ARCHIVED - The Harper Government Launches Canada’s National Action Plan to Combat Human Trafficking
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Ancaster, Ontario, June 8, 2012 — The Honourable Vic Toews, Minister of Public Safety; and David Sweet, Member of Parliament, Ancaster–Dundas–Flamborough–Westdale, today reaffirmed the Government's commitment to fighting human trafficking to further highlight Canada's new National Action Plan to Combat Human Trafficking.
“Human trafficking is a despicable crime that preys on vulnerable people. On Wednesday I strengthened our Government's commitment to the global fight against human trafficking by launching the National Action Plan to Combat Human Trafficking,” said Minister Toews. “Canada's National Action Plan reflects the Government's ongoing commitment to prevent and combat this horrible crime.”
Human trafficking in Canada is a national problem, whose victims are both Canadians and newcomers. Sexual exploitation and forced labour are two forms of trafficking taking place in Canada. The Criminal Intelligence Service has reported: “Across the country, organized crime networks are actively trafficking Canadian-born women and under-age girls inter and intra-provincially, and in some instances to the United States, destined for the sex trade.”
Canada's National Action Plan, 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 discovery of this country's largest human trafficking ring operating in Hamilton and based in Ancaster, demonstrates that we are not immune to human trafficking in Canada,” said M.P. Sweet. “The National Action Plan will consolidate and focus federal efforts to combat human trafficking and introduce aggressive current and new initiatives to prevent human trafficking, identify victims, protect the most vulnerable, prosecute perpetrators and build on our partnerships both in Canada and abroad.”
The National Action 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, totaling $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.
To view the National Action Plan online, please go to: http://www.publicsafety.gc.ca/cnt/rsrcs/pblctns/ntnl-ctn-pln-cmbt/index-eng.aspx.
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Public Safety Canada
A/Director of Communications
Office of the Minister of Public Safety
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