OTTAWA – The Evangelical Fellowship of Canada (EFC) has released a report entitled Human Trafficking: A Report on Modern Day Slavery in Canada. The 30-page report reviews recent experience with human trafficking in association with major international events and recommends action that may be taken by the Canadian, British Columbia and Vancouver governments in preparation for the 2010 Olympic Games and beyond.
The EFC is deeply concerned about human trafficking and believes that it is our call to both remember and remind each other that every human being is made in God’s image, is deserving of dignity and must not be exploited. If past history of major world events is any indicator, the Vancouver Olympics could result in the increased exploitation of vulnerable men, women and children if solid policies and legislation to prevent trafficking and protect its victims are not put in place in a timely fashion.
The release of the report coincides with Wednesday’s scheduled vote in the House of Commons on second reading of a private members’ bill sponsored by MP Joy Smith. Smith’s Bill C-268 proposes amending the Criminal Code to provide for minimum sentences for those found guilty of trafficking in persons under the age of 18 years.
Jocelyn Durston, International Policy Analyst for the EFC, notes: “Canada is a signatory to the United Nations Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons and has taken some good early steps to deal with the issue in our country. But we could be setting ourselves up to become a country of choice for traffickers, because our laws and procedures are lagging behind other Western nations. Given the history at recent Olympic Games, soccer World Cups and other international events, Canada will have to move quickly to better prepare ourselves to address the tragedy of human trafficking before the Games start February 12, 2010. The upcoming Olympics deadline actually provides impetus for Canada to learn from other nations’ experiences and become a world leader in anti-trafficking measures.”
Download and read the report, Human Trafficking: A Report on Modern Day Slavery in Canada