Traffickers enjoy impunity in Canada, according to experts

Trafficking in persons can include forced labour, forced prostitution and other sex-related jobs as work in massage parlours and agence d’escorte Montréal services.


After almost a decade since it came into force a law designed to catch traffickers, they manage to escape convictions in Canada, complain the defenders against trafficking in persons.

So far 35 convictions have posted by trafficking in persons since new laws to combat it have entered into force in 2005, according to the latest report from public safety Canada.

Among those cases, at least nine of the victims were under 18 years of age, and two of those 35 cases were for the purpose of forced labor.


When it comes to fees, data from Statistics Canada show that 125 people were accused in Canada between 2005 and 2012 in incidents in which trafficking in persons was the most serious crime.

Under a provision of the Penal Code established in November 2005, persons can be charged with human trafficking if they recruit, they hide or exert control over a person for the purpose of exploiting it.

Exploitation, in accordance with the law, means that the victim believes that disobey the dealer puts your safety or the safety of their loved ones at risk.

Trafficking in persons can include forced labour, forced prostitution and other sex-related as the work in massage parlours and escort services.

“Too many people coming out with their own ‘”

The Member of the conservative party Joy Smith of the city of Winnipeg, a leader in the fight against human trafficking, said that more charges and sentences are needed.

“I think that many are coming out with it,” he said. “Basically because the police were not trained to deal with the problem of trafficking in persons.”

Joy Smith, a Conservative Member of Parliament from Winnipeg, Manitoba, says she is not satisfied with the current amounts of funding and education aimed at combating trafficking in persons. (CBC) © CBC

Smith said that this situation is now changing, but while the police is being trained, the courts also have to assume their responsibility.

“When the cases reach the courts, the judges would have to understand what is trafficking in persons.The problem is that they also allow that makers out in freedom, and you wonder, ‘How is this?’ 

The Conservative Government has invested much money and resources to combat trafficking in persons. One of the campaign promises of Prime Minister Stephen Harper in 2011 was to establish a national action plan.

The Government pledged 25 million dollars spread over four years. All this in addition to the millions of dollars earmarked for provinces such as Manitoba, which dedicated $ 10 million a year for its strategy of sexual exploitation.

Despite all efforts to combat the problem, Smith says that he is needed to do more.

“I am not satisfied with the amount of funding, and I am not satisfied with the lack of education,” he said.

Victim of human trafficking.

“Christine”, whose identity was not disclosed, is a woman of Winnipeg, in the province of Manitoba, in 30 years. She says that the law not protected her, and that the justice system sees women trafficked as victims of a crime.

‘Christine’, a Winnipeg woman in their 30s, says that she was taken to tricked into the sex trade a decade ago, when she became addicted to crack. © CBC

“Nobody bothers to find out beyond and ask, ‘ why are you here?” What is it that has led you to that? “”, she says. “

Christine escaped from his home in the suburbs of Winnipeg a decade ago and was introduced to the world of the crack by the man who frequented.

“I left my house, went to clubs, consumed crack on weekends, and began selling the drug,” he said, adding that she finally met her trafficker after becoming addicted.

He went to live with him and his family, and over time it threatened to throw it if it not began to prostitution to keep their drug habits.

Feeling trapped, Christine accepted. All the money that was going at the hands of their trafficker.

“I became their possession,” he added.

Trafficking in persons is not denounced, says fiscal

Jennifer Mann, a Prosecutor in the Crown of highest level in the province of Manitoba, said that there is no doubt that human trafficking is happening, but that it is a crime that is not denounced.

“Very few cases come to our attention in the trials,” he said. “The victims of this crime are seldom go to the police and report what is happening to them.”

Sergeant Darryl Ramkissoon of the Winnipeg police service is agreed that few victims are presented.

“Many times girls don’t want to go through the process of the Court and everything ends up there,” he said.

“Some will say you are forced to do so.”

The Prosecutor Mann adds that the penalties for traffic can be severe, up to 14 years in prison and even imprisonment if other factors, such as sexual assault and forced confinement, are present in the case.

“These are significant convictions,” he said. “They sent message to criminals that if they are involved in this type of behavior, the sentence can be very serious.”

The penalties for the 35 convictions obtained in Canada ranged between one day to nine years in prison. A company was fined more than $200,000.

About half of all victims of trafficking are Aboriginal

The lack of convictions in the provinces with a high proportion of Aboriginal people worries to Diane Redsky, Director of the Canadian women’s Foundation on the trafficking of women and girls in Canada.

Acepta says that its research reveals that about 50 per cent of all victims of trafficking are Aboriginal.

“It is clear that an over – representation of indigenous women. We know that most of the women and girls who are trafficked in Canada are marginalized, are Aboriginal, immigrant and refugee women as well as women living in poverty. 

Diane Acepta of the Canada women’s Foundation says that its research shows that about 50 percent of all victims of trafficking in Canada are Aboriginal. © (CBC)

More than 90 percent of the convictions in Canada involve the national human trafficking; the remaining cases involve people brought to Canada from other countries.

That is a gap that the expert of trafficking and author Benjamin Perrin said that it was “highly disturbing”, since their research shows that there are a large number of international victims in Canada from Eastern Europe and Asia.

“Their traffickers have never been prosecuted or paid accounts,” he said.

“This suggests that the criminals behind these companies work with impunity, making highly lucrative profits, and why we should be very concerned.”

But not all experts believe that international sex trafficking is so out of control.

John Ferguson, a Superintendent of the Royal Mounted Police, says that the lack of convictions in all international sex trafficking in Canada may indicate that it is not so widespread.

“After so many years, after a decade of implementation of laws when you have so few charges”, said, “only you can conjecture that efforts by the Government have gone in the wrong direction.”

Ferguson said that trafficking for forced labour is the main form of trafficking in the country.

“I think there is sex trafficking on the international scene in Canada, but not in an important way,” he said.

Too few questions asked

The expert in trafficking and author Benjamin Perrin said that women are trafficked in living rooms of massage and other industries related to sex, with very few questions asked about how they got there and who is controlling them.

“We have documented cases in Canada massage parlors that used essentially to women slaves to pay its debts ,” he said.

Debt slavery refers to women who come to Canada and are told that they cannot leave the sex industry until they pay a debt inflated by the dealer that can reach more than $50,000.

Kellie Leitch, Minister of State for women told CBC that the federal Government is very concerned about trafficking in persons.

“It’s atrocious crimes. Individuals who are perpetrating these crimes must be brought to trial”, he said.

It puts in evidence the plan of public safety Canada national action and more than $ 25 million in federal funds that has been invested in the development of a national strategy to combat trafficking in persons.

He added that more than 2.5 million in funds from his Department have been destined to the programming to help identify the challenges and act accordingly against trafficking in persons in the country.

“We have funded local community projects to raise awareness among Canadians about what is happening and that can deal with it. “More than 52 000 Canadians have been educated about how identify the victims of these tragedies.”

“My goal is to ensure that the most vulnerable in society, the victims of trafficking in persons – mostly children and women are protected,” he said. “This has to be stopped.”

Approximately 80 cases against trafficking in persons are currently before the courts.

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