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JUST Committee News Release

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Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights
House of Commons / Chambre des communes
Comité permanent de la justice et des droits de la personne

For immediate release


NEWS RELEASE


The Justice and Human Rights Committee Presents its Unanimous Report entitled Moving Forward in the Fight Against Human Trafficking in Canada

Ottawa, December 11, 2018 -

Today, the Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights presented another unanimous report to the House of Commons. This report examines human trafficking in Canada and is entitled Moving Forward in the Fight Against Human Trafficking in Canada.

Human trafficking, often referred to as a form of modern slavery, is a heinous crime and a grave violation of human rights. Despite all the efforts of governments and civil society to combat it, this crime still ensnares many victims around the world, with Canada being no exception.

The Committee drew upon the evidence it received from a wide-range of stakeholders in Ottawa, Halifax, Montreal, Toronto, Edmonton and Vancouver from February to May of 2018. These consultations informed the 17 recommendations calling on the federal government to take additional measures to strengthen the prevention and prosecution of human trafficking in Canada and appropriately assist and protect its victims. The Committee’s report also stresses the importance of leadership and calls upon the federal government to facilitate strong collaboration with its provincial and territorial counterparts, as well as with regional stakeholders.

The report highlights several areas which the Committee believes require greater attention and additional actions by all levels of government and all the stakeholders across the country involved in the fight against human trafficking. Key recommendations include:

  • Increasing the education of Canadian stakeholders about human trafficking, the general population and specific groups such as the hospitality industry;
  • Encouraging the use of financial information to facilitate the prosecution of traffickers;
  • Reinforcing the protection of temporary foreign workers by providing them with information regarding their rights and available recourses on a regular basis;
  • Improving data gathering and information sharing among stakeholders in collaboration with the provinces and territories;
  • Establishing a mechanism to publish the names of convicted human traffickers and hospitality industry establishments found to have committed or facilitated human trafficking to deter anyone located in Canada or abroad from committing or participating in the commission of this crime; and
  • Renewing the National Action Plan to End Human Trafficking and enhance collaboration and coordination among all stakeholders.

The Committee intends to send a clear message that human trafficking is not and will not be tolerated.

Quotes:

“Earlier today, I was once again very proud to present a unanimous report in the House of Commons. This report on human trafficking is the result of close collaboration and constructive work between all members of the Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights. We worked together to make recommendations that we believe will serve the needs of victims and contribute to the prevention of this heinous crime.”

- Mr. Anthony Housefather, Chair of the Committee

“Human trafficking is a horrific crime that too often remains in the shadows. It’s a crime that takes many forms, crosses national and international boundaries and victimizes persons of diverse backgrounds. Our Committee’s report is the product of extensive consultation with a wide-range of stakeholders and contains important findings on the nature and scope of human trafficking, along with practical recommendations to help tackle this complex, multi-dimensional crime.”

- Mr. Michael Cooper, Vice-Chair of the Committee

“My eyes were opened as I learned about the suffering of so many across our country who are caught up in this deplorable situation. I hope this report opens the eyes of all Canadians to this horrific crime. The recommendations in this report must be followed so we can combat human trafficking.”

- Mr. Murray Rankin, Vice-Chair of the Committee

“In 2017 I tabled a motion that received unanimous support from members in our committee to embark on a study on human trafficking. I am extremely proud of our committee’s work on this very important study which examined the realities and challenges facing community organizations, law enforcement agencies and all the stakeholders across the country involved in the fight against human trafficking. After hearing from over 50 witnesses and reviewing numerous written submissions, we came up with recommendations which would help provide victims of trafficking the support they need and bring traffickers to justice.”

- Ms. Iqra Khalid, Member of the Committee

A copy of the report may be obtained from the Committee's website.

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For more information, please contact:
Marc-Olivier Girard, Clerk of the Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights
Tel: 613-996-1553
E-mail: JUST@parl.gc.ca