The Plan will:
· Launch Canada’s first integrated law enforcement team dedicated to combating human trafficking.
· Increase front-line training to identify and respond to human trafficking and enhance prevention in vulnerable communities.
· Provide more support for victims of this crime, both Canadians and newcomers.
· Strengthen coordination with domestic and international partners who contribute to Canada’s efforts to combat human trafficking.
These new measures totalling $25 million over four years build on and strengthen Canada’s significant work to date to prevent, detect and prosecute human trafficking, such as targeted training for law enforcement officials and front-line service providers, and enhanced public awareness measures. To date, the RCMP is aware of 23 cases in Canada in which human trafficking charges were laid and the accused have been convicted of human trafficking and/or other related offences. 42 accused have been convicted in these cases and 56 victims have been saved from the hands of the traffickers. Currently, approximately 59 Canadian cases involving 98 individuals accused of human trafficking offences remain before the courts. These cases involve a total of 147 victims.
Highlights to National Action Plan to Combat Human Trafficking
Canada’s National Action Plan to Combat Human Trafficking, with participation from 18 federal departments, is a comprehensive blueprint to guide the Government of Canada’s fight against the serious crime of human trafficking.
The federal government is undertaking activities and initiatives to address human trafficking domestically, including:
· Creation of a Human Trafficking Taskforce, led by Public Safety Canada and comprised of key federal departments, to be responsible for coordinating Canada’s federal human trafficking response.
· Alignment of national education, information and awareness campaigns and the development of campaigns tailored for specific audiences (i.e., awareness targeting Aboriginal communities).
· Development of a diagnostic tool designed for use at the local level to identify the populations most at risk of human trafficking (and related issues).
· Data collection to better identify and track trends on human trafficking in Canada.
The federal government will build on Canada’s capacity building efforts by sharing Canadian experience internationally and contributing to initiatives aimed at preventing and combating human trafficking abroad, including:
· Continuing to participate in international fora and multi-lateral organization and work through specialized international anti-trafficking mechanisms to contribute to global anti-trafficking work.
· Providing support to key countries to adopt appropriate legislation and to train justice and law enforcement officials to prevent, identify and stop human trafficking.
The federal government is undertaking activities to prevent forced labour, with a particular focus on measures to improve the protection of vulnerable foreign nationals through better prevention and detection at an early stage; including:.
· Enhancements to the Temporary Foreign Worker Program to include improved internal detection and prevention protocols in order to identify high-risk employers.
· Development of a policy for on-site employer visits as well as exploring improvements to the Live-in Caregiver Program.
· Development of awareness products for temporary foreign workers (TFWs), employers and third parties, and Service Canada officers,
· Training for provincial labour inspectors and other officials.
Activities to be undertaken under the National Action Plan to address the issue of human trafficking for the purpose of sexual exploitation include:
· Exploring options to prevent the sex trade from accessing the Temporary Foreign Worker Program, building on recent legislation passed through Bill C-10, Preventing the Trafficking, Abuse and Exploitation of Vulnerable Immigrants Act, which authorizes immigration officers to refuse work permits to vulnerable foreign nationals when it is determined that they are at risk of humiliating or degrading treatment including sexual exploitation and human trafficking.
· Investment in initiatives that focus on ending violence against women and girls.
· Conduct research and raise awareness within Aboriginal communities about human trafficking for the purpose of sexual exploitation.
Under the National Action Plan, some key efforts to protect and assist victims of human trafficking include:
· Support to victims and victim serving organizations through Justice Canada’s Victims Fund. Beginning in 2013/14, the Victims Fund will provide up to $500,000 for projects to improve services for victims of human trafficking.
· Targeted training for first responders and service providers (who are often the first point of contact and responsible for the provision of essential services to victims of human trafficking).
· Development of a victim-centred guidebook to assist law enforcement investigators in working with victims.
· Development of a list of relevant of service providers and non-governmental organizations that can meet the needs of victims of human trafficking to be used by law enforcement.
Under the National Action Plan, key activities to support front line officers in combatting human trafficking include:
· The creation of an integrated enforcement team by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), which will be supported by the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) and will focus on proactive investigations to intercept and/or disrupt all forms of trafficking in persons domestically and internationally.
· Development and coordination of specialized training on human trafficking for law enforcement officers at the Canadian Police College.
· Conducting human trafficking awareness training for all new CBSA Border Services Officers (BSOs) and ensure current BSOs complete awareness training.