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Human Trafficking
 
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EFC released a report on human trafficking on April 17, 2009. A PDF version is available online for free in the EFC Resource Library. The EFC sent MPs an executive summary of the report. MPs were invited to view the full report and were also given a copy of the movie, Amazing Grace, about Christian anti-slavery advocate William Wilberforce. (More on this film, below.) The EFC is inviting Canadians to read the report and then to pray for quick action on Bill C-268, an act to amend the Criminal Code to help end human trafficking.

The EFC has publicly endorsed Bill C-268, An Act to amend the Criminal Code (minimum sentences involving trafficking of persons under the age of 18). The private members’ bill, introduced in the House of Commons by MP Joy Smith, proposes mandatory minimums for child trafficking. The amended Bill C-268 was reported back to the House of Commons for Third Reading on June 9, 2009. Debate on the bill will resume when the House sits in September 2009, barring an election or Parliament being prorogued. On passage at third reading, the bill would be referred to the Senate for their consideration in a similar process. The EFC’s endorsement can be seen on MP Smith’s website.

Trafficking in Persons Report 2009: Read the ninth annual Trafficking in Persons Report from the U.S. Department of State here. See more resources on this issue by clicking Resources at the top right of this webpage.

Canada, along with the international community, has condemned trafficking in persons as an abhorrent form of modern-day slavery and a fundamental human rights abuse. The most comprehensive attempt to combat trafficking is the UN Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children, which Canada signed in 2000. The Protocol sets out measures to prevent trafficking, prosecute offenders, support and protect victims and cooperate internationally to achieve those objectives.

In fulfillment of its commitments under the Trafficking Protocol, Canada has enacted a number of laws to combat and prevent trafficking. New provisions in the Criminal Code specifically criminalize trafficking in persons, and the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act targets cross-border trafficking in persons.  The federal government has also established an Interdepartmental Working Group on Trafficking in Persons, with the mandate to coordinate and enhance efforts to combat trafficking and to develop a national strategy. However, the Canadian government has yet to announce or initiate a national action plan to address and combat human trafficking. 

The importance of this issue of human trafficking and the need for a more concerted Canadian effort has been recognized by parliamentarians. In particular, the Status of Women Committee initiated a Study on Human Trafficking throughout the fall 2006 parliamentary session, inviting various government departments, police forces, and non-governmental organizations to present information on human trafficking and make recommendations to the Committee. A private member’s motion (Joy Smith, CPC) was introduced and debated and passed in the House which states:

"That, in the opinion of the House, the trafficking of women and children across international borders for the purposes of sexual exploitation should be condemned, and that the House call on the government to immediately adopt a comprehensive strategy to combat the trafficking of persons worldwide."

This motion passed by a vote of the House of Commons on February 22, 2007.

On February 27, 2007 the House of Commons Standing Committee on the Status of Women released their study on human trafficking. Entitled Turning Outrage into Action to Address Trafficking for the Purpose of Sexual Exploitation in Canada, the study was conducted between October 2006 and February 2007 following consultations with approximately 40 witnesses, including researchers, policy experts, law enforcement, and many organizations that provide victim services and/or are dedicated to raising awareness of the issue.

The EFC held free screenings of Amazing Grace: The William Wilberforce Story for MPs, Senators, Ambassadors and their family and staff on February 7, 2007 and for pastors and church leaders on February 8, 2007. [MORE ON AMAZING GRACE]

Issue: Human Trafficking

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Related Issue: Global Poverty
Related Issue: Pornography
Related Issue: Prostitution
Related Issue: Refugees


International Tragedy

“Human trafficking is an international tragedy made intimately local by those in Canada who force women, girls and boys to be their slaves through sexual exploitation and forced labour. We in Canada have a responsibility to expose and address this horrific injustice of modern day slavery. As long as people continue to prey on the vulnerable, exploiting them for free labour and trafficking them into sexual slavery, this travesty will continue. It is our call to remember that every human being is made in God’s image and must not be exploited. The Evangelical Fellowship of Canada supports Bill C-268: An Act to amend the Criminal Code (minimum sentence for offences involving trafficking of persons under the age of eighteen years) and believes it is a vital step towards bringing this injustice into the light and bringing justice for the exploited.”

~ Jocelyn Durston, former International Policy Analyst, The Evangelical Fellowship of Canada

   
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