Here is a message from MP Joy Smith:
I am absolutely thrilled to share with you the announcement of a National Action Plan to Combat Human Trafficking that was made today by Minister Vic Toews and Minister Ambrose in Ottawa, Minister Blaney in Montreal and myself in Surrey, BC. I am excited that Canada is taking strong steps towards the elimination of modern day slavery in Canada and abroad.
As many of you know, I have been committed to the development of a National Action Plan to Combat Human Trafficking. In 2007, my Motion M-153 which called for Canada to develop a national strategy to combat human trafficking was unanimously adopted by Parliament. In 2010, I released a proposal for a National Action Plan to Combat Human Trafficking called Connecting the Dots. I shared this with the Prime Minister and key Cabinet Ministers. This was followed by the commitment by Prime Minister Harper and the Conservative Party of Canada in the 2011 election to develop a National Action Plan.
Today, one year later, this promise has been fulfilled with the launch of a robust and clear National Action Plan to Combat Human Trafficking.
You can also read the full National Action Plan to Combat Human Trafficking online here.
I want to especially thank the tens of thousands of Canadians who took time over the past two years to sign petitions and write to Members of Parliament. Your voices have been heard!
However there is more to be done. One of the key part of the Plan focuses on participation. Over the next year, key parts of the National Action Plan will be put into place that encourage citizens to join with law enforcement and victims services to prevent modern day slavery and rescue victims. Together, we can end modern day slavery!
Joy Smith, MP
Kildonan – St. Paul
Here are some highlights of the National Action Plan. The National Action Plan will:
- Launch Canada’s first integrated law enforcement team dedicated to combating human trafficking.
- Increase front-line training to identify and respond to human trafficking and enhance prevention in vulnerable communities.
- Provide more support for victims of this crime, both Canadians and newcomers.
- Strengthen coordination with domestic and international partners who contribute to Canada’s efforts to combat human trafficking.
These new measures totalling $25 million over four years build on and strengthen Canada’s significant work to date to prevent, detect and prosecute human trafficking, such as targeted training for law enforcement officials and front-line service providers, and enhanced public awareness measures. To date, the RCMP is aware of 23 cases in Canada in which human trafficking charges were laid and the accused have been convicted of human trafficking and/or other related offences. 42 accused have been convicted in these cases and 56 victims have been saved from the hands of the traffickers. Currently, approximately 59 Canadian cases involving 98 individuals accused of human trafficking offences remain before the courts. These cases involve a total of 147 victims.
I am so excited! You can read the full National Action Plan here.