The federal government is launching a new national strategy to address human trafficking across Canada.
On Wednesday morning at the Peterborough Police Service station, Peterborough-Kawartha MP Maryam Monsef announced the new National Strategy to Combat Human Trafficking, which includes a federal financial commitment of $57.22 million over five years and then $10.28 million a year ongoing.
The funding complements the $14.51 million over five years and $2.89 million annually announced in last year’s federal budget for a new Canadian Human Trafficking Hotline for victims and survivors in need of services and support.
Monsef says the new strategy aims to empower victims and survivors, prevent crimes, better protect those vulnerable to trafficking, prosecute human traffickers and create new partnerships with organizations to maximize impact.
“Canadians expect their government to keep them safe at home, at work and in their communities,” said Monsef, the minister of international development and minister for women and gender equality.
“We know that women and girls, and particularly Indigenous women and girls, are disproportionately more likely to experience gender-based violence, and are at the greatest risk of human trafficking. That’s why we are making historic investments to end all forms of violence and injustice, including this new investment to help eliminate human trafficking in Canada and abroad.”
In 2016, Canadian police services reported 340 incidents of human trafficking where it was the most serious violation in the criminal incident.
“We are making historic investments to end all forms of violence and injustice, including this new investment to help eliminate human trafficking in Canada and abroad,” said Monsef.
Retired RCMP assistant commissioner Shirley Cuillierrier, a member of Mohawk First Nation, has been appointed a new special advisor on human trafficking. She will offer ongoing advice and recommendations to the government on efforts to combat human trafficking and bring awareness to this issue domestically and internationally.
“I have seen the distressing consequences of human trafficking first-hand through my work and as a community advocate,” stated Cuillierrier. “I am very grateful for the opportunity to contribute to the government’s efforts to combat human trafficking, in particular as it relates to empowering victims, and I look forward to working with like-minded stakeholders.”
Allocation of the new funding includes:
- $10 million to Women and Gender Equality Canada to develop and deliver prevention programs aimed at vulnerable populations
- $22.6 million to support the development of a national case management standard, public awareness activities, training tools, new contribution funding for support services, establishing an advisory committee and appointing a special advisor
- $7.8 million to the Canada Border Services Agency for immigration enforcement processes and to establish a dedicated team of border officials to strengthen strategies
- $8.9 million to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada to better detect and respond to suspected cases
- $5.58 to Public Services and Procurement Canada to ensure the federal procurement supply chain continues to promote ethical behaviours
- $2.49 million to the Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada to enhance Project PROTECT and increase capacity to produce financial intelligence on money laundering.
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