TRAFFICKING IN CALGARY : NOT JUST A FOREIGN PROBLEM
CALGARY, ALBERTA, MARCH 23 — No one has ever been convicted for humantrafficking in Alberta, yet nearly half of law enforcement, government, and social agencies surveyed in Calgary have come into contact with a victim of human trafficking.
This surprising finding is revealed in Human Trafficking in Calgary : Informing a Localized response, a report released by the Action Coalition on human Trafficking (ACT) and Mount Royal University’s Centre for Criminology and Justice Research. The research is unprecedented in Canada, as it represents the first attempt to document how a major Canadian city is addressing the needs of trafficked persons.
The report shows how over-reliance on legal definitions of human trafficking allows victims to fall through the cracks, as some trafficked persons are not being identified and are therefore not accessing needed services. “It’s been difficult for police to lay charges, never mind obtain convictions,” says Julie Kaye, co-ordinator for ACT Calgary. “We need a clear, universally accepted definition of human trafficking to develop an effective coordinated response.Everyone needs to be on the same page.”
Human trafficking —the use of threat, force, fraud, or deception to exploit people — is often associated with international victims exploited for sex. However, researchers confirmed that both foreign nationals and Canadian citizens are being trafficked in Calgary. Organizations surveyed indicated that trafficking is occurring from First Nation reserves to Alberta cities,for example. While some exploitation is sexual in nature (often involving Eastern European and Asian women), researchers found that people are being trafficked for labour as well from countries such as India, Pakistan and Mexico. In these cases, traffickers used government means such as the Temporary Foreign Worker program to get people into Canada.
The report includes recommendations to address human trafficking in Calgary, including more training for frontline service agencies and the development of a local protocol to better serve trafficking victims. Because much information on human trafficking in Calgary remains anecdotal, further research is also recommended.
To read the full report : http://www.actalberta.org/wp-conten...