Though at Hope for the Sold we generally focus on the issue of sexual exploitation more than other forms of human trafficking, sometimes there is an urgent need or important story about labour trafficking that needs to be highlighted. All forms of human trafficking are driven by greed and involve exploitation, manipulation, and coercion, and are oftentimes run and facilitated by organized crime.
Tomorrow, March 1 of 2012, Canada’s largest human trafficking case is going before the courts in Hamilton, Ontario. The victims are men from Hungary, who were locked up and forced to work in construction in Hamilton. Timea Nagy, a sex trafficking survivor who started Walk With Me, an organization that provides aftercare services for victims in the GTA, is requesting that people who want to show their support to the victims that will be testifying against their traffickers in court come out the hearing tomorrow.
These victims need to know that Canadians care about them and what happened to them, and showing up to Court as they bravely face their abuser is a great way to do that.
When: Thursday March 1, 20120 at 2:30 p.m. (This was changed from 9:30am. Please check the Walk With Me facebook page for updates on any further changes.)
Where: John Sopinka Court House, 45 Main Street East, Hamilton, Ontario
Here is the press release that Timea has sent out to anyone interested in coming out tomorrow.
Thus far the Hamilton Hungarian case is the largest human trafficking case in Canadian history, both in number of accused and victims.
In what has been called Canada’s largest human trafficking case to date, A man by the name of, Ferenc Domotor Sr., was accused of being the ringleader in a human trafficking and fraud operation in the City of Hamilton, in the Province of Ontario. Domotor Sr. is currently facing human trafficking, fraud, conspiracy and organized crime charges before the Ontario Superior Court of Justice.
Allegedly, Domotor financed and arranged for the victims to fly to Canada, and instructed them to claim refugee status upon arrival. Domotor Sr. then locked them in the basements of homes in Hamilton and Ancaster, Ontario where some were fed “three-day-old meals that even dogs would not eat.” Domotor Sr. then allegedly confiscated their passports and forced them to work at a construction site for seven days a week without pay. Several victims claim that they were threatened, ordered not to leave the houses unaccompanied, and beaten.
“The public needs to be aware of flaws in Canada’s refugee and welfare systems that allowed a group of Hungarian Roma criminals to live in Hamilton and get paid for it” says the lead prosecutor of an ongoing human trafficking case.
“Disgusting, stunning, shocking, I just don’t have the words to describe,” said the assistant Crown attorney, Toni Skarica.
Attila Kolompar, one of the most vicious members of the Human Trafficking ring, will stand before Court on March 1st, at
9:30am2:30pm at the John Sopinka Courthouse in Hamilton, Ontario. The victims will be attending to court as well, and will be asked to read their victim impact statement in front of their abuser.
This is the largest Human Trafficking Case in the Canadian History, and the Canadian public needs to be aware of this issue.
I am sadly unable to make it to Hamilton tomorrow, but am asking everyone in the Hamilton area who can to attend this court hearing. A friendly face means the world for victims who are forced to re-live their abuse in a courtroom, and this is a very practical thing you can do to demonstrate your support.
Let’s make it clear that we as Canadians will NOT tolerate the exploitation of human beings!
For more reading:
- Surviving Slavery by The Spec
- RCMP hunt Hamilton family on human trafficking charges by The Record
- Third in human trafficking ring pleads guilty by The Spec
- Hamilton prosecutor lashes out at lax rules, tells Hungary ‘We don’t want your criminals’ by The Spec
- The gypsy kings: Part 1 of 2 by The Spec
If you do attend, contact me afterwards – would love to hear what you thought of it and how it went.