Proposal for Legislative Amendment to Protect Trafficked Persons sign now

Human trafficking has become a regional, national and global human rights issue. A report back in 2004 stated that trafficking generated a global annual income of approximately 30 billion dollars. U.S. and that in five years it would surpass drug trafficking as the worlds most profitable illegal activity. Lax border control, un-trained officials and inadequate policies to protect victims and prosecute traffickers as well as poor public awareness has enabled this multi-billion dollar business to flourish. Although pressure on the Canadian government in recent years has increased its focus on the issue of human trafficking, non-governmental organizations have been at the forefront of the battle to curb this new-aged slavery through the use of awareness campaigns and legal services to help victims of this ordeal. In light of all the efforts made by the Canadian government, international officials and non-governmental organizations, human trafficking remains an incessant human rights issue.

The purpose of this proposal is to advocate for legislative changes to ensure that there is a permanent and fundamental change in policy so that trafficked persons in Canada are protected. Currently the only provisions in the law relating to trafficking serve to a) criminalize trafficking, b) promote the detention of trafficked persons. There is nothing in the law to protect the human rights specifically of trafficked persons. The Temporary Resident Permit guidelines announced by the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration in May 2006 are of limited usefulness in protecting trafficked persons. In particular, the guidelines impose an unreasonable burden of proof on the person who must convince an immigration officer that he/she is indeed a victim of trafficking in persons. Furthermore, the mandatory involvement of law enforcement agencies deters trafficked persons from applying because of concerns about the potential consequences of such involvement. While their primary purpose is to protect trafficked persons, these proposals would also serve broader anti-trafficking objectives. Providing trafficked persons with alternatives undermines the traffickers who depend on victims that can be exploited. On the other hand, Canadian government policies that offer no protection to the trafficked serve the interests of traffickers because they give trafficked persons no viable alternatives other than remaining in a situation of exploitation and give credibility to the traffickers threats about the consequences of failing to comply with them. Finally, the proposal also serves the goal of promoting gender equality, given the gendered aspects of trafficking, which differentially impacts women and girls, exploiting their vulnerability within society, both in Canada and around the world.

For more information please visit the website of the Canadian council for Refugees http://www.ccrweb.ca/trafficking/home.htm




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Rosalyn TranBy:
International PolicyIn:
Petition target:
Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration

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