One of my biggest frustrations regarding Canada’s (non) response to human trafficking is its border crossing protocol. I was talking with a friend who works in customs at the Canada/US border, and she said they do not receive any kind of special training in how to look out for and identify human traffickers.
I just crossed the Costa Rica-Panama border yesterday and was pleased to see this written right on the customs form: The penalty for sexual abuse towards minors in Costa Rica implies prison. I just had to take a picture of it.
As we waited in line to cross into Panama, we saw a huge billboard that warned girls about falling prey to sexual exploitation and forced prostitution when seeking promised work abroad I couldn’t help but think how necessary this type of advertising is at Canadian airports and border crossings. Not only is it important to warn girls who are naively entering a country that their promises might turn into nightmares in a few short hours, but ads must also target men who plan to use these girls.
Despite the shortcomings of Panama and Costa Rica in anti-trafficking efforts, Canada would do well to follow their example at border crossings.