BE IT RESOLVED THAT BPW Canada urges the Government of Canada to provide resources for the coordination of intelligence with and dissemination of information to international and local partners and stakeholders involved in combatting Human Trafficking activities.

©BPW Canada

Article ID: 13321